Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here for more.

The Inventory Guide of Gifts Teachers Will Actually Want For Christmas

Illustration for article titled The Inventory Guide of Gifts Teachers Will Actually Want For Christmas
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

What do teachers want as a gift during the holidays? Not an apple.

When I asked parents and teachers, the answer, overwhelmingly, was gift cards and a heartfelt thank you. Gift cards give teachers the freedom to purchase something for the classroom or treat themselves to something they want (deservedly, of course). Cash feels transactional ($50 for that A+) and prepaid debit cards often come with fees. Gift cards, on the other hand, don’t expire for five years (though there can be fees if you don’t use it within a year) by law.

Advertisement

That said, gift cards by themselves can be boring to gift. The solution? Dress them up.

Mini Brown Envelopes, $10
Mini Brown Envelopes, $10
Photo: Amazon
Advertisement

One simple way is to place the gift cards in a blank envelope decorated by your child. These mini brown envelopes offer a nice blank canvas for colorful doodles.

Amazon Gift Card. $50 or Virtually Any Gift Card
Amazon Gift Card. $50 or Virtually Any Gift Card
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

You can also pick a theme and pair the gift card accordingly. For instance, for a gift card to a neighborhood grocery store or bakery, add it to a basket filled with a few of your family’s favorite store-bought treats. This one-pint basket is small but can be painted by your child and hold a few chocolate candy bars. Add cellophane and ribbon (plus a trip to the grocery store) and you’re all set.

Or tuck a gift card to the movies into a basket with popcorn and candy.

Or slip a gift card to an office supply store into a basket with pencils, dry erase markers and erasers.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Inventory Guide of Gifts Teachers Will Actually Want For Christmas
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

Combining a gift card and a book donation can also be a fun and creative way to gift something for both the classroom and teacher.

For instance, Magic Ramen, a picture book biography about the inventor of instant ramen, or Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat can be paired with a gift certificate to a local restaurant, a food delivery service, a grocery store, or another purveyor of food.

Advertisement

Another idea: Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery, all beautiful picture books about artists, can be matched with a gift card to an arts and crafts store.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Banned Books Socks, $12
Keychain, $14
Dinosaur Necklace, $12
Banned Books Socks, $12
Keychain, $14
Dinosaur Necklace, $12
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

Of course, if you want to eschew the gift card completely, how about something a little nerdy, like this dinosaur necklace for a preschool teacher?

Or this cheesy science keychain? It reads, “I may be N-Er-Dy, but only periodically.”

Advertisement

Or these banned books socks? The titles include The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Advertisement
Felt Letter Board, $28
Felt Letter Board, $28
Photo: Amazon

And this felt letter board can be a fun addition to a classroom, and a way for the teacher to share an inspirational message or announcement.

Advertisement

Ellen Lee is a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter