In an ideal world, we would probably all make most of the gifts we give each holiday season. Applying our considerable craft talents, we would carve a beautiful wooden hiking staff, knit a delightfully soft wool scarf, and fill a handcrafted basket with freshly-baked cookies. Personalized gifts like these are guaranteed to be unique, and demonstrate caring and thoughtfulness in a way that no amount of money could ever match.
But in the real world, most of us are far too busy to make craft gifts for even a small number of the people on our gift list. Enter personalized gifts from sites like PersonalizationMall.com, GiftsForYouNow.com, and even Amazon: they allow the busy person to give a gift with that extra personal touch that is bound to make it memorable, but without having to spend two weeks crafting it yourself. Consider these gift ideas a shortcut to making something yourself — and chances are, the end result will be much more practical too!
My Favorite Teacher Picture Frame
Any teacher is guaranteed to love this picture frame which can be personalized with the teacher’s name, school, and grade. Include a photo of the whole class as a memorable teacher gift from the entire classroom, or frame a photo of your student with one of the projects they made during the year. You can also have your child make a special thank you drawing and frame that.
Photo Cookie Jar
This delighftul cookie jar can be filled with treats for an extra special thank you (just make sure you know your District’s rules regarding baked goods; some schools don’t allow them!). Once those are gone the teacher can use it to hold crafts or school supplies. But the best part is the option to personalize it with your own photo – what a great way for the teacher to remember her class for years to come!
Engraved Desktop Kaleidoscope
This cool wooden kaleidoscope would make a fun gift for an art teacher or science teacher, or really anyone who appreciates the classic fun and beauty of a well-made kaleidoscope. It can be engraved with an inspiring message, or simply a note of appreciation.
Wooden Puzzle with Free Engraving
Both kids and adults will love this wooden puzzle, which can stand up to the abuse of younger students while still challenging older grades. Engraving adds a classy touch that lets you tell your favorite teacher how much you appreciate them!
Engraved Ballpoint Pen
Everyone can use more pens, and really any sort of pen can be a simple can’t miss gift. But for an extra special thank you– say, as a gift for a favorite professor, or the teacher who put in so many hours of personal tutoring, few gifts are classier than an elegant engraved pen like this one from Executive Essentials.
Personalized “Mix Tape” CD
One of the coolest personalized gifts I received was a collection of MP3s from a student musician. It was clear that he had picked out each of the songs because they were deeply meaningful to him, and I was touched to be able to share in his discoveries. Apparently iTunes lets you gift a collection of MP3s, sending a link via email so that the recipient can download each of the selected songs straight to their iTunes free of charge. Very practical and enjoyable yet still personal gift.
Personalized Teacher Thank You Card
I’ve written this elsewhere, but many parents still don’t believe me One of the nicest things you can do for a teacher is also one of the easiest: a heartfelt and genuine thank you card written by you and your child. Not only is it something that the teacher will appreciate tremendously, it’s also an excellent lesson for your children, teaching them to show gratitude and appreciation for others who are working on their behalf. You can even make a thank you card into something personal and extra special using one of these 40 ideas for easy handmade thank you cards. If you still don’t feel it’s enough just to give a card, consider enclosing a gift card to a store that the teacher can use to purchase classroom supplies, such as Amazon, Walmart, or one of the many stores at GiftCards.com
Last Minute Gift Ideas for Teacher
Suppose you’ve waited until absolutely the last second, but still want to do a thoughtful and caring gift for a teacher? When it’s too late to go to the store, and too late even for overnight shipping, you can still give a last minute gift using electronic delivery of a personalized thank you card. I like the ones from American Greetings, which you can get for free with this 7-day trial.