teacher at christmas, face masks
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Teachers Will Legit Love (& Use) These 17 Holiday Gifts

Skip the apple this time around.

Y’all, I know your coffee mugs are well intentioned, but I’m here to tell you that those are not what teachers want for the holidays. I’m married to a teacher, the daughter-in-law of a teacher, and the best friend of a teacher. I’ve watched these people work hours into the night grading papers, show up at 6 a.m. to school for tutoring sessions, take kids on field trips over the weekend, supply kids in need with extra meals, and this year, reinvent education in order to reach students virtually. They work so hard. If you really want to show them you appreciate them, give a teacher one of these 17 gifts they’ll actually love.

The key to finding a great teacher gift is to first ask yourself, would I like this? For real. If it's something you'd never want to receive, then why give it to a teacher? Next, ask yourself, is this appropriate? A pair of boxers? Not so much. Wine? By all means.

Also remember, yes, it truly is the thought that counts. Just taking the time to remember a teacher will make them feel so special. My husband has held on to gifts students from 10 years ago gave him and still remembers them fondly each time he uses them. So even taking the time to gift a teacher is already like doing extra credit, although we promise you're not being graded on this (well, maybe a little).

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Behold, The Gift Of Caffeine

Don’t write a coffee card off as cliche. I’m telling you, people, this is one of the most coveted teacher gifts you can give. There were years my husband got so many, we didn’t have to buy coffees until late March. And what a gift that was. Getting up at 0’DarkHundred to teach is exhausting. Give your teacher a caffeine perk with one of these.


Free Bite

Breaking: Teacher salaries are low. Going out to a nice meal, for many, is a big splurge. If you want to say, “Hey, I really appreciate all the effort you put in with distance learning,” say it by giving a teacher a meal they don’t have to prepare themselves.


Something From Their DonorsChoose List

So many teachers take on the cost of school supplies and never get reimbursed. (Trust me, I know about this stuff.) That’s what’s led to the rise of sites like DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding website where teachers can ask for community support to buy certain classroom items, like yoga mats for kids or playground equipment. Surprise them by donating to their cause and helping them outfit their classroom with the tools they need to help your student succeed.


New Threads

Dressing professionally comes at a cost, so help a teacher out by giving them a certificate to a nice store. This can be an especially meaningful treat if your child has noted where they like to shop and you can personalize the gift to one of their favorite brands.


Personalized Bottle of Wine

One of the best teacher gifts I’ve ever seen was a friend who personalized bottles of wine for all of her children’s teachers. My favorite? “I Might Be the Reason You Need a Drink So Enjoy This One On Me” on a label that you can add an image of your child to. Etsy has all kinds of fun plays on wine labels, including many tailored to our new virtual environment like one that says “Pairs Well With Virtual Teaching.”


A Nice Water Bottle

When you’re on your feet all day pacing a classroom, it can be easy to forget to hydrate. Help your teacher out by gifting them a really nice water bottle. Bonus points for personalizing it.


A "Treat Yourself" Opportunity

Imagine being a teacher during the pandemic and trying to run your Zoom classroom from home while your own children are doing their own Zoom lessons from home! The mind reels. So many teachers need self-care right now, so help them out with a self-care kit. You can DIY it by including nice items like lotions, soaps, an eye mask, and candle. Or you can buy this charming Bold Xchange B for HE Mini Self-Care Box.


An Indoor Plant

Classrooms can get, well, stinky. With all those bodies coming and going, making a classroom a clean, welcoming space is an ongoing battle. To cheer it up and spread some nice fragrance, consider giving a teacher a nice blooming indoor plant.


A Sweet Bag

Teachers have to tote a ton of supplies. I’ve seen some whose vehicles look like UPS delivery vans their so packed with craft tools, paper, and tablets. You know what would help? A good looking tote, but not just any little canvas item. Something that’s durable but attractive like this Canvas Weekender Duffle Bag that you can personalize by monogramming their initial on the front.


Movie Magic

Ok, this is more wishful thinking given the state of the cinema industry so far, but if you like to think ahead, some movie gift cards that a teacher could use once more theaters reopen would be a thoughtful gift.


Crazy Socks

Does your kid’s teacher have a good sense of humor. Then gift them something a little quirky, socks with your child’s face on them. Divvyup Socks let’s you upload an image and they’ll personalize a pair of socks with them


Safety First Gift

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we all should have invested in hand sanitizer years ago. Like most of us, teachers are especially aware of the need to continually sanitize so make it easy for them with an attractive hand sanitizer holder they can lock on a purse or backpack. Practical and pretty, this is one gift that’s guaranteed to get used.


Really Good Chocolate

You can never go wrong with chocolate, especially if you splurge on a really nice box.


A Trip to the Amazon

I know gift cards can feel impersonal, but trust me when I say they are so appreciated, especially when they’re to a place like Amazon or Target where anyone can find something they need.


Spa Gift Card

Who doesn’t need a massage after 2020? If you can find place that’s giving safe massages, then by all means, gift this nice item.


A Positive Email with the Principal Copied on It

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Here’s one that won't cost you anything but your time. Write a glowing email praising your teacher then CC the Principal. You’d be amazed how much this kind of show a support can lift a teacher’s spirits.


A Heartfelt Note

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If your budget is pinched and believe me, teachers understand, the best thing you can give is a heartfelt note from yourself or you child honestly sharing how much their time with your student has meant to you. It may be hard to believe, but teachers don't hear how great they're doing nearly enough. Your words will make their day.

Now that we've done your homework for you, just print this list and get to shopping. Teachers will thank you for it.