While everyone tries to come up with unique teacher gifts for Christmas, most teachers will confess that it's a bit overwhelming to receive 30 coffee mugs and apple paperweights every year! It's not that they are not grateful for the expressions of love, but it doesn't take very many years of teaching before their cupboards and desktops are bursting at the seams.
According to teachers, some of the best gifts they receive are gift cards, homemade jams/cookie mixes, classroom supplies, or one single gift from the whole class.
One of the most thoughtful and touching gifts you can give your teachers is simply a notecard or letter telling them how much they have meant to you, your child, or your family. It costs NOTHING to give, and will absolutely have the greatest impact on everyone who receives it.
The key to making this a gift and not just a simple thank you card, is to pick something specific to elaborate on, as opposed to just saying "thanks for being such a great teacher". What makes them great to you, and to your student? To know that people notice and appreciate all the effort that goes into every day in the classroom, to find out that behind the scenes they are actually getting through to that one difficult student, or hear that a child or parent has been encouraged by a particular lesson, is the best gift of all in a profession that can often seem thankless at the end of an exhausting day.
Don't forget special ed teachers/tutors and other specialists your child interacts with during the day.
Everyone in our school knows that things tend to be a little bit chilly in the winter. One day my girls had out the heat pack we use for soreness or a chill and got the idea to make their teachers “seat” packs. We used some scraps of fleece to make small chair pads with rice inside. I had them sew the pads with a cross in the middle to keep the rice more evenly distributed. These were very popular with the teachers who would pop them into the lunchroom microwave before class and keep toasty! - Kate
Here are instructions from sew4home
My son thought of a really fun homemade teacher gift. He told me his teacher really likes to cook so he wanted to make her a cookbook. I thought that she might like the cookbook better with pictures so we talked about including pictures of him making each recipe, but when I told his friend's mom about the idea, she said we should include all the kids in the class.
We ended up sending out emails and talking to some parents in person and we got almost all the kids to email a picture of themselves with a favorite recipe as a gift for teacher.
My son and I printed out one sheet for each student and put them together in a three ring binder Then he designed a cover to slide into the front that said Favorite Recipes From Famous Chefs.
He had a lot of fun making it and his teacher was very appreciative of a gift that will help her remember the kids. - Ashlee in Athens, IL
You might think that Jar Mixes are old news but they still get the best reviews of any homemade teachers gifts for Christmas we have given through the years of raising 6 children. My favorites for the kids to do are Brownie Mix with chocolate chips and white chocolate chips or Soup Mixes (always great for busy teachers who come home like the rest of us with no idea what is for dinner.) - Sara in Brownsville, TX
My son loves the Joke-of-the-Day email he gets and prints out all the funniest one. For one of his favorite math teachers, he copied off these jokes and cut them apart. Then he put all the jokes in a jar and labeled it Frown Therapy. - Melony in Freemansburg, PA
An easy and fast teacher gift is personalized hot cocoa packets. We like to make our own mix but you can also buy it premade and then portion it out into ziplock baggies. Fold a sheet of scrapbook paper into an envelope and decorate. - Olivia in MA
Each year when we are cleaning up the yard in
the fall and dividing perennials, I have my two boys take some of the
extras and put them in pots to give to their teachers. This is a nice
gift because it costs us almost nothing - though I do usually grab
some wrapping paper or cellophane to wrap around the pots so they
look nice – and because the teachers like the plants, whether they
enjoy them in their classroom for a few days or actually plant them
at school or at home. If you don't have plants of your own, you can
ask neighbors or keep your eyes open for end of the year clearance
plants. - Nicola in Morrisville, NC