If you haven’t yet read my advice on choosing a Christmas gift for teachers, please do so now, as it will give you some background as to why I’ve chosen the items on this list.
This page just features my very best gift ideas for teachers– these are the items that teachers in my gift poll have requested again and again. But every teacher is unique, so you may find it more helpful to go beyond this select list and search for more teacher gift ideas according to recipient, occasion, or type of gift. You can view all of the lists on this site in the navigation menu on the right hand side of the page.
Good luck choosing a great Christmas gift for your teacher, and thank you for supporting educators!
“Everyone wants to get that “perfect” gift for teachers, bus drivers and child care workers…..that PERFECT gift IS A GIFT CARD!!!!! I am a bus driver and have been for 5 yrs, i drive 2 routes with a total of 94 kids, so over the years that is almost 500 kids…you wanna guess how many school buses, mugs, notepads, candy packs and other chachkies i have recieved??
While I have appreciated the thought behind the gifts, the ones I truly remember?…..the neighborhood that got together and gave me a $100 gift card to my favorite salon, or gift cards from the stores I shop at, and the gift cards from PANERA, which I LOVE! (it is too expensive for me to go and spend there). Gift cards REALLY ARE THE BEST!!!! They are not thought of as being lazy, teachers, drivers and the like actually appreciate them more because parents have thought about how many “things” we get and these are of an actual “use” to us.” ~L.C.
I know they get a bad rap, but this was the #1 requested item from all of the teachers we spoke with. A Gift Card is never unwelcome, doesn’t take up any space, and can be used to get something the teacher actually needs. If you prefer to make it more personal, my suggestion would be to make a handmade thank you card with your child. Include a sincere note of appreciation and a pouch where you can slip in the gift card. Believe me, this gift will be a hit!
“As a teacher I can tell you, we would love classroom supplies! Either ask what we are running low on or buy a little goodie bag of the basics. Tissues, pencils, paper, glue, scissors, erasers, tape, notecards, etc. We will love you for it.” ~Teacher in Virginia
Simple school supplies and office supplies was another oft-requested gift. Again, it might seem practical, but that’s what teachers want for Christmas! (And you would too, if you were spending your own money to keep the classroom stocked!) Even school supplies can be made personal and unique: consider buying a cute basket (see my suggestions below), and filling it with common supplies arranged like a gourmet gift basket. One parent I know bought a Christmas wreath and decorated it with helpful school supplies.
“A collection of beautiful stickers, if they use them to motivate the children. That way they don’t have to spend a dime on such an item, and it spares them a trip to the store.” ~Parent in Maryland
“I order personalized notecards and stationery for my son’s teacher’s as holiday and end-of-the-year gifts. They are always jotting a note home to me, and it seems to be appreciated. For around $20 you can get a personalized assortment of notepapers, and for a special teacher a nicer gift from Crane’s, William Arthur, etc. runs around $80.” ~Suzanne
Personalized gifts are especially appreciated by sentimental teachers — some I know have kept a box of all the handmade “treasures” they’ve been given over the years, and get them out from time to time whenever they need a reminder of the lives that they’ve touched. But remember, you can make any gift personal just by adding a sincere, heartfelt note of appreciation to a handmade card.
“One of the nicest gifts I have received as a teacher was a coffee cup with the class picture on it. Takes a little advanced planning, but was delightful.” ~Teacher in Arizona
“In all my years teaching, the best gifts I ever received were notes from parents thanking me personally for my work with their children. I also liked lotion, hand sanitizer, small candles, & school supplies. I spent hundreds of dollars a year for supplies.” ~Teacher in Washington
If you’re lucky enough to get lots of gifts each year as many popular teachers are, then after a while you start to prefer gifts that are consumable, rather than having yet another coffee mug, “best teacher” plaque, or kitschy apple for the teacher to find a place for. Here are some of the consumable items requested by teachers I spoke to:
“I’m a preschool teacher and the kids all get me gifts for the holidays. The best gift I ever got was a box that the parent/child had filled with 3 bags microwave popcorn, 2 boxes of movie size snacks and a gift card to the local movie rental place. She called it my “date night in” box. It was much better than the normal knickknacks, lotions, cookies, etc. I get and my DH and I got to spend several nights enjoying movies even when the cash flow was low, complete with refreshments. ” ~Teacher in Pennsylvania
Many teachers are avid readers, and if you happen to know what kinds of books they like to read (and haven’t read yet), then you really can’t go wrong getting them a nice book. If you don’t know what kind of books or movies they prefer, a good bet is to go for an inspiring story about teachers — it’s something that they will enjoy and just might make them better at their job.