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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

holiday teacher gifts

This question came up about a hundred times in the Facebook Mommy Stories group this season: What do we give our daycare providers, preschool and elementary school teachers from our children? How do we thank them? What do we do if there are many of them?

So many of you awesome moms shared great ideas... I just HAD to share them here. Thanks for the permission to share the pictures and ideas. 

Personally this year we gave hand painted ornaments from a pottery professional from a craft fair. They were reasonably priced, but really were so beautiful and local to our state of Maine. The teachers loved them! We gave them to the preschool teachers a few weeks before Christmas so they could put them up on trees. They could be hung elsewhere in the house, too. We always write really thoughtful notes as well. I also give them gifts during Teacher Appreciation and at the end of the year in June, too, so for me, Christmas does not have to be huge. I've also bought them lunch from a local deli up the street.

We gave our son's Kindergarten teacher some Starbucks hot chocolate, an ornament and some soaps. I bought these soaps for my coworkers and teachers this year- SO great! Such an easy and fun gift- and made by a hard working Momma!

When we had an in-home babysitter who was more like a grandmother, we'd pay her extra that week and give her a $50 gift card to a nice restaurant that we knew she'd never pay for herself. We tended to do a lot for her since caring for a baby is very demanding all day long!

Image below from September Lane Soap

This one was so adorable and creative: peppermint looking Eos chapsticks! Simple, easy, cheap, and something they will really use! 

Etsy is your friend, especially for Teacher gifts! Below are some coffee cup covers, hand knit! $4 each!

Everybody loves being pampered and feeling good... school teachers need this the most! These are so sweet and easy to make!

Hot cocoa, candy canes, etc. Everyone loves decked out treats!

I LOVE sugar scrubs! So many different ways to do this... these are ADORABLE!

I LOVE LOVE this idea from my friend Heather: fruit basket after Thanksgiving, so at the start of the busy season, something different than just desserts and cookies... and my friend got this out of the way EARLY rather than during the busy week before Christmas when everybody is giving gifts. I LOVE the idea of doing it early! I did this myself, two weeks before Christmas we sent in the gifts so that we weren't thinking of it last minute.

There are TONS of ideas on Pinterest, but here are a few some moms mentioned! 
  • Fruit baskets
  • Cupcakes
  • Cake
  • Speciality chocolates 
  • Painting a mug 
  • Infinity Scarves
  • Nice hat or mittens for outside recess duty
  • Pampered Chef items - cookbook with utensils or spices 
  • Lunch or a gift card to a local sub shop for lunch
  • Gift card for the teachers to go out somewhere at night - Paint Night, dinner, etc.
  • Travel mugs with hot cocoa packages 
  • Gift cards to Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, etc.
  • Gift card to a store to purchase teacher supplies 
  • Books for the classroom
  • Nail polishes
  • Body scrub
  • Hand sanitizer for wiping up those boogers 
  • Provide breakfast for the teachers' room - donuts, bagels, yogurt, fruit, coffee, juice, etc.
  • Movie bucket with Redbox gift card and popcorn
  • Homemade hot cocoa with flavored chocolate spoons
  • Classroom supplies like Post-Its, crayons, markers, white board markers, iTunes gift cards for apps for class, glue sticks, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, tissues, ETC.
This question seems pretty personal and individual, based on the situation and age teacher, etc. Every mom wrote something different for this answer - from $50 cash to a $100 bonus, from $5 little gifts to $20-30 bigger gifts. It really varied. So, like everything else with mommy hood: do what works for YOU and your family. 

The sentiment from teachers: It's the THOUGHT that counts. Many of the school professionals admitted they LOVED a hand written note and card from kids more than any other gifts. 

It's also nice to send treats and cookies, but some staff really love and appreciate something they can really use more than just once, so thinking outside the box is good. 

HAPPY GIFT GIVING! Remember, it really is the thought that counts :) 

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