Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Gifts For Teachers

This is our first year having to buy Christmas gifts for teachers. Previously, the only teacher gifts we had to buy were also called mine. So, it's a bit more of a stretch this year. I can't just buy what I want for myself and I'm not too sure if the kids' teachers would be as crazy about a macro lens as I would be.

I've asked the kids for their input and they have a few suggestions. And Eric is a great big help. His suggestion is that we buy the teachers cars to guarantee our the academic success of our children. Tempting, but just slightly out of our budget.

So, I'm brainstorming and looking for tips. I'd love to hear them if you have some.

And if you're looking for ideas for the teachers in your life (or friends or family members), I've got a little tip of my own for you. How about a 3 month subscription to Stolen Moments Menu Planning?

Right now I'm offering a great Christmas Gift Subscription deal. A 3-month subscription to the basic plan is just $16.50 and a 3 month subscription to the complete plan is $36.00. I hope you'll check it out and cross some names off of your gift list.

And of course, I'd absolutely appreciate your tips on teacher gifts. (Eric has convinced that giving a gift to my own service to the kids' teachers is tacky.)

Don't forget to stop by We Are THAT Family for the themed "gift-giving-tips" edition of Works For Me Wednesay.


Angie @ Many Little Blessings 12:53 AM  

I don't think that giving a gift of your menu service as a gift is tacky, but that's just me.

Before we homeschooled, some of the things that we gave teachers include: $5 Starbucks gift cards (we had a lot of school people to buy for), Target gift cards, super cool cookie cookbooks, handmade treats, and homemade bath salts -- that's just what I remember off the top of my head.

Michie 7:25 AM  

I am a teacher, and I don't think giving a gift to your own service is tacky either - sounds frugal to me.

This is also my first year giving teacher gifts, and I'm thinking that I might give some nice hand soap, as I know that preschool teachers have to wash their hands quite a bit - especially this year with the flu going around. Personally, I would also love something the kids made for me, even if it was a card or a picture. I also think small gift cards or some Christmas treats is a good gift too.

I am personally determined never to give a mug, though - my first year as a teacher's aide I got about 3 holiday themed mugs - and I wasn't even the teacher! :)

Michie 7:27 AM  

Oh, I just had an idea - what if you made a little gift basket with some ingredients to one of the recipes on your recipe service, and added the recipe to go with it? You could also then give them the gift of the service if you wanted to - or maybe just put together a basket that would account for one meal from your service?

Becky @ Our Sweet Peas 9:33 AM  

My husband is a teacher and I LOVE when students give him Tim Horton's or Starbucks gift cards. We usually recieve it in $10 increments but $5 is perfectly acceptable as it would buy a bkfst. w/ coffee. All of the sweets are always appreciated too for the most part.

I also got some really cute Christmas ornaments when I was teaching.

Anonymous,  10:32 AM  

I am a retired first grade teacher. The gifts I loved most were made by the children: cards, pictures, nothing elaborate. Many young, unmarried teachers are not into cooking yet. Probably best not to give mugs, anything scented, or anything apple. Gift cards in small amounts are also wonderful. Homemade sweets are also questionable gifts this year with flu etc. going around. Hope this helps!

Susan 10:44 AM  

i know you have a kindergartener. Last year when my dd was in kindergarten, i sent in some extra boxes of crayons & markers as a teacher gift since they school had sent home asking for these items to be donated. Also, dh is a teacher. I love when he gets gift cards. They usually equate to a special outing for he & i to get coffee. He also enjoys the things that the children make. I was thinking this year for my 7 (3-preschool teachers, 2 kindergarten teachers, and 1st grade teacher) that i would have the corresponding child have me make a mix in a jar. That is waht i have been giving. they seem to be well liked.

Raise Them Up 12:11 PM  

As a former teacher, I would have been tickled with a gift of your menu service.

My favorite gifts were things the kids and their parents made. But I was just as tickled to get a handwritten note of encouragement and appreciation inside a card.

But here are a few other ideas: handmade Ornaments with a note on the back or bottom. Little baked items wrapped in brown paper and raffia. Candles (LOVED candles). There is a gooseberry patch christmas traditions book which I still love. I open it and read the little note inside every year and smile.

Ritsumei 4:15 PM  

OK, maybe *I'm* the tacky one, but do you have to give gifts to your teachers? Maybe send a card? I don't recall ever taking a gift to my teachers, except for once, when it was my idea, my money, and completely random: not a traditional time to give gifts at all. I just knew that she needed that huge apple!

The Ties that Bind Us 4:22 PM  

Great idea!

I'm posting a lot of frugal hand made gift-giving ideas at my holiday blog. Come check it out: http://www.2008jessetree.blogspot.com

Mary Ann 5:59 PM  

As a former teacher, I've received my share of teacher gifts.

One of my favorites was a homemade pizza kit- par-baked pizza crust, jar of homemade pizza sauce, baggies of pepperoni and shredded cheese.

Gift cards are always nice and don't have to be high-dollar- Starbucks, McAlister's Deli, Ice cream shop,an inexpensive manicure, etc. I once was given a $10 or $15 card to a grocery store which I appreciated so much being on a small budget.

Homemade goodies are nice especially if they can be frozen since some people travel over the holidays and may not be able to eat it all before going or want to take it with them. A freezer meal such as a pan of lasagna would be thoughtful. Even a Christmas cookie kit would be cute, especially if the teacher has kids- already baked sugar cookies, with frosting and decorating supplies.

I always loved art from the child or pictures of the child/family with a heartfelt note.

Extra supplies for the classroom is good, too since teachers often purchase things out of their own paychecks. I think it was Staples last year that had little containers that you could fill with really cute paper clips and other little desk/office supplies. I think the smallest container was around $5.

My mom would often give homemade cheeseballs and postage stamps and that sort of thing to our teachers.

I would steer clear of knick-knacks, teacher-themed items and the already-mentioned mugs.

I look forward to reading what you come up with. You're so creative; I know you'll come up with a thoughtful gift!

Gina 9:43 PM  

For my daughter's kindergarten teacher, I'm doing a basket of supplies that I've picked up throughout the year (mostly in the clearance section of TJ Maxx): Post-its, notecube, file folders that I covered in scrapbook paper, binder clips that I covered in ribbon. Very cheap and useful, I hope. :)

Holly 12:49 AM  

I always have a hard time with teacher gifts too, and just how many teachers do you give to? Just the main one, or all of them (art, gym, library, etc)?
I am running a series right now on my blog of very inexpensive and easy gifts to make...maybe you'll get an idea there.

Anonymous,  9:43 AM  

Why not give the teacher a gift for the classroom. When I did that the teacher was very happy. A teacher can only use so many candles.

Bree 12:14 PM  

Ok well I am guilty... I have given a teacher themed candle for Christmas before... but I changed my ways last year I gave a teacher a gift card to Ulta (cosmetics/beauty store that carries high end to grocery store brands and everything in between) I wanted to give her something that would convey a "treat yourself" message. I do like the meal basket idea, Michie!

Jennifer 9:13 PM  

Here is what I settled on. I bought gift bags for $.50 each at Joann's, plus tissue paper. Then I got bags of christmas hershey kisses at cvs for cheap. the I found a 12 pack of holiday coffee packs at walmart for $9 and got a couple of boxes of candy canes. Total spent on 12 teacher gifts was about $20. I just need to put them together. Good luck!

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