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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Gift for Teachers (or anyone hard to buy for)

'As a former teacher, let me tell you how many "teacher" type gifts I was given. Mugs, ornaments, random knickknacks.

Oh, how cute.

And useless.

Yes, here is where I sound like an ungrateful brat. But, really, unless the teacher is a first-year newbie, they probably already have all of that stuff. I was gifted with all that sort of thing when I was a student teacher and it was cute then, but after that, notsomuch.

I thought it was really nice any time any of my students thought to give me a gift, though.

And some of my favorite gifts didn't cost anything, like the parents who arranged to take my lunch duty for a week as a gift for teacher appreciation week or the mom who wrote me a four page handwritten letter thanking me for all that I did for her daughter.


There were really good gifts that cost some serious money, too. Woohoo to spa gift certificates for a whole day of pampering and a beach bag full of everything you could possibly need for a day at the beach. Most of the bigger gifts were from my whole class and if you can organize something like that, go for it!

Now that I'm a parent, I feel the pressure to come up with a good gift for my boys' teachers.

I don't have lots of cash to throw around, so I have to figure out how to do something nice for not very much money.

Due to all the germ-madness this year, this is what I came up with:

A Germ-Busting Bucket!

Forgive the craptastic job on the tissue paper- I really need to fix that.

I had three teachers to buy for.
Inside each bucket is:

Lysol sanitizing wipes- $2.92 x 3

Big bottle of GermX instant hand sanitizer- $1.98 x 3

Bottle of Chewable Vitamin C- $2 x 3 (found that bargain at Wally World)

Travel-size kleenx-$.99 for a pack of three

5 bags of Yogi brand tea: Cold Season $4.42 for one box, that I split in 3

On the sparkly tag, I wrote "Miss (insert teacher's name here)'s Germ-Busting Bucket."

So, that's three teacher gifts of something that I think they will actually use, for just over $20 total.

Um, not counting the buckets($2.50 each at Wally World- they have a cute lid with a snowflake on it), tissue paper, and the sparkly tags, which bring my total closer to $30. But, by the time that I was shopping for those items, I had picked up the older two from preschool and had three kids shopping with me, so I went for whatever I saw that I thought was reasonable, instead of shopping around for a better deal. But, still, that means $10 per teacher, which isn't bad at all!

Feel free to steal this idea for your kids' teachers!

Click HERE to see the movie-themed basket I made for my boys' teachers as an end-of-the-year gift.

What are you getting for your children's teachers?

This post was originally published on 12/16/09. But, since there were less than 100 of you around then, I figured it was safe to repost.



Blogger The Mommyologist said...

This is a great gift idea! I will have to think about that one...still not sure what to get my little man's teachers!

November 30, 2010 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I remember this post. Still a great idea. I may steal it this year.

November 30, 2010 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger KristinFilut said...

That's such a cute idea!

November 30, 2010 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh good one!!! We're making Soup in a Jar for all the teachers this year. This might be next year's though. I'm diggin' it!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

November 30, 2010 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

are you doing the same thing this year????

November 30, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Di said...

Shoot - I could use that bucket now as I degermify my whole house getting ready for Jellybean. Who is just going to spend his time germifying it back up!

November 30, 2010 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I remember this post. It's still an awesome idea!

I'm making ornaments, but I might include some of those things as well.

November 30, 2010 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

You are always so creative with your gifts.

Last year I gave Buddy's kindergarten teacher a gift certificate to a nice restaurant in town. I'll probably do the same again this year. For all the other "secondary" teachers (daycare, before and after care, etc.), I made oreo balls and put them in nice Christmas tins. I might, once again, do the same thing.

November 30, 2010 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I know my mom would whole-heartedly agree! She always said she loved gift cards for places like a teacher's store or Target. Even just $5 or 10 is FABULOUS! As years went by and budgets shrunk, teachers had to pay more and more out of pocket to get their room ready. She loves giftcards because she could put it back into the classroom instead of 5 lbs of chocolate and teacher ornaments.

November 30, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

This former teacher loves your idea. Might be stolen. I haven't even thought about Christmas presents yet. Ah geez. My kid has three teachers, too, so the germ-busting bucket might be a fantastic way to go.

November 30, 2010 at 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a really cute idea! I always try to organize a class gift, but if that doesn't work out, I may steal your idea. Thanks for sharing!

November 30, 2010 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Corinne said...

great idea. I got ornaments this year for everyone, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas and grandpas. So yes, the boys teacher is getting an ornament too. I went a little ornament crazy this christmas. But I figure it's better then chocolate, which just makes your butt fat.

November 30, 2010 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Go Mommy said...

Honestly, were you reading my mind this morning!?!?! Because as I was driving to work I was thinking about what I was going to do about my son's teachers! I was stumped but thanks to you, I have a game plan. What a cute idea!!!

November 30, 2010 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Goodnight moon said...

See....I thought I was ahead of the game...but I still need to get both my kids teachers and their helpers Christmas gifts.

A full day of pampering...gesh! That is some serious mulla!

We normally bake our favorite bread and put it in a really cute box with ribbon and the kids get them something little.

Since my son is on the Panda team, I found a really cute panda Christmas ornament.

November 30, 2010 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

I bought Sarris chocolates from the school fundraiser (proceeds benefit the PTG, nice right?) and Julia is making handmade ornaments, the Cinnamon ones. It's small but unobtrusive and still conveys our thanks.

November 30, 2010 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger The Nice One said...

LOVE this idea! I have so many teachers to buy for. This year I got a good deal (pre thanksgiving) on Bath and Body Works stuff. My kids teachers have sinks and the crap the district gives out is gross. So I got some of the nice wintery pumps filled with yum smelling soaps and a lotion hand sanitizer. $7/teacher
I'll put them in a pretty bag and also add some chocolate covered pretzels.

November 30, 2010 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Katina said...

Love the bucket! Glad you were honest about the useless gifts! I'm gonna sign up for duty free lunch today!

November 30, 2010 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

This is a cute idea. I would actually like one of these for me- just to carry around places to protect myself. I'm one flu away from wearing a surgical mask in public, lol....

November 30, 2010 at 10:30 AM  
Anonymous erica said...

I was JUST looking at things to buy my daughter's teachers... but this is perfect. Totally stealing your idea. But, really, you kinda put it out there, now, didn't you?

November 30, 2010 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

This is my first time ever buying teacher gifts! I went with personalized note cards and gift cards. My mom was a teacher, too, so I know what to avoid! ;)

November 30, 2010 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Shell...that is an AWESOME idea! And perfect for moms, too!

November 30, 2010 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

I always get target or staples gift certificates.

As a teacher - do you think that's good? I try to write a personalzied thankyou, too.

November 30, 2010 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Stasha said...

That is a really great idea for a teacher gift!

And you could probably get away even cheaper on some of the stuff by going to The Dollar Tree!

November 30, 2010 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Brittany said...

That's amazing! We did the popcorn buckets for teacher appreciation week last year, I'm sure my mom will go for doing this for gbaby's teacher this year!

With my mom being a teacher, we know the feeling. We have a cabinet full of candles that she gets from her students. lol

November 30, 2010 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger WicketsMom said...

I've always done a Pampered Chef small batter bowl filled with the 'Batter Bowl Brownie' mix. It's a cute, layered brownie recipe that my son loves to assemble for his teachers.

This year, he was promoted to a new class (preschool) mid-year and I'm wondering if I should give his teachers from the first half of the year a gift too? They were great, and one of them still works with his class some too.

November 30, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Masala Chica said...

Very cute! I had already planned to give the teachers wine, since anyone who deals with young children should be able to self-medicate at the end of the day ;-)

Great idea, Shell!

November 30, 2010 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

What a great idea. :)

November 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Great idea. I would love to be germ free for Christmas!

November 30, 2010 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Mom2zqb said...

Great idea! I have no idea what we're doing for the teachers this year.

November 30, 2010 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger TLF said...

Fabulous idea!!

November 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger The No Wonder Mom said...

Great idea! I may have to do that for my two older ones' teachers. We usually give them a gift card to an office supply store as well, since so much of teachers' supplies for their classroom comes from their own pockets.
I'm glad to hear that a personal note is cherished because I gave one to my daughter's teacher at the end of last year, thanking her for all she did to help my daughter.
Great teachers deserve many, many thanks!!!

November 30, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That is such a great idea!! I love it- so creative, and actually something useful! I did Tea Mugs with teas and the swirly sticks and whatnot wrapped in cellophane for end of year last year.

Question- in Pre-K he has a main teacher and then they have an Aide to the classroom. Same gifts or different?

November 30, 2010 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Love this theme... Brilliant! I'd love to receive this :)

November 30, 2010 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Oh awesome!!

November 30, 2010 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Grand Pooba said...

Shell, that is an awesome idea!

November 30, 2010 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger TheBabyMammaChronicles said...

Shell, seriously, what a great idea! I love it! I don't have any teachers to buy for yet but we'll definitely have to do something for the soon to be Nanny at the end of the year. My Mom used to always give our teachers gift certificates for restaurants. I used to think that was terrible for some reason, who knows I was a dumb kid, but now I think that must have been a welcome gift. Definitely better than apples and coffee mugs like you mentioned!

November 30, 2010 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Macey said...

I had no idea what to give them but this is a great idea! They love that cleaning stuff. :)

November 30, 2010 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Joy@TPMG said...

I love this idea! My daughter has two teachers and 2 aids in her preschool class and I have no idea what to get them.

November 30, 2010 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

OH my goodness that is cute. I need to get on the roll with teacher's gifts

November 30, 2010 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Eternal Lizdom said...

I'm doing a travel bag with little mini sized travel bottles of things like lotion, scented soaps, hand sanitizer, and other random things. Stuff that is useful but a little fun, too. And I got the cosmetic travel bag thingees at Target on clearance for about $2 a piece!!

November 30, 2010 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Venassa said...

That's such a great idea. I love baskets of goodies as Christmas presents. They're so fun to give and receive.

November 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is a wonderful idea! I would have loved getting this as a gift. The ceramic hand with red painted finger nails was my most unique gift.

November 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got some cute gifts as a teacher. I think. I don't remember. I may not have any remnants of my disastrous teaching career left. But I do remember the one gift that outshone all the rest:

A Bob Evans gift card.

Yes, it's just Bob Evans. Yes, they put enough salt on their dinenrs to choke a horse. But it was practical, consumable, and thoughtful. And I love their breakfast like it's my job. Like I get paid by the hour.

November 30, 2010 at 6:20 PM  
Anonymous SharleneT said...

Now, that's a practical gift! Good thinking. Anything similar would be an excellent idea, I think -- and, a disposable package! You can get too many bags, boxes, and buckets, just like the mugs, etc... I like to wrap my gifts in pretty hand towels or dish towels and tie them with a pretty ribbon... Thank God, those days are over, for me.... Come visit when you can....

November 30, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

OMGracious! THAT'S FABULOUS- I think I might have just given my occupation away in my excitement :) I think I will totally give my own kids' teachers this! I would love about 20 of these!

November 30, 2010 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

awesome idea! I'm giving gift baskets of bread, cookies, fudge, mouthfuls and pumpkin butter to the adults because really they have what they want and I hate useless presents!

November 30, 2010 at 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Typical Suburban Family said...

Great idea! I love your movie basket theme too. I've been trying to figure out what to do for teacher gifts as well and just not sure. I have 6 teachers to buy for this year... last year I did a collection from all the parents and bought the teachers each something that I knew they wanted and would love. It was great to be able to give them something useful and something they wanted. What girl doesn't like a new Coach purse?!

November 30, 2010 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Life As I Know It said...

Great ideas! We usually contribute $$ and the class gets a gift card somewhere..Target or bookstore or something like that.

November 30, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

What a great gift idea Shell!
But admit it, all that chocolate you got as gifties was the best, right? Right?

November 30, 2010 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

What an absolutely FANTASTIC idea! Seriously-I love this idea. What a practical, useful gift. Not something that will be thrown away later!


November 30, 2010 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Daisygirl said...

I love gifts in cute containers! Super fab my daughters teacher seems to be sick all the time...hmmm what should I get her?

December 1, 2010 at 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a SUPER FAB idea!!!! Since mine are just in preschool, I usually just do a cute *keeper* plate with christmas cookies on it.

December 1, 2010 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger Frugal Vicki said...

So, sounds silly I know, but if you wouldn't mind doing a guest post of sorts, I would LOVE to include this as an article in my Macaroni Kid

December 1, 2010 at 1:54 AM  
Blogger Little Hatchlings said...

Thanks for letting me know. I'm one of "those" moms that will buy the cute "teacher" stuff. This is an awesome idea...thanks for letting me borrow it!

December 1, 2010 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Brie said...

Never would have even thought of that! I'll keep it in mind for when I send Sophie off. Ugh, but I don't want to think about that yet!

December 1, 2010 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Amber Page Writes said...

I thought it was a fabulous idea last year, and I still think so. Genius!

December 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always give gift cards; target, barnes and noble, etc. Then they can get whatever they want!

December 1, 2010 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger mypixieblog said...

What a great idea! LOOOOOVE this :) I have some teacher friends and this is PERFECT!

December 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Life Without Pink said...

OMG I haven't thought about this...I like your idea and might just steal it :)

December 2, 2010 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger mintifresh said...

I thought it sounded familiar! Yes, I'm one of the originals!! ;D

I think when you did this last time I had already done my gifts or something but I'm totally doing this this year!!

PS-I love that your child is most grateful for TV. Me, too, buddy! ;)

December 3, 2010 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Mommyfriend Lori said...

Love it! Super creative, those gifts are the best!

December 5, 2010 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

That is the greatest idea ever, Shell! And, I'm not even teaching yet and I can tell you these are the kind of gifts I will appreciate some day. They're gifts that you *need* as a teacher - practical and will ultimately save me money to have them gifted!

December 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

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