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What the Teacher Really Wants… Holiday Edition!

It is no secret that our kids spend more of their day with the teacher than they do with us. Our teachers do way more than teach our children curriculum. They nurse boo-boos, referee games (or disagreements), clean and disinfect all day, ensure our kids do not go hungry, plan field trips…basically a cruise director if you ask me! And this is not a job people do for the big paychecks; it is because they love our kids and watching them grow – at any age! (*As a teacher, I say that last piece of data as a known FACT!)

So how do we show our teachers some appreciation and gratitude this holiday season?

A Personalized Hot/Cold Cup

There is a meme floating around that shows women usually have three cups/water bottles in their hands at all times.  I have never seen anything more accurate in my life. So while OUR teachers may not have loved a personalized ceramic mug, we live in a time where you can never have too many Stanley Cups! Some brands can be purchased online with personalization already done, or there are plenty of mamas out there with a Cricut who can make a cute personalized sticker to slap on there to make it super cute.  (Bonus points if you can deliver it WITH their favorite beverage IN the cup!)

personaalized cupsThemed Gift Items

This year, a wonderful family gifted me the most precious Thanksgiving towel that I ran home and put on my oven. And every time someone commented on how cute it was, I got to mention this sweet angel who gave it to me. And in the years to come, the towel will be a constant reminder of this family! Gifts like cute towels, trinket trays, themed cups to use (plastic or styrofoam) are always enjoyed by teachers both in the moment given and for years to come! It is like a piece of your child is staying with the teacher that becomes a part of their holiday tradition!


If you ask me, there is never a limit on how much stationery a person can have. Teachers are constantly taking notes or writing notes, so do not think twice about gifting paper products! Personalized notepads and notecards are always a hit – even better if you can add the school name, colors, mascot, etc. to it! Local stationer Taylor Amen Designs is one of many who has, or can design, the cutest pad of paper with your teacher’s name and school on it!

stationery teacher gifts
Taylor Amen Designs


We all know every job comes with its stressors, but lets give credit where it is due. Teachers spend their days on their feet or crawling around on the floor with littles, taking care of our children. What better way to show them some love than with a gift card to a nail salon? Yes, many do have their favorites; but no teacher in the history of the world has ever turned down a manicure or pedicure at a salon just because it is not their “usual.” And if gifting that kind of experience, go check out Buff City Soap! They will help you make a gift basket with soap, bath or shower bombs, body butter, and more that your teacher will love. Their top selling scent is Narcissist, which is quite ironic because lets be honest, teachers are anything BUT THAT! But when we gift Buff City to teachers, this is the scent we pick and I add a cute little tag that says something along the lines of it is time for them to think ONLY about themselves and relax! 

A Night “Off” 

No teacher will ever turn down a meal that is prepared and ready to serve! Coordinate with them on getting a meal their entire family will enjoy, especially during the month of December when we know life is crazy! Check out places like Curbside Casseroles and Katie’s Kitchen to grab some things that can be thrown in the oven (or freezer).   Whole Foods and Fresh Market also have plenty of options for ready to serve meals.

Better yet, grab a gift card to your teacher’s favorite restaurant for a night OUT. Couple it with a Malco gift card for a full date night for your favorite educator!

The Gift of Choice

There is no greater gift than a gift of choice when shopping. I said what I said, and will say it again: there is no greater gift than a gift card. I know for many parents it feels so impersonal, but teachers LOVE getting to shop and gift cards allow that to happen. Before I was married and had my own children, I would save my gift cards all year and go buy myself something nice (piece of jewelry, purse, nice tote bag, etc.) and I would use it knowing it was gifted to me by the class of that school year.  Now, as a mom, I like to use the gift cards that are given to me on things for ME (that I can remember from that family), rather than do what I usually do when I shop: spend it on my own three kids. 

Not sure what places your teacher loves to go? Local favorites like Novel, Malco, Target, or any restaurant are always a slam dunk. Many school PTOs now give teachers a survey and encourage them to fill it out with their personal favorite places and things. These lists will give you all kinds of ideas for where to shop for your teacher – for a gift card or anything else!  I always save a screenshot of these lists to my phone at the beginning of each school year, then I have easy access to it whenever I am out shopping for the ladies and gentlemen who are our co-partners in raising our kids! 

gift cards make the best teacher gifts

Please know that gifting to teachers is not ever required, and there is not a single educator on this planet who penalizes children for not giving them a gift. All teachers understand that there are many outside circumstances that may make it hard to purchase gifts! A simple hand drawn card or written note showing your appreciation really can go a long way and means SO much to a teacher. 

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