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Memphis Moms Blog What Teachers want for Christmas
What Teachers Want for Christmas

I recently read a post on Facebook from Cafe Mom that listed 22 things not to buy teachers as gifts. I knew this list wasn’t written by an actual teacher, because they listed coffee and wine as things not to buy and we all know most teachers start each day with a hot cup of coffee and end it with a cold glass of something strong. The funny thing about this list is almost everything included is something I have received from students, and I have cherished each and every one because they were given with love. 

Memphis Moms Blog teacher gift

So, in response, here is a list of things that teachers DO appreciate as gifts:

Coffee or Starbucks Gift Cards

Your child’s teacher probably woke up at 5 am to sit for 5 minutes in a quiet house before she got herself and her own kids ready for the day. She will chug her first cup upon waking, then then will pour another cup upon arriving to school, only to forget about it and won’t be able to find where she set it down. She will find it 3 hours later on top of the cubbies and it will be cold but she will reheat it and try to drink it before it’s time for lunch. Sadly she will reheat it a third time and still not finish it before the day is over. Please give your child’s teacher the sweet sweet elixir that is coffee and don’t listen to any list that tells you otherwise.


Who doesn’t love a delicious smelling candle?? And, if you are like me, you don’t go to bed bath and beyond to peruse the candle aisle and buy the latest yankee candle scents. Candles are greatly appreciated (except for anything that smells like a vanilla cookie. No one wants their house to smell like that.)


Do you know how many times a day a teacher washes their hands or gets a squirt of hand sanitizer when a kid sneezes in their general direction? After your twentieth squirt of hand sanitizer, your hands get a little dry. And that’s when you reach for they delicious smelling bath and body works sugar plum lotion, so you can forget about the fact that little Johnny just sneezed in your face.

Hand Sanitizer 

Teacher+germs= hand sanitizer hoarder! Especially if it comes in one of those cute holders and smells yummy. Extra points if it’s moisturizing.

Coffee Cups

Did you read number one? Teachers love coffee, and teachers need coffee mugs to drink their delicious coffee. Their significant other might not be too keen about having an entire cabinet devoted to mugs, but no one asked them anyways.

Memphis Moms Blog teacher gift coffee mug


Enough said.

Gift Cards

They are easy for parents to grab and give. Most teachers are also parents, so we know how difficult it is to get out of the house child free to get a gift for someone when all you want to do is put your comfy sweat pants on and drink that bottle of wine. We appreciate gift cards just as much as any gift, and we know you were thinking of us while standing in the grocery check out line thinking, “I don’t want to go to another store to buy something. Oh look an entire kiosk of gift cards.”


Did I mention coffee yet?

Jewelry, Scarves, Socks, Handmade Gifts

I have received all of these as gifts, and I LOVE each and every one of these things. Teachers love cute, crazy socks! So grab that pair of socks that look like pencils, because your child’s teacher will definitely be rocking them under her boots. Scarves are probably a teacher’s favorite accessory and can come in handy most days. Is it cold outside in carline? Put a scarf on. Is a small child sneezing every five seconds? Cover your face with a scarf. Did you spill coffee on your shirt after reheating it for the third time? Cover that stain with a scarf! I have also received a few stunning pieces of jewelry over the years, and I love them all. My favorite is a yellow plastic tear drop that is made to look like amber and contains a dead scorpion. It is amazing and I will never forget the smile on my precious student's face as he handed me this necklace.

Memphis moms Blog teacher gift necklace

A Heartfelt, Hand Written Note

Honestly the greatest gift you could give your child’s teacher is a hand written note thanking them for doing their job. If you want your child’s teacher to feel appreciated, write them a hand written note about how wonderful they are and how much your child loves and adores them. And while you're at it, go ahead and throw a Starbucks gift card in the envelope with your hand written note. She has been with your kid all day, and if your kids are anything like my own children, then she will definitely need some more coffee.

About the Author

Roxanne was born and raised in Memphis, and spends most of her time with her husband Brent and two girls Mckinley (7) and Palmer (2). She teaches preschool at Holy Rosary Catholic School and absolutely loves every minute of it! Four year olds are hilarious, tell you amazing stories, and say that you are beautiful all day long. She is a slow interval runner and avid true crime pod cast listener. When she’s not navigating the day to day life of living with a very strong willed two year old, she likes to bakes lots of banana bread and find the best gluten free pizza in the city. (It’s Memphis Pizza Cafe, in case you were wondering!)

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