Oh, don’t you just love Christmas time.
The decorations, the Christmas lights, the fire place burning.
There’s a lot to love about this time of year.
Let’s be real though.
December is the most stressful month of the year for parents.
There are just so many things to do – getting ready to host your out of town in-laws, struggling to get your Christmas cards out in time, putting up the Christmas lights, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, you know the drill. Basically it’s all of those things mentioned in that song “The 12 Pains of Christmas”. (If you haven’t heard that song yet, stop reading right now, and go look it up. I promise you won’t be disappointed)
Not only are all of these “pains” time consuming, but they can be costly.
The gifts a lone cost a lot. Not to mention the Christmas lights (that will undoubtedly not work when you plug them in) so you have to buy new ones, those overpriced nutcracker decorations that you’re going to scatter throughout your house, and all of the food and drinks you have to buy so that your semi-overweight uncles have something to blame when they fall asleep on the couch at 7pm Christmas Eve.
Now with all of this going on, I’m sure the absolute LAST thing on your mind, or in your budget, is getting a gift for your child’s teacher.
In fact, I’d be shocked if you weren’t scrambling to get your teacher gift the day before break.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Every parent is in the same position.
I’m here to make your life a little easier.
In this article I go over 10 inexpensive Christmas gifts for teachers, from the perspective of a teacher!
Let’s jump in.
1. A Special Craft
Some of my most cherished and memorable Christmas gifts from students have been something that the student crafted.
Whether it’s a stick figure drawing of your child and teacher holding hands (cute from a Kindergartener, creepy from a High Schooler), a painted coffee mug, a knitted scarf, or if you’re really fancy a handmade paper weight made out of wood. Yes, I’ve seen a teacher get that before.
I promise you, teachers love this stuff, and they WILL hold on to it. This is the direction you should go if your child likes crafting and you want do something memorable.
2. A letter of appreciation
You’d be surprised how powerful a letter of appreciation can be for a teacher.
I can’t even tell you how many times my girlfriend (also a teacher) has cried opening up appreciation letters from her parents and students. Almost every time she opens one, she turns to me and goes “this is why I do the work that I do”. ALL FROM A LETTER! I’m not kidding, letters are powerful…. and it’s FREE.
They’re so powerful because teachers don’t get validated very often. Especially elementary school teachers. Think about it, when was the last time you heard a 1st grader go “Hey Mrs. Johnson, you’re crushing it today with this math lesson, thanks for taking all this time to explain it to us”. They’re kids, they don’t say these things!
So a letter from a parent or student saying “Hey, I see you and I appreciate what you are doing” means a whole lot.
3. Something You Baked
Baked goods are always a nice gift because it shows that you gave up your time for the teacher. Plus, if you like baking and already had to bake for the holidays anyways, it’s easy to just make a little extra for your child’s teacher.
I’ve received so many types of baked items from my students; brownies, cupcakes, cookies, banana breads just to name a few things. It’s a sweet gift…literally…and teachers appreciate the time and effort that goes into it.
4. Christmas Ornament
An ornament is a great gift because it’s a memento for the teacher to remember your child for years to come.
I think it’s best if the ornament is personal- maybe hinting at a happy memory or a bond that your child and teacher shared. For example, maybe your child and teacher bonded over the fact that they both liked golf. So maybe you get a golfing ornament and sign the back with a cute note saying, “You may have never got a hole in one but your my #1 teacher.” I knnow, that was corny, but you get the point.
Teachers love this stuff, and as long as your child wasn’t a thorn in the teachers side, I guarantee you the ornament will go up on the tree for years to come.
This is a simple gift, but it’s a great gift for a teacher after a long stretch of teaching.
A nice candle can brighten your mood, alleviate stress, and bring about a sense of calm. It’s honestly the perfect gift for a teacher that needs to decompress during the holiday season.
Check out a bunch of different candles here.
6. Gift Card
If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on gift shopping or creating something, then you can never go wrong with a gift card.
I can tell you that teachers REALLY appreciate gift cards. My advice is to get either a Dunkin’ gift card, Starbucks, or if you want to play it really safe than a VISA gift card is always nice.
Don’t worry about spending a lot. A $5 – $10 gift card is perfect.
7. Colored Pencils/Sharpies
This may seem like a lame gift, but I know from experience that it will get a lot of use from a teacher.
Teachers use colored pencils and sharpies for so many different things – wall art, grading assignments, various classroom projects, or simply to color code within their school planner.
It’s a great gift because teachers go through these types of supplies rather quickly, and many teachers don’t get money from the school for supply purchases.
8. Customized Note Pads
This was one of the best gifts I ever got from a student. In fact, I use my note pad (personalized with my name on top) practically every day. It sits on my desk at school.
Now, you may think this is an expensive gift. It’s actually not! You can get a customized note pad for less than $10 bucks.
Check out this website for more!
9. Board Game
I like this gift because it can be used by the teacher or all the students within the class. If you have a favorite game that you’re family loves to play, then this is a great gift.
I think it’s more thoughtful and personalized if it’s a unique game that not too many people know about.
For example – my friend introduced me to a game called Dixit the other day. I had never heard of it before but it’s super easy and super fun. Will definitely be gifting it to a few family members this Christmas.
Okay, I know this may seem like another lame gift, but come on, who doesn’t love a cozy blanket!
Think about it, it’s a universal gift for all genders, it’s fairly inexpensive, and it will most definitely get some use.
I personally love a nice, soft blanket and I’m sure I’m not the only one. You can find a ton of really soft, not too expensive micro-fiber blankets on Amazon!
The Bottom Line
There you have it! My list of 10 inexpensive Christmas gifts for teachers this school year.
I hope this helps to make your December a tad less stressful!
Happy gifting 🙂