Holiday Gifts Ideas for Teachers:

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers

(Written for, as published on their site.)

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In addition to all of the gifts we have to buy our loved ones and friends this holiday season, we cannot forgot about those special teachers that educate our children, care for our children and put up with our children every day.

How much money is acceptable to spend?  If your child has multiple teachers, do you buy gifts for all of them? If your child has one main teacher and one assistant teacher, do you spend more for the main educator?  Should you buy a gift for the principal, especially if your child attends a small school? If you already donated money to the school or classroom-mom (or dad) at the beginning of the year, do you still need to purchase an individual gift? What will your teacher think if you don’t get anything or buy something inexpensive?  Will he/she take it out on your child the remainder of the year? How much are the other parents spending?  At what grade do you stop bringing in a gift for the teacher?  The questions go on and on and on and could drive a person mad.  Well I am that person and considering the number of conversations I have had with fellow parents on this topic, I am not alone!

There are plenty of things to stress about in life and this should not be one of them.  I am here to offer tips to make this bi-annual (don’t forget end of year gifts) process a lot easier and a lot less traumatic!

Ask your friends, however, make your own decisions:

  • There is nothing wrong with getting opinions and ideas from other parents.
  •   If you are spending WAY too much time on this issue (and I know you are), reaching out to others can help you make a plan of action and move on.
  •   Just as we teach our children not to be followers, the same rule should apply to you, the parent.
  •   Just because your best friend is creative and crafty, and will show up at school with the most amazing homemade gift you ever saw, does not mean your store bought item is second best.
  •   Do not be competitive; it is not a contest.

Ask your child for advice:

  •   Nobody knows the teacher better than your child, who spends every day with him/her.
  •   Depending on your child’s age, he/she may be able to do some investigating as to what their teacher’s favorite color is and what he/she likes.
  •   Involving your child in the search for the perfect gift makes him/her feel his/her opinion is important.

Set a budget ahead of time and don’t break the bank:

  • Depending on how many children you have and how many teachers they have, gifts can get expensive.
  • Decide how much you want to spend ahead of time and stick to it.
  • A great gift does not have to be costly and it is all about the thought that counts.
  • Utilize discount stores (Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, Loehmann’s, Filene’s Basement, etc.) where you can get great deals and get more bang for your buck.

Be unique:

  •   Teachers will be getting A LOT of holiday presents from students so try and think outside the box.
  •   While a store bought gift is a lovely surprise, a gift made by a student is extremely special to a teacher.
  •   It’s a great way for you and your little one to bond and work on a fun project together.
  •   Think what you would want as a gift and what will not end up in a closet never to be seen again, i.e. skip the mugs.

Leave yourself plenty of time:

  • You are not the only one searching for the perfect teacher gift.
  • Do not wait until the day before school lets out for winter break to grab a quick gift.
  • The internet is a great place to order unique teacher presents but consider how long shipping takes.


Teacher Gift Ideas:


  •   These make great gifts and they are inexpensive.
  • Easy to buy and always available.
  • A plant will last longer than a bouquet of flowers and it is a very symbolic gift.
  • A teacher can help a child flourish and grow, and can provide all the proper nourishment and love needed to excel.


  • I love this as a gift because you can personalize without the wait and buy on the spot.
  • Many stores offer stationary, notepads, sticky pads, etc. with an initial on it.
  • This is a popular go-to gift, so if it does not wow you or make an impression at the store, skip it.


  • I personally love candles, which make a wonderful gift that is reasonable, and of course smell good!
  • Candles can be economical if bought at the right places.
  • If you know your teacher’s favorite color or scent, this can be a very personalized gift.
  • Teachers get a lot of candles as gifts, so customize with a school themed ribbon or create a cool tag with your teacher’s name on it. Use a resource like Pinterest to get ideas!

School-related items:

  • Look for gifts that are especially made for teachers.
  • They go quickly and are rare to find at stores so get an early start.
  • Last year I ordered handmade magnets on with school-related sayings and pictures, and the teachers loved them.

Picture Frames:

  • It is easy to find a picture frame but it is more thoughtful and enjoyable if you and your child make one.
  • Purchase a wooden frame from your local crafts store and decorate with paint, stickers, glitter, etc.
  • Either have your child draw a picture or create a list of the top 10 reasons your child loves his/her teacher to place inside.
  • The teacher will appreciate the work your child put into the present.

Gift Cards:

  • I know what you are thinking…the teacher will see how much you spent.  Not to fear!
  • A gift card is a great accompaniment to another gift you purchased that you may not feel is adequate.  A box of chocolates with a $5 Starbucks gift card is a great combination.
  • Spend what you feel comfortable with if this is your main gift and do not look back.
  • I suggest $20-$25, especially if you are only buying for one teacher.
  • Teachers will appreciate you allowing them to choose their gift with your gift card.
  • Pick a store that is well known, has multiple locations, and offers an online option.
  • My favorite go-to gift card is Barnes and Noble as there is something for everyone.

Something tasty:

  • Check your local bakery as many create teacher themed treats this time of year as well as at the end of the school year.
  • If not, an assortment of chocolates, cookies and various baked goods is a wonderful way to say thank you!
  • This is also a great gift if you have multiple people to buy for since you can buy something different for everyone and stay on budget.
  • If you prefer to create something at home, you can bake with your child, which is a fun activity to do together.
  • You can purchase tins at your local craft store and decorate it with school themed ribbon and whatever else you like.

Hand Sanitizer:

  • You are probably thinking hand sanitizer? Really?  YES!
  • Think about all of the germs that get passed around in a classroom.
  • You can purchase yummy scented hand sanitizers this time of year and they usually come in pretty packages for the holidays.
  • Next time you need to pick up toiletries at your local pharmacy, check and see what their selection looks like, as they also offer good options for the holidays that are inexpensive.

A Thank You Note:

  • Seems simple and it is.
  • Have your child write a thank you note (even if they are just learning how to write).
  • Help your child express their feelings for their teacher and what he/she learned so far.
  • It is also really nice to write a note from you, the parent, on nice stationary, especially if you have a close relationship with the teacher or have been very involved in the classroom.
  • Sometimes a thank you is the best gift of all!


Thanks to Ellie Hirsch for this wonderful guest post! Ellie Hirsch is the founder of MommyMasters.coman award-winning children’s singer/songwriter, and mom to three amazing boys.