Let’s cut to the chase. What teachers do is *the most important.* What they’ve been through — with and without our kids — in the past couple years is… a lot. Let’s treat teachers like the queens and kings they are, yes? You don’t need to spend a lot of money to show teachers some serious appreciation as they ride into winter break for a long, cozy nap.
Here are some ideas, including some low- and no-cost ones.
- The only thing better than cupcakes is bite-size cupcakes. The Thank You gift box from Baked By Melissa does it right. Vegan and Gluten-free options available.
- DIY Movie Night kit. Start with a large bowl or box (bonus points if it’s a popcorn box) and fill it with a gift certificate to a movie theatre along with all the accoutrements, namely popcorn supplies and all manner of candy. Bam.
- L’Occitane’s Hand Cream Trio is a deluxe salve after so many months of manic sanitizing. The aromatherapy is the icing on the cake.
- Plant delivery from The Sill or Bloomscape is the perfect way to add some green to their living space. No green thumb necessary.
- Teachers Pay Teachers gift card. OK, so this is kind of work-oriented, but we heard from many teachers that this is a gift they love receiving! TPT is an online educational resource where gift cards can be used to buy instructional tools for PreK -12 teaching.
- Fruit delivery from Harry and David is classy. There’s something about the beauty of a perfect pear wrapped in gold foil.
- Let them be the student for a change and gift them a class in something they love. Find a local art class, a cooking course, or purchase class credits at a dance or yoga studio.
- A roomy, straw beach tote like this one is très chic because it doubles as a French market basket.
- This classic wicker picnic basket has everything you’d possibly need for a romantic meal al fresco. Or go for a modern, backpack-style option.
- Bookshop.org gift certificate. Buying books here means you’re financially supporting local, independent bookstores.
- A desk organizer with charging station looks great and tames the bird’s nest of cords at home or school.
- Dylan’s Candy Bar’s Signature Candy Tackle Box is so happy-making to look at, not to mention delicious (both the sweets and the sours). The cute box can be repurposed as a drawer organizer.
- A coffee-themed bundle of a mug with gift card nestled in it might not sound like the most original gift in the world but hear us out. Your kid can handcraft a mug at Color Me Mine or whatever your local equivalent. As for the gift card, it can be Starbucks (no one’s knocking Starbucks) but you could also spring for a coffee subscription service like Trade that delivers personalized selections of small batch roasts from all over the country, or a Bean Box Sampler. Bottom line: Teachers should never have to buy their own coffee.
- Personalized notepad and pencils or stationery elevates their home and school desk game.
- This weekender bag from Vera Bradley is made from recycled cotton, is the perfect size and shape (true duffel!), and comes in a choice of yummy colors. And any gift that gets a person daydreaming about their weekend trips is a good thing.
- The Tasseled Sheila Throw from Anthropologie is lightweight and versatile enough for use inside or nippy summer evenings outdoors.
- Embrace the gift card. What about a card to Doordash/ Grubhub/ Postmates for a night of takeout? What about Whole Foods or another local high-end grocery? Or Spafinder, so they can book a treatment of their choice with the vendor of their choice?
- How about a print of some book cover art for a literature-lover?
- A convertible backpack/ tote like this one from Timbuktu is super utilitarian and super handsome, and that’s “handsome” in the most gender neutral way. The padded laptop compartment is key.
- A Food52 gift card lets them choose from cookware, gourmet food, and even home decor.
- Fill a Mason jar with their favorite candies and zhuzh it up with some ribbon. Sure, it’s a basic move, but one that’s always appreciated.
If it’s not too late to involve the class, try…
- Thumbprint art from the class is beautiful to look at and pulls those heartstrings. Pop it in a frame and you’ve got a killer gift.
- What about compiling notes from the whole class in a clever, colorful way? Each student can write a message on a colorful Post-it note or index card. Fold them up and toss them together in a clear glass vase.
- Capitalize on the teacher’s favorite subject in a creative way. Does he or she love math? This takes a little organizing from the room parent, but it goes like this: have each kid write a fun math word problem about their teacher — funny and zany is fine! — and compile the pages into a full color booklet. Totally delightful.
And never underestimate the power of a truly heartfelt note of gratitude. Whatever your gift, take a minute to include your sentiments. It’s been a year for the ages.