Most teachers really rock, so it’s natural that you want to give your little tyke or tykette’s classroom head honcho a super special Christmas gift. But as the daughter of a long-time elementary school teacher, I can tell you that there are some presents that you should resist the urge to give. So what are the oft-offending items? I’m glad you asked!
- Mugs. My sixth grade teacher built an absolutely incredible (seriously, it was ah-may-zing) collection of coffee receptacles over his 20-year career. Round ones, deliberately misshapen ones, red ones, green ones, glittered ones, ones that looked like snow globes complete with falling flecks of sparkly powder. He showed us photos of where he kept them stored in a (very) large corner of his garage. And then he made us promise that we’d never, ever give a teacher a coffee mug, no matter how cool or unique or creative, ever, because is it most definitely possible to have too much of a good thing. (And no one can drink that much coffee anyway.)
- Best Teacher Ever Christmas ornaments. I love Hallmark ornaments. Ask my husband about the giant closet in our garage that’s stuffed beyond the gills with them. But no teacher needs multiple ornaments featuring little mice holding chalkboards that read ‘best teacher ever’. Cute, but no. Exception: if your kiddo wants to make one, that’s a different ball of yarn. Get out the glitter and glue and popsicle sticks and go for it! Click to find instructions for making popsicle stick sled ornaments.
- Classroom Supplies. Okay, so I can see how this might be a head-scratcher, but I’ll break it down for ya. Yes, your teacher may well be operating her classroom on peanuts. She may be living in a shoebox apartment and spending her own money to buy junior’s crayons and markers and lined paper. But unless she asks for colored pencils and hole punchers, they’re not much of a gift, per se. If you want to donate, definitely do it! But don’t pretend the supplies are a gift.
- Baked Goods. Here’s another one that my be a head-scratcher since plenty of moms and dads like to whip up holiday treats to share. Although it’s not a strict no-no, be sure to ask the teacher about allergies and preferences prior to offering up a tasty confection as a gift. It’s a huge bummer to have to throw out a present because you can’t eat nuts or tolerate dairy. Been there, done that, and it stinks.
So what should you give your teacher for Christmas? Ask your kiddo what he talks about during class. Football fanatic? Pool your funds and get him a pair of tickets to a game. Coffee lover? A gift card to a local –or national– coffeehouse would go over well. Finally, never underestimate the value of a heartfelt card made by your child accompanied by a note from you telling her why she’s terrific. A good pull at the heartstrings makes the perfect pressie.
More from this contributor:
5 Can’t-Miss Christmas Movies You’ll Find on TV
The Best Inexpensive Christmas Gag Gifts
The Most Unique Secret Santa Christmas Gifts Ever