Share by e-mail Print This Post

No More Apples, Please! What Your Child’s Teacher Really Wants for Christmas!


I’m a teacher. Each year, I dig out the bag of Christmas tree ornaments I’ve received over the years from my students. I carefully hang up ornaments shaped like pencils, chalkboards, crayons, rulers, and the ones that say, “#1 Teacher!” I have snowmen holding apples, angels dressed as teachers holding apples, photo frame ornaments shaped like apples, and three ornaments featuring children gazing adoringly at a teacher who is holding, yes, an apple.

Last year, my husband said, “Our Christmas tree looks like a teacher store threw up on it.”

Needless to say, I don’t need any more ornaments from my students. I also don’t need any more coffee mugs or earrings shaped like tiny little school buses. Actually, I don’t need any gifts at all. I truly love my job and feel blessed enough to be able to do what I love. But, being a parent myself, I know that children love to give gifts to their teachers, even in a poor economy.

So what can a mom do? Plenty! The following are some inexpensive gift ideas for that special teacher in your life that she, or he, is sure to love:

  • A plant. Plants freshen up the classroom, and they’re even more meaningful if it’s a cutting from a plant you have in your yard or if it’s something your child grew himself. Personalize the pot with stickers or paint to make it even more special.
  • Homemade baked goods. Yes, I know you’ve heard this before, but I’m telling you: We love them. Especially those of us who have children. It means we can give our own children homemade cookies without having to actually make them ourselves, or we can take them to a party and pretend we made them ourselves. The key here is the word “homemade”.
  • Advice. Kids say the funniest things. One of my favorite gifts was a book I received from my class when I was pregnant with my third child. It was full of advice about how to take care of a baby – written by second graders. I almost went into labor just from reading that book. Ask your child to write down her best advice about how to be a good teacher. It will entertain her teacher far more than any musical ornament ever could.
  • Books. No, I am not talking about any “Chicken Soup for Teachers” books. Please, no. Instead, get your child’s teacher a book for the classroom. Picture books with holiday themes are terrific for elementary school teachers, such as books about Martin Luther King Jr. or Valentine’s Day. Teachers of older students will appreciate books of funny poetry, such as anything by Kenn Nesbitt, or a copy of the latest Guinness Book of World Records.
  • School Supplies. By the time second semester rolls around, the children have worn out their markers, run out of paper, and broken all of their pencils – and so has the teacher. Believe it or not, a package of construction paper, a set of dry-erase markers, or even a blow-up globe or new world map will be mightily appreciated by any teacher–just make sure it doesn’t have anything to do with apples!

This has been a guest post by April from Eagle Point, OR
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

Leave a Reply

74 thoughts on “No More Apples, Please! What Your Child’s Teacher Really Wants for Christmas!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The best thing you can do is give your time. I will be spending an hour or so a week in my daughter’s classroom helping the teacher with reading groups. It’s not a Christmas gift, it’s better!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love to give Luau Wraps, they are organic cotton sandwich and snack bags. http://www.LuauWraps.com.

    They are the BEST on the market and my kids’ teachers love them!

  3. I disagree with this message! I LOVE APPLES!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Been reading all these posts because it is hard as a Mom, not a teacher, to figure out what to give. My children & I want the teacher to know we really appreciate him/her and also want them to enjoy the gift.
    The 1 thing that strikes me loud & clear is the handwritten “Thank you” notes. Everyone has said they appreciate this. I never really thought to do this and I think my children will enjoy doing this along with a gift of some sort. I think the other thing that stands out is supplies. Gift cards stick out too but which one? Some like this, others that and unless you ask the teacher or know them well enough it’s hard to know what they’d want. Not everyone likes Starbucks coffee or manicures. Plus not all parents have that kind of $$.

    PS Gave the GS leaders candy (DeMets turtles I got w/ cpn & sale), homemade cookies & flowers ( my husband got a free box of them at work). When I handed the gift bag to the leader she asked me “Are these those delicious homemade cookies you always make?” I felt bad because I baked less this yr because of all these comments about baked goods. I should have known better though because I know these leaders & they have asked me for my recipes in the past.

    But I’m definately going to have my children write a letter of appreciation to their teachers. (if they so wish because it does have to come from the heart). I think this has been the best tip so far. THANK YOU!

  5. Tana says:

    I completely understand wanting to get something special and unique for your child’s teacher. But look at the low salary of teachers – I would bet that most of them would actually appreciate a gift card more than anything else. I actually ordered personalized stockings for my children’s teachers, and will be putting a gift card in each of them :)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good advice! I always like to give my daughter’s teachers gift cards (Starbucks, Target, Macy’s) so they can buy what they want :) My BFF was a teacher & she told me that she loved getting gift cards and that she had more #1 Teacher stuff than she knew what to do with, haha

  7. Anonymous says:

    First let me say that my kids teachers are getting gift baskets from my stockpile. Secondly, when I was a teacher, I enjoyed any gift from my students. It didn’t matter what it was, just the fact that the child wanted to give me a gift because they cared. That being said, we are talking about CHILDREN! My kids give me weeds they find in the yard, I got oversized clown glasses for my birthday and a wig for mothers day. With the little crooked smiles they give you looking up at you when they present their gift, who could be less than happy about that perfect pinecone they found in the yard and glued a Pom-Pom on top of? Seriously, consider the source. When I taught school, I would rather have a gift from the child, not the parent. And usually, the child can come up with some crazy stuff. But it is personal. It is from the childs heart. Think about it, the parent is somewhere between stranger and accquaintace level to the teacher. The child is with them 30 hours a week! Let the child pick out the gift and the teacher will love it!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Teachers spend much of their minimal paychecks to buy things for OUR kids to use in the classroom. They attend to our little ones every day. Let’s show them how much we appreciate their kindness and expertise with
    gifts appropriate to their professional status. You wouldn’t give your manicurist or even your babysitter your child’s handiwork. Gift cards are always appropriate. Teacher’s don’t skimp on kids, so remember that when showing your appreciation.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m not a teacher, but I do get baked goods from coworkers, and I’m vegan…so they get given away. Baked good are not a good idea unless you know the persons dietary preferences, that they aren’t on a diet, and whether they have allergies!

    My sister is a teacher and really appreciated when her class got together and everyone bought or donated a gently used book for her to use in the classroom (given in a bag all the children had signed). She also loves giftcards…teachers work hard and have to spend the little money they get on classroom supplies, any money towards something useful (Target is awesome) is really appreciated!

  10. Gennifer Carwile says:

    So, when I was little, I had a student teacher. I gave her a huge roll of straight pins. Like the kind you would use to pin a hem down while you sew. Anyway, we had used some to put up things on the bulletin board and she talked about how she wished she had some. Well, that’s what she got! I am a teacher and I really don’t get gifts. I usually get hand drawn cards and such, but one year a student did give me a monogrammed fleece scarf (8th grader). It has been my favorite gift for probably 6 years! If I had to say what I would really like as a gift, it would be rubber bands. I NEVER remember to buy rubber bands and I use them to hold folders together.

  11. I was a teacher for many years and now stay at home. I totally love putting up all the ornaments that were given to me from the kids I taught. It reminds me of each and every one of them and I am reminded how important each one was to me. I have lots of Christmas decor and candles, etc too that were given to me, but once again I am fondly remembered of each child who gave that to me. I understand how it seems that teachers get lots of the same old stuff, but quite honestly I know that is not why they are in the profession of teaching, so it doesn’t matter what you give them. The best thing is to just SUPPORT them and tell them thank often! =)
    Still, I don’t think it is a bad idea to give a creative gift if you want to, but don’t feel like you have to!

  12. So jealous! I teach high school, and I’ve only gotten 2 gifts in the six years I’ve been teaching. One was a box of chocolates and the other was a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card (score!). If I had to pick, though, I’d want printer paper, tissues, individual pencil sharpeners, and dry-erase markers (pretty colors!) over anything else, because those are the things I usually spend my own money on.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The only thing I am going to say here is that my husband and I are both teachers and that we wouldn’t be teachers if we didn’t love it. We also have a 3 year old. It is nice to get an appreciation note or any gift especially when we know the students have really worked hard and given so much of their heart through that gift. However, after spending thousands of dollars (yes, several thousand or more) on our classrooms each year while sometimes sacrificing our own family finances so that our students can have the most awesome school experience that we can provide, that extra box of Kleenex that is bought as a gift when we have just finished our last box, or those markers that you got 90% of this summer with a coupon at the end of the season, or sending in an extra box of crackers (that you bought with a coupon) literally helps us breathe a humongous sigh of relief and reminds us in that moment that we are going to be o.k and have what we need. At that moment (Christmas or whenever), you are seriously an angel from above. So, just remember that we know the sweet hearts and circumstances of all students but it is also just as special when parents remember ours as well. My husband and I will never leave the particular schools where we are because we know that’s where we want to be and need to be. Being a teacher is not what you do for a living, it is who you are and encompasses every fiber of your being day in and day out.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think any teacher was putting out a list of what they wanted for gifts. Gifts are not asked for nor are they expected. But… If you do want to give a gift to a teacher many have posted the items that really use and appreciate. I am a teacher and have had too many ornaments and coffee cups given to me. I treat each gift as it was the only one I have ever gotten! What the teachers on this post are trying to tell you is that if you really want your gift used used and not donated to Goodwill then you might want to rethink the typical gifts. Gift cards to Starbucks give me a chance to sit with husband and enjoy a cup of coffee. My kids knew that red licorice was my favorite candy and one year I got boxes of it— and I ate every bit of it. They loved watching me pull out a box in March during snack time and enjoy a piece! While homemade goodies are enjoyed by some, keep in mind we are the ones reminding kids to wash thier hands after they use the restroom, sneeze, etc. I can’t guarantee the cleanliness of the cooking area so I can’t risk eating, or giving my own kids, homemade treats. Your kids know thier teachers! They spend a lot of time together. Ask them what thier teacher’s favorite snack is, thier favorite hobby, etc– they know and this can help guide you to just the right gift. My kids know me so well that one year a student brought me 100 coupons on the 100 th day of school! That was a really special treat!

  15. Anonymous says:

    At my childrens school, the teachers have all filled out a page of SUGGESTED gifts that they would like IF someone would like them to get them a gift for Christmas, their birthday or teacher appreciation week. It includes things like their favorite restaurant, store, books, plants, hobbies, etc. Many of them have also included things they would like for their classroom. It has made it so much easier to buy them gifts knowing that they are getting exactly what they asked for.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think any teacher was putting out a list of what they wanted for gifts. Gifts are not asked for nor are they expected. But… If you do want to give a gift to a teacher many have posted the items that really use and appreciate. I am a teacher and have had too many ornaments and coffee cups given to me. I treat each gift as it was the only one I have ever gotten! What the teachers on this post are trying to tell you is that if you really want your gift used used and not donated to Goodwill then you might want to rethink the typical gifts. Gift cards to Starbucks give me a chance to sit with husband and enjoy a cup of coffee. My kids knew that red licorice was my favorite candy and one year I got boxes of it— and I ate every bit of it. They loved watching me pull out a box in March during snack time and enjoy a piece! While homemade goodies are enjoyed by some, keep in mind we are the ones reminding kids to wash thier hands after they use the restroom, sneeze, etc. I can’t guarantee the cleanliness of your cooking area so I can’t risk eating, or giving my own kids, homemade treats. Your kids know thier teachers! They spend a lot of time together. Ask them what thier teacher’s favorite snack is, thier favorite hobby, etc– they know and this can help guide you to just the right gift. My kids know me so well that one year a student brought me 100 coupons on the 100 th day of school! That was a really special treat!

  17. Yahoo news said this is becoming illegal in AL. I tried posting the link, but it won’t let me.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I dump any home-made food items. And frankly, students aren’t allowed by school rules to give home-made treats out, everything must be store bought and sealed. I always accept the food and am very thankful to be thought of, but I simply won’t eat it. Any ornaments I put up in my classroom on a bulletin board for the month of December year after year. Coffee cups I keep and when I have a nice amount, I donate to the homeless shelter. I think the author is a bit tacky to say what she wants and doesn’t want – for crying out loud, it is Christmas! IT’S A GIFT!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I always stock up on school supplies when they are on clearance at the end of the back to school rush to give them to the teachers for Christmas gifts. I am the daughter of a teacher & know how much the teachers pour their own money into their school supplies. An extra ruler or two, some blunt scissors (any age!) and a few extra highlighters always come in handy.

  20. I always try to gift the teacher with a gift card for the classroom & 1 for her personally. It may not be a large $$ amount but it’s something they can use in a pinch or when they are out splurging :)

  21. Anonymous says:

    What about the teacher sending a note home with the kids and asking that any gifts be in the form of a donation for a certain charity or organization. They could even include the kids in choosing.

    • rachiti says:

      I really like this idea. The other ideas are great too, but this gives teachers the ability to guide any monetary-related gift giving towards a specific area (even if it is school supplies) or towards a community project etc. If time allows it could also prompt a thoughtful discussion about community involvement and reasons for volunteering/donating. The concept of community involvement wasn’t really discussed at school when I was growing up but it should have been discussed at the very least.

  22. I think if a group gift can be coordinated, that usually works out well. Get all the students to bring in $5 and buy something nice. One year, my SIL got a mirror that had white tiles all around it. Each one of her students had drawn something on the tile. It is up in her bedroom and has been the entire time I’ve known her. That is a gift she truly cherishes.

  23. Wright Julie says:

    Gifts are not necessary. I’ve been teaching for 14 years. I have gotten everything from giftcards to cookies to little straps to help my bed sheets stay on my bed. (I have no idea why someone thought that I needed that gift.) I must say… I love the gift card. I think that there are posts out there to help people choose a meaningful/ thoughtful gifts that might be unique or that teachers wouldn’t mind getting more of. OF COURSE, every gift I graciously accept (and quickly hand write a thank you card for). The most memorable gift I got was a 5th grade student knitted me a scarf. Lots of effort and she picked my fav. color. What about a manicure gift card- something to really treat the teacher? Going in together with other families really makes sense. Some people have posted ideas that wouldn’t work for some people- not everyone eats sugar (think diabetes or low- carb diets), not everyone drinks coffee- go for those things that most enjoy. Some schools have their teachers fill out a survey of their likes. Check with the office or someone on the PTA.

  24. Cass Smith says:

    About 6 weeks ago I clipped off a few branches from out Chrismtas cactus and put them in a cup of water on the windowsill. My sons daycare providers will each be getting a plant potted in a beautiful pot that i picked up sometime over the summer at a thrift store or garage sale. Total price for 2 gifts – probably less then $5.

  25. I also wanted to say after reading ALL of the comments that for every gift I am given I say a great big “Thank you!” and give a hug if the child wants one. Then I write a thank you note and tell them exactly how I will be using their gift. As teachers we are aware that money is tight. We aren’t exactly living with tons of money either. But, in the last two weeks I have had 3 people ask me what a good gift is for their child’s teacher. I have told each one of them that the best gift is the thank you card/letter. If you want to spend money you can, but it is not necessary. For new teachers, classroom supplies are great. However some of us don’t need many supplies. A note to say that we are appreciated is really all some of us want.

  26. I am a teacher and I love plants, little gift cards ($5 are fine!), cute ornaments (but not apples please!). However, my favorite gift is a sincere thank you from a child and parent. Those are seriously the best gifts and they are free! And, I do like to pass off homemade baked goods as my own as well! :)

  27. I actually enjoyed reading this post and all the comments made. I am not a teacher and was very curious to see what teachers had posted about gifts they would like to have rather than another piece of junk. If I am spending money on a teachers gift I would like to get them something that is usefull. I personally don’t like giftcards or candles or bath and body works stuff because I believe all that stuff is inpersonal and its a gift you would give anyone. These are the people that are shaping your childs future, think about all the crap they deal with on a daily bases and what they sacrifice to teach your child everyday. I want to give them something special and something that they want. My daughters teacher has a Pandora braclet so I bought her a Pandora teachers charm, and I hope she loves it and realizes what a special person she is to us because of what she does for my daughter and lots of other children. It takesa special person to be a teacher, not just anyone can do. So this year when you wrap up your $10.00 candle or body loation, you better hope your childs teacher puts more care into yours childs education than you did into their gift.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I love this idea! Were the strips filled in with ways you filled the child’s bucket? Or, did they have the phrase and a blank section for you to incorporate in a classroom activity?

    • Anonymous says:

      It was a small bucket about 4″ tall. The parent typed out what thier child told them and cut out the strips of paper on regular computer paper.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I love this idea! Were the strips filled in with ways you filled the child’s bucket? Or, did they have the phrase and a blank section for you to incorporate in a classroom activity?

  30. Anonymous says:

    There really isn’t anything you can give that can match the value of a teacher. I ran a girls club afterschool program. We solicited nominations each year from the community to select inductees to a women’s hall of fame. Every year teachers got the most nominations, and these weren’t votes from kids, they all came from adults. I think you carry something from your teacher in you all the rest of your life. Have a very happy holiday and the best of everything in the new year to you all.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wow!! I sure hope that all you Teachers at least put on a smile and thank the child, because most of them are giving them thru appreciation and love.

    I can understand the frustration of not getting gifts you want though and it’s just as hard for the parents & students to figure out gifts to give. Judging by the responses you can see why it’s confusing, some like baked goods, some do not, some want stockpile, some not, this gift card is good, this one not. So unless you’re fortunate enough to know the teacher well or your child is intuned enough you just may get a gift that isn’t perfectly fit but remember it’s still a “gift” from the heart and still meant as a “Thank you for all you do”.

    PS. We’re a low income family, so we bake, it fits in our budget, and baking is my passion and why I bake for others. AND NO I would never let my child put their dirty grimy hands on the food. I make sure that anyone helping has thoroughly washed their hands and is not sick. It’s a great lesson for my children, I teach them fractions; 1/2, 3/4, difference between teaspoon, tablespoon, cup and how to follow a recipe. But then again my children’s teachers know me and hopefully they understand that about me.

    • Well said, I think the the fact that someone would even think to post a suggested gift list for teachers is very tacky!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why is it tacky? You are too sensitive. *Oh no someone does not like what you bought them. What ever will I do?* Get over your sense of entitlement.

      • Why is it tacky? I think this post was done to be helpful. Not everyone is great at coming up with little gift ideas and they likely appreciate an idea list like this. It’s just a suggestions list. Not a bridal or baby registry.

      • rachiti says:

        It is a list of alternatives to what most parents already know is a super-generic gift. Rather than buy a candle that will sit in a box until discarded, the post is suggesting that parents could offer school supplies etc. that are going to be used.

    • Anonymous says:

      OF COURSE teachers put on a smile and thank each child. I’m sure you would not find a teacher out there who wouldn’t agree “It’s the thought that counts.” But I think this was meant as a suggested list for people that DO decide to spend some money on a teacher gift. The author even said, “Actually, I don’t need any gifts at all. I truly love my job and feel blessed enough to be able to do what I love.” Teachers do what they do because they love your children, so of course they are going to show gratitude for any gift.
      It’s great that you love to bake, and that you use it as a teachable time with your child! But your child’s teacher has no way to know how careful you are about germs, so I think it’s a fair point that homemade treats may (or may not!) be thrown away.
      I am a teacher and would never, ever expect a gift from a family, but it is nice to feel appreciated with a special card or gift. My hands-down favorite is a gift card, even $5 for your child’s “main” or “favorite” teacher could be used for a coffee in the morning, lunch from a restaurant near the school, etc. The parents from my class have usually pitched in a few dollars from each student to get me a more sizeable gift card to Target or Amazon. SO appreciated, but again, certainly not expected :)

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this!! As a teacher, this made me laugh. I do have WAY too many ornaments and coffee cups, and my husband keeps making excuses to try to throw them away. :)
    Especially as a fairly NEW teacher–School supplies and books mean more then anything–even gift cards, because then I don’t have to spend my own personal money on pencils and markers.

  33. Tana says:

    I give gift certificates and school supplies. I still have a big supply of cheap/free supplies that I bought from before school started :). I never thought of the Airwick dispenser – that is a good idea!

  34. I don’t know about the homemade food. As a former teacher, I would usually shy away from the baked goods because…yes I’m a little scared of how clean other people are when they cook. I’ve heard horror stores (that’s probably because I am a child of a food-service supervisor).

    I always loved the thought of any gifts…but as a stay at home mom I like to give my son’s teachers and special ed bus driver a small $5 gift card for somewhere like Starbucks, or McDonalds.

    I know everyone can’t afford this, but digging into your stockpile would be great too. I know we have lot’s of lotions and other goodies, but what about an Airwick dispenser? We always get those free or as moneymakers and I know I would have loved those as a teacher because they would make my classroom a little fresher and candles were a no no at my school.

  35. Seriously!! I am the mother of two young children in elementary school who pick out the gifts for their teachers themselves. Yes, most of the time it is something that say #1 Teacher or an ornament or something like that. I agree with what Alecia says “The important thing is to be grateful for whatever is received and to make that family knows ANYTHING is appreciated. ” I know that teachers give a lot through out the school year and work very hard, but you should all be very ashamed that you do not appreciate the fact that our children thought of buying/giving something to you specifically. As a mom I get a homemade clay ashtray/bowl/cup looking thing (I never have figure out what those things are) and I have each and every one of them and never ever thought about suggesting they make something different. Don’t suggest my children get you a gift card, seriously! I am more than willing to give extra classroom supplies, books, etc. throughout the year, but if my child hand picks or hand makes a gift for you, you better be putting on your best smiles and acting like it is the only one you have ever received. Shame on all of you!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. For teachers to get gifts every year is really just a nice bonus. If I knew my child’s teacher didn’t appreciate what my kid picked out for them I wouldn’t bother giving them anything let alone money on a gift card. That isn’t a gift, it’s almost like we are required to give something to them.

    • Denise Minge says:

      Good grief. Relax. I am sure your kids’ teachers will still love the gifts your children give and will receive them graciously. I taught for a few years and now work part time at a school, and don’t expect gifts from the kids, as I’m sure your kids’ teachers don’t. It’s always a bonus. This is an article you didn’t have to read, suggesting some different ideas in case you might ever want to think of things from a teacher’s perspective.

    • Sara Swinea says:

      I agree with you that they should be thankful for anything, but at least the post is saying that and giving ideas like “books for the classroom and pencils and markers” And if I know something that my child’s teacher would prefer I wouldn’t mind steering my child towards something else. That way the teacher appreciates more than just the thought!

      • ba_sachie says:

        I agree with Denise, RELAX! I have four kids, and each year I stress about what gift I can get for their teachers. I appreciate the insight! I mean who wants to spend money on something that won’t be liked or chunked? I, for one, want to know that my gift will be used. I don’t do home made goodies for the exact reason some teachers have expressed, and I don’t want to waste my time if my goodies are just being thrown away. I will find out their favorite restaurant or store and get gift cards this year! Teachers deserve a treat!
        One suggestion to the teachers, I used to teach, and any gifts that I had my fill of (usually more lotions and candles than I could use in a year, which I LOVED ;) I would give to people that I knew liked candles or that particular lotion.

        Lord’s blessings this Christmas Season!

    • Kristi Brokaw says:

      I didn’t take this that way at all. I’m sure all of these teacher DO receive their gifts graciously and act like it is the first one they’ve ever gotten. But parents are all over facebook and blogs looking for ideas of what to give their teachers and these teachers are just giving helpful suggestions. As a parent, I appreciate knowing that I can help my child find something she will really like. Also, the article ENCOURAGES homemade gifts from the kids hearts and puts the highest value on handwritten notes and cards, not gift cards. Just calm down. They are suggestions for people who are looking for something different, not slamming what kids pick out.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to say that you took this post way to seriously. My mom, mother in law, and grandfather were and still are teachers except for my grandfather. Teachers get way too many coffee cups. Cupboards over flowing with them. And to tell the truth the ornaments that you buy the teacher gets put away and never goes up on their tree (they have enough of their own to put up). Also I know that most kids don’t think about buying their teacher anything without mom or dad’s nudging. My kids have not once asked if they can get their teachers anything this year. I will get them something though. I am getting them a gift certificate to get pedicures during the Christmas break. You know something that they can actually use considering they are on their feet all day long, staying for 3 hours after school gets out without pay, taking work home, and being totally stressed out that kids don’t respect them. A pedicure is the perfect way to let them relax during their break from the kids.l

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair, the author did say, “Actually, I don’t need any gifts at all. I truly love my job and feel blessed enough to be able to do what I love.” If anyone does not want to get a gift for their child’s teacher they should have stopped reading there :)
      If your children like to have a say in picking out a gift for their teachers, I think that’s fantastic! And allowing them to purchase something really fosters their sense of generosity (even if it’s with your money ;) I think maybe one of the author’s points was to think outside the “My teacher is a teacher” box, so perhaps children could be encouraged to think about their teachers likes and interests outside of just being a teacher. Children, especially young children, are so observant about their teachers that I’m sure they have noticed whether he/she drinks coffee or soda, or enjoys a particular snack. Some PTAs even have lists of teacher favorites in the office, so you and your child could read over that and your child could pick something you know the teacher will like.
      Again, I’m sure NO teachers out there would say they are expecting extravagant gifts, and would certainly not tell your child, “This gift stinks.” But if people choose to spend their money on a gift, I think it only makes sense to try to get something the recipient will like, just like you would if you choose to give a gift to a friend or family member.

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband and I have been teaching for 11 years and we love all the children in our classroom. Every gift is appreciated. We are also parents. That being said. I have to greatly disagree with your post. We get to know each of our child’s teacher and try to get them something THE TEACHER would like not something I “think they will like”. Its about showing apprication to the teacher not making yourself feel good for what you think is a good present.

    • rachiti says:

      Shame on you for not reading this article and comments in the way they were intended to be read. Instead of having your little one pick out some random trinket that took two seconds and your money to buy – why not have the little darling do something that takes actual effort…like some of the homemade letter etc. suggestions. Oh, and when your customers/boss/co-workers give you some random thing that only took two seconds to select…don’t go saying anything against it because that’s exactly what you’re complaining about here.

    • marmas says:

      As a former teacher I truly appreciated any gift – the thought really meant a lot and it put extra energy in my step – even if it was the gazillionth candle or apple theme. However, as others have said, this article has ideas if you want to give something the teacher will use. Some of my best gifts? A ream of paper, stick-it notes, classroom books, etc. I also think items from the stockpile would be great!

  36. Sharon Saver says:

    My SIL is a 2nd grade teacher and always receives lots of gifts from her students. Many of the items like coffee mugs, lotions, generic items like that – she brings to our family party and tells anyone who wants them to take them. She has way too many for her apartment. And while I love getting an item or two, she would probably much appreciate some of the suggestions above. Something that can be used up, like a gift card or some kind of school supply would probably be more useful.

  37. Elaina Smith says:

    Also disagree with the homemade goods. My mom was an elementary school teacher for many years, and unless she knew the mom (or dad) well and knew that they made the baked goods, not the kids, she would never eat the cookies/brownies/cake given to her. Little kids are too notoriously germy!

  38. Elaina Smith says:

    Also disagree with the homemade goods. My mom was an elementary school teacher for many years, and unless she knew the mom (or dad) well and knew that they made the baked goods, not the kids, she would never eat the cookies/brownies/cake given to her. Little kids are too notoriously germy!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I give them booze and homemade greeting cards.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I’m making gift baskets for my kid’s teachers. It will include dry erase markers, hand sanitizer, pens, pencils all from the back to school sales. Baked goods and yes a personalized ornament. I also put them in containers they can reuse later.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I teach junior high and I too had a pile of lotions and pencils and ornaments and even homemade jewelry (which I tried to use/wear the day they gave it to me, even though I don’t like scented product and am picky about jewelry). I much preferred the loaf of bread from Great Harvest or a the 6-pack of diet coke. However, I still have a file folder of thoughtfully written cards and letters from students or their parents that expressed their thanks. I pull that folder out on days when a diet coke just isn’t enough to get me through a tough day.

  42. I have to disagree with the homemade goodies! Unless I knew the family VERY VERY well, I did not eat these (just being honest!) And I always LOVED the ornaments. As I look at them each year I am reminded of some wonderful children who have blessed my life. It’s great if the school lets you put up a tree in the classroom…after several years, the memories are priceless- especially when the children of THOSE children bring an ornament for me :)
    I collected alphabet books, so a new one was always a wonderful addition to the classroom library.
    The important thing is to be grateful for whatever is received and to make that family knows ANYTHING is appreciated.

  43. Cathy says:

    ok i get it no more candy boxes for the teachers. What about dance teachers? I know ours has a tree filled to the brim with ballet shoe and ballerina ornaments…Giftcards also???

    • Anonymous says:

      My daughter does dance, and gymnastics. I gave each of those teachers a $10 GC to Target. I figured this way they could get a little something the need or want. For my older kids school teachers, I personally have always given gift cards from either Target or a Book Store or for teachers who I know survive on Coffee I’ll do Dunkin Donuts or something.

  44. My step mom is a teacher and she gets alot of candy, ornaments and coffee cups. All thoughtful but teachers would appreciate little gift bags from our stock piles. Handsanitizers, small lotion bottle, wipes. Think things they can keep in their desk. Alot of the candy goes to waste and the tree has no room. Even a $5 gift card is great.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I always give a Target or Barnes and Noble gift card along with some homemade fudge.
    However, my parents always gave my teachers a bottle of wine every year for Christmas!

  46. I love giving a pampering gift basket. Nothing major….but just to show our appreciation and that we know how much teachers deserve some stress relief. I give aromatherapy candles, bath and body items….and a starbucks gift card so they can enjoy a drink on us :)

    • Anonymous says:

      Back when I was a teacher, pampering gift set were my fav! You can totally get too many apple themed items but gift sets are something I would have never splurged on and I really enjoyed getting them. Plus with all the handwashing and sanitizer involved on the job, the Bath & Body Works lotion was AWESOME!!

  47. i send coffee cups w/ goodies. and yes usually a small ornament. (not w/ an apple)but something that my son teacher would remind her/him of my son. my son is in special ed, and they work so hard w/ him. i try every little holiday to send something in, even if its a candy bar. :D

  48. We do gift cards for the kids teachers. This knowing every teacher can choose to either spend some $ on their classroom or help treat themselves to a few treats. We like this because sometimes teachers need something they can express or that can’t be bought by a parent on a budget.

  49. As a teacher, I whole heartily agree with this message!!! My kids always give their teachers gifts by way of edilble goodies!! Some of the best gifts I’ve ever been given are those baked goods….the unusal kind….like Cranberry orange muffins with homemade cream cheese spread or pumpkin whoopies…those are my favorite two that I was given!! My pre-schooler (really me) made kisses and peanut butter cookies in the shape of acorns for Thanksgiving!! I haven’t decided on Christmas goodies as of yet but it will be homemade and delicious!! THX for this post!!

  50. Anonymous says:

    I do gift cards and a small thank you note.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I’m also a teacher & one of the best gifts I’ve received from a student was a hand-written letter. It was two or three paragraphs saying how much the student appreciated me. It was a genuine thank you & it meant so much to me.

    (One of my other favorite gifts was a Target giftcard, but if are looking for cheap gifts for your child’s teacher try the letter!)

  52. Anonymous says:

    Great post! I also appreciate gift certificates–just a few dollars for a latte at Starbucks makes me happy! I would add to the “please no more” list: lotions, soaps, and candles.

    • Ali Roberts says:

      I send notes to each child’s parents through my daughter’s teacher and ask for donations to a large gift card for the teacher instead of 22 little crap “gifts”. Last year we were able to give my daughter’s teacher a $100 gift card to her fave restaurant. I love the group gift idea!!