What Teachers REALLY Think About Holiday Gifts...

Now that the holidays are coming up, a lot of Moms are thinking 'What should I get for my child's teacher?'

I've seen some suggestions online, which included everything from candles to homemade jams or a mug.  Instead of coming up with some more suggestions or crafty ideas, I decided to ask four teachers and listen to what they had to say.

Denise: “I am often humbled by the gifts I receive. … I know I'll miss the whole realm of teacher gifts when I retire.”

Melissa: “As a teacher in the city, I don't get too many Christmas gifts. I usually get something that belonged to the kid, like they decide to give me their old stuffed animal or something.  But every once in a while I do get a nice gift, and I'm always pleasantly surprised!”

Amy: "The kids' excitement in giving the gifts is the best part!"

Remembering their favorite gifts from past years

Denise:  “Really, I think gifts are only appropriate when they mean something to the child who is giving them.  I love the things the kids make and wrap themselves. I have ornaments on my tree that were made by students and they mean a lot to me. Last year at the end of school one little girl gave me homemade peppermint foot scrub. LOVED it! The basket of Italian food specialties, even an original framed painting. Those were humbling but appreciated gifts”

Melissa:  “A movie night basket. It was just a little basket with a box of microwave popcorn, some raisinettes, and a small gift card to Blockbuster (it may have only been for about $5, but it was perfect).  An ornament where the child wrote his name on it and the year. That ornament is from 2001 and I still put it on our tree. I always remember the boy's name too, because it's on the ornament. A nice box of candy is always good.”

Jennifer:  “Once...although not during Christmas a dad brought in a giant container of blueberries from the local farm that he worked at...that was nice.  Locally made items are good, especially if the parent works there.”

Amy:  "One mother brought a spread of Dunkin Donuts (Coffee bagels cream cheese and donuts) for the five adults that work in the classroom the day before Christmas break. That was great."

You Can’t Go Wrong With Gift Cards.  This is one thing that all four teachers agreed on.  Even a $5 or $10 gift card to Target, Dunkin Donuts or the local convenience store is very much appreciated.

Thanks, But No Thanks On The Homemade Food

Denise: “Some of the homemade food was iffy.”

Melissa: “The one thing teachers generally do NOT want (unless we have a long-standing personal relationship with the family) are homemade baked goods… I always throw those things away after the kids leave for the day. All the teachers I know do the same thing. “

Jennifer: “Food! Homemade food, although thoughtful, is kind of gross. I threw out any homemade food gifts that came in from kids. You never know how clean the household is.”

Gifts for Re-gifting

Jennifer and Melissa agreed: ” Cheap bath sets. So many people have allergies or sensitive skin that cheap bath sets are a bad idea.  People are particular about scents, so even if you LOVE vanilla, someone else could have strong opinions about not liking food smelling items. But, a gift card to Bath and Body Works would be a great alternative!” 

Ultimately, there's a lot more to teaching than the holiday gifts

If you ask any teacher, they would probably agree that the best gifts from their students are the smiles and fun moments throughout the year.  Those are the things that they will remember for years.

It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.” 

Quote from The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994


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Photographer: Suat Eman http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Quote from: http://www.quotegarden.com/gifts.html