Buying a gift for your child’s teacher that feels thoughtful but also doesn’t chew up a lot of your time can be a tricky balance to strike. As a teacher, I’ve seen the range of gifts come through my classroom door. And I can’t wait for you to see how easy it can be to come up with incredible holiday teacher gifts.
Before we dive into the gift suggestions, I think it’s important to acknowledge that every school culture + every family budget is different. Use this as a guide for inspiration rather than comparison. I can tell you that some of my most cherished gifts were not ones that cost the families a lot of money. So give yourself permission to gift within your means or your school’s parameters + leave any worry or guilt behind you knowing that it isn’t a splashy or splurgy gift that your teacher is looking for in the first place.
Because this individual is responsible for most of your child’s care + learning, you’re more likely to invest more time + money into a gift for them. When I’m putting together a gift for my kids’ teachers, there are three components that go into the perfect gift package:
If there were one thing that will make your teacher’s heart swell, it will be taking the time to express heartfelt gratitude. Truly! I know, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush, put your child’s name on a gift card + send them on their merry way, but teaching is a service profession. Yes, teacher holiday gifts are nice. But your child’s teacher is giving of their time, energy + love beyond what is in their job description because they really care. To receive a gesture of appreciation in kind is everything to a teacher.
I love being able to send something that is wrapped up for the teacher to open + enjoy. It just feels like another extra personal touch that reflects that you thought of them + took time to pick something out. When it comes to teacher holiday gifts, homemade foods or scented candles or lotions. And focus on finding something unique or that reflects the teacher’s personality or interests. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
Afternoons can really drag on some days in the classroom. Having a small stash of sweets on hand for a quick pick-me-up is the best! You could treats like this artisan s’mores kit or collection of truffles. If you’re interested in really treating your teacher, this holiday bento box from Sugarfina is outstanding. Of course, you can go to the local candy shop or market to curate your own box of treats as well!
It’s always nice to receive seasonally-scented gifts. Voluspa candles are second to none and this crushed candy cane scent is sure to delight. Another idea would be to send a fragrant bouquet of seasonal flowers or evergreen branches.
Some days in teaching are just hard. Having a gratitude journal to read through what you’re thankful for can be incredibly uplifting + encouraging. If you really want to personalize this gift, your family to could help to fill in an entry so that the teacher always has your sentiments to look back upon.
If you live in a climate where winters get cold, your teacher will love having gear to keep at school when they have to be outdoors for recess, door, or lunch duty. Look for pieces that have Thinsulate or polartec for an extra layer of warmth. And don’t feel like you have to go anywhere special to by them! (Although, I personally love these plaited beanies from J. Crew this year!)
Younger or Woowoo teachers will love this gift of beautifully-scented palo santo. Lots of people move through the classroom over the course of the day. And that energy can still be felt even when everyone else has gone home. It’s nice to have something to clear any negative energy from the space + reset it for the next day. You could also include an incense tray + even a meditation deck to make a gift set of it.
Teachers have tons of plastic tumblers + coffee mugs. I can tell you, though, teachers love it when they’re given a really nice water bottle. Teaching all day means lots of movement + talking, so staying hydrated is incredibly important. Having fresh, cool water on hand? There’s nothing better. You could grab a HydroFlask or Stanley Adventure Quencher for them this year + they will use it forever! Bonus points for filling it with candies or adding personalization.
It can be hard to know exactly what your child’s teacher would enjoy or appreciate. It can be nice to include a gift card for this reason. That way, they can treat themselves to anything they’d like! Of course I always recommend shopping local first, so see which businesses in your town offer gift cards. You can also get American Express, Amazon or Target gift cards if that makes sense! And if the class room parent is collecting for a gift from the families, this of course could be in place of a gift card, do whatever feels best.
If you’re on a lighter budget, remember that gifts are nice to receive but never expected. If nothing else, a thoughtful note is all you ever need to give–trust me.
Also, I recognize that sometimes there is the teacher who spends extra time with your child, a receptionist who is always extra helpful or an individual in the health office watching over your little one whom you’d like to thank. You can do something simple that will mean so much to them without breaking the bank. Here are a few easy holiday teacher gifts that will go a long way for those individuals!
Swing by a local boutique + pick up a small token gift that feels thoughtful. Add a bow + a simple card signed by your child for the perfect package.
Offer to bring the teacher their favorite AM drink! Trust me, nothing feels more special than to walk into the office + see a warm mug on the desk with your name on it!
If there’s a team of individuals (specials teachers, special education, etc.) that you’d like to do something thoughtful for, reach out to your local deli or bakery. They can help deliver a tray of goodies to the teacher’s lounge (trust me, this is always a hit). Include a card to place next to the tray to express well wishes for the well-deserved break!
When giving gifts, remember that the energy you put into it is what is felt the most. Stressing out over or rushing gift giving is felt by the recipient. So instead of trying to find the perfect gift or waiting until the last minute, use this guide to simplify the process. Free yourself up to enjoy finding a meaningful way to express your appreciation for your child’s teacher. At the end of the day, you want them to feel that gratitude more than anything else. My wish for you this year is to make holiday teacher gifts easy. It allows that positive experience to be felt by your child’s teacher–which is exactly what we want.
Tell me in the comments below what makes buying teacher gifts stressful for you + if this post helped make it any easier for you this holiday season!
Looking for other holiday gift ideas? Here are some other gift guides!
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So many great ideas here—I’ve got a team of teachers and two leads and this is just the inspiration I needed!
I love hearing that this has been so helpful! I know I even used the ideas here to inspire our own gifts so hopefully this becomes a mainstay resource for you!