Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers

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The season of giving is upon us. For those of you with school-aged children, it is likely their their teachers are on your giving list. It can be tricky to know what they may want or need, but we all know that these hard-working people deserve a reminder that we appreciate them. Hopefully these suggestions will help you choose something truly meaningful to the teacher while showing your gratitude for all they do for your child.

Who Doesn’t Love Gift Cards?

If you don’t want to spend a ton of time and effort on a gift, a gift card is always a great choice. And, let’s face it, no teacher has ever turned down a little extra money! If you know the teacher well, you can get a gift card to a specific store or restaurant you know they love. If you are not sure what to get, consider more general gift cards that are just as meaningful such as a combo card that can be used at several different restaurants or a book store gift card to help stock the classroom. If you don’t have to have a big budget then consider a coffee shop, smoothie store or breakfast place gift card where a smaller dollar amount will still cover the cost of a purchase. If you want to go even more general, you can’t go wrong with some cold, hard cash.

Personalized Gifts should still be Functional and Usable!

Personalized and handmade gifts are special because it is the thought that counts anyway. Even so, if you choose to have your child help in creating the gift, be sure to think about if and how the teacher can use it. It is best to steer clear of handmade items that are designed to be displayed or worn in case they don’t match the teacher’s style or preference. While kids may love the rubber band weave bracelets, this probably isn’t what the teacher loves! Also consider the functionality of gifts and be sure it is something they can actually use instead of something that will end up collecting dust—a teacher can only have so many apple-inspired items. 😉 A nice card written by the student and an edible creation could also work well as a personalized gift.

Whole-class Gifts are Winners!

You can get more bang for your buck and bless the teacher in a big way if you get the whole class on board to go in on a gift. Consider talking to other parents, collecting money, and creating a theme-based basket. Choose a theme that the teacher loves. If the teacher is a coffee-lover, the basket may include coffee, mugs, sweet treats, and gift cards to coffee shops in town. Choose a country the teacher teaches about during the year as the theme of the basket. Include some items that could be visual aids while teaching that unit (posters, etc.), include a restaurant gift card for a place that serves that country’s cuisine, and buy some books about the place for the classroom library. A book-lover would truly enjoy a basket full of their favorite genre of books, a cozy blanket to wrap up in and a gift card to a local book shop.

Consider making a personalized gift as a class. That way the teacher will only have one item instead of 20+ different items to use. This could be a tote bag with painted hand prints of the whole class on it or a bar stool for the teacher to sit in while teaching that has thumb prints of the students on it. Again, keep the functionality in mind, and don’t repeat something the teacher already has.

Even Classroom-related Items can be Great Gifts!

You’d be surprised to know just how quickly all those school supplies from the beginning of the year run out. Ask the teacher what supplies need to be re-stocked or what items are on his or her classroom wish list. Consider purchasing these as a gift. Teachers spend so much money out of their own pocket to keep the classroom stocked that this mid-year re-stock could save lots of the teacher’s time and money.

katie-on-bargain-blessingsThis post was written by Katie, an elementary Spanish teacher and a Bargain Blessings contributing writer. Visit the Bargain Blessings contributing team page to learn more about Katie and our other team members.


  1. Libby says

    We have three kids and they are now all in grades that switch classes – that’s a lot of teachers! We get calendars from the Dollar Tree every year for their teachers. This way we can include their gym, art, computer, music and library teachers as well. It’s an affordable, functional gift and sometimes very personal if the selection is good. This year we’ve already found World Landmark calendars for the social studies teachers, a car calendar for the gym teacher whose a big racing fan, Mom schedule calendars for teachers with multiple children of their own, White Tail Deer calendars for the hunters, etc. Many of them look forward to their calendars for Christmas!

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