At the very beginning of this blog post series I asked you to identify your unmovable, non-negotiable holiday traditions. I mentioned that my family has only two non-negotiable traditions: 1) We always eat lasagna on Christmas morning and 2) We make homemade gifts for our girls’ school teachers.
Well, several of you have asked for more information on what kinds of homemade gifts we make. (Side note: We now homeschool our girls…does that mean all of those homemade gifts are for me now? Suh-weet!)
Today I’ll break down a few options for those of you who are looking to give something beyond the typical coffee mug, chocolate, candle, etc. you may be tempted to give your child’s teacher. Got some extra time and energy? Make a sweet and simple homemade gift. If you’d rather buy something, there are thoughtful options for you, too.
Option #1: Homemade Gifts
Write a Letter
If there’s a special teacher in your child’s life, write a letter expressing the wonderful things that teacher has done for your child. Have your child jump in with a few words of encouragement, too. Sometimes teachers just need a pick-me-up, and a letter like this will be pulled out time and time again.
A loaf or two of freshly baked bread will be gobbled up quickly, especially around the holidays. Or whip up a batch of homemade Christmas cookies. Both options are delicious; plus, they’re clutter-free!
Use your own two hands to whip together a few quick and easy gifts:
- Bath salts: Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with 2 cups of Epsom salt. Put in a mason jar and wrap it up with a bow.
- Treats in a jar: Wrap up some sweet treats inside a colored mason jar and throw in a gift card (see below).
- Very Merry Vanilla Sugar: Scrape 1 vanilla bean into 1-2 cups of sugar and add a little red and green decorating sugar (find a similar recipe here).
Option #2: Gifts Under $10
Make a Donation
Instead of getting gifts for individual teachers, make a donation to the school’s library fund or other special fund and write the teachers a note telling them about the gift given in their honor.
Gift Cards/Gift Certificates
Money can be tight for teachers, and while you may think they may be tired of getting another Caribou/Starbucks gift card, they’re probably not (unless they don’t like coffee…).
Another thoughtful option: a gift card to an office supply store (or Target) so that they can buy something useful or fun for the classroom without having to pay out of their own pocket.
On that note, why not just buy the classroom supplies yourself? Make a quick call to the teacher (or shoot an email his/her way) asking for a wish list, then purchase some of the items yourself and bring them to school.
Need some ideas? Disinfecting wipes, dry erase markers, wood pencils, gallon sized plastic storage bags, post-it notes, pencils, pencil top erasers, etc. are all good picks and available just about everywhere.
Your To-Do Item
Make a list of all of the teachers and other school personnel you’d like to give a gift to this year. Then figure out which of the above options you’ll choose. Don’t obsess over it. I promise you, it is A-OK if all of the kids’ teachers get the same gift. I can assure you, it truly is the thought that counts. Truly.
Your turn: What other ideas do you have for teacher gifts priced at $10 or less?
Got some holiday shopping to do? Consider taking a look at our current deals for some great gift ideas.