Gifts from the Heart for Teachers

Holiday time is right around the corner and the quandary begins – what do we give to our children’s teachers in order to honor their work? It’s important to celebrate the teacher who has helped motivate and influence our children but how and with what? The following are some great ideas which might help make this holiday season a bit less stressful.

1.Gift Certificates: The number one on every teacher’s wish list is the gift certificate. Most malls like those run by The Simon Organization offer VISA cards that can be purchased with a set sum on them. These cards can be used at any store in the mall and can also be used to purchase items at other places such as gas stations, supermarkets and even movie tickets. The beauty of these cards is that they allow the recipient flexibility – however it should be noted that if the card is not used within a six month time period a fee of $2.50 is deducted each month. If this type of program does not exist in your area, you can easily purchase gift certificates to bookstores, gas stations, restaurants, stores and supermarkets.

2.Basket of goodies: Teachers asked felt that a homemade basket with assorted items showed the giver had spent time and effort thinking about their gift. Baskets can include such items as books, manicure/pedicure sets, perfume (although this can be tricky due to subjective tastes), food products and even art supplies. When creating a basket for a teacher it is best to center the project on a theme – i.e. best of new non fiction, summer vacation or movies.

3.Contributions to the classroom or school: Many teachers felt that a classroom or school contribution in their honor was a gift that kept on giving. Many teachers use their own funds to purchase items for their classroom and when they break, are lost or used up, the teacher must replace them. Have your children pick out their favorite book series and place note cards in each; buy board games that are educational; purchase needed art supplies; volunteer to come in and teach something in your field thus giving the teacher some downtime. A gift from the heart will be cherished.

4.Food: If you and your kids love to cook, make something special for that special teacher. We all laugh at memories of Grandma’s hard as a rock fruit cake but sometimes it’s the thought that makes all the difference. Spend an afternoon cooking your own special cookies, wrap them in colored foil and deliver them on a beautiful tray. Make your own bread and deliver it in a unique basket.

Most teachers were clear that they receive way too many items that are “teacher gifts” – mugs with an apple on it, desk items with teacher sayings – so try to stay away from these cutesy gifts.

While most teachers will say that teaching itself is enough of a reward, it is important to honor one’s teachers with thoughtful and useful gifts – especially at holiday time. Think your gift through and you will surely make a teacher happy.

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