How do you say thank you to a great teacher? I’m a teacher who has received many gifts from students and parents. These gift ideas for teachers are my favorites — I originally wrote this article at Christmas, but these gifts are awesome any time of the year.
The Sterling Silver “A Teacher” Mobius Circle with Apple Pendant Necklace says, “A Teacher Takes A Hand , Opens A Mind and Touches.” This necklace is an engraved twisted-circle pendant with heart and apples dangling from a box chain with a spring-ring clasp.
Here are my best gift ideas for teachers, ranging from gift baskets (my personal favorite) to practical (yet fun) coffee mugs. I don’t recommend giving your teacher anything food-related, unless it’s a gourmet food gift basket. Teachers often eat so many Christmas cookies, yule logs, egg nog, candy canes, on and on and on – the last thing they want is more sugar, fat, and white flour.
If your teacher loves games, read 10 Classic Board Games for Adults.
Here’s a quip for you to write in the Christmas gift card: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~ William Arthur Ward.
You don’t have to give your teacher an expensive Christmas gift to say thank you — just give her something to help her relax over the holidays. Even a small basket of lotion, bubble bath, hot chocolate, and pampering items would be highly appreciated.
Here are a few gift ideas for teachers. I saved the best for last, so make sure you read to the very end. No cheating!
20 Christmas Gift Ideas for Teachers
One of the best tips for buying gifts for teachers (or anyone on your list) is to start shopping early. There’s nothing worse than rushing out and grabbing presents at the last minute – that costs you more money and aggravation than planning ahead.
Okay, enough with the lecture (see? I told you I was a teacher!). I originally wrote this article at Christmas, but these gift ideas for teachers are a great way to say thank you any time of the year.
Homemade or store bought gourmet food gift baskets
Handpainted Wine Glasses are a fun, whimsical way to say Merry Christmas or thank you at the end of the year to your teacher.
I love gift baskets? I adore when I get a Desk Caddy of Coffee and Treats – Gourmet Food Gift Basket for Christmas or the end of the school year! Gift baskets are practical, enjoyable, easy to share with others, and fun to open and sort through. This is a gift idea for teachers that can’t go wrong — especially if you include cookies (store bought or homemade), wine, gourmet coffees or teas, chocolates, etc.
A book that celebrates teachers
Even though your teacher may love teaching, she needs to be encouraged, refreshed, and inspired sometimes!
The Last Lecture is one of the most popular gift books for teachers; it’s by Randy Pausch, a computer science professor who gave his last lecture before dying of cancer. It sounds sad, but it’s not. It’s about living and achieving your childhood dreams.
Another popular book that says “thank you” to your teacher is Thank You, Mr. Falker.
Your teacher is probably great, since you’re searching for a gift idea for him or her. When I was a teacher, my favorite Christmas gift was a spa gift basket – and I’m 100% convinced a Spa Bath and Body Gift Basket is ideal.
Healthy presents – wellness or fitness-oriented
Teachers eat a lot of delicious but oh-so-fattening treats during the holiday season, and some struggle with weight gain or health issues. So, focus on healthy gifts for your teacher (but don’t call her fat!).
Read 5 Healthy Christmas Gifts for ideas that will improve your teacher’s health and well-being.
Special treats or gifts for your teacher’s dog or cat
I have a cat, and would be thrilled if a student bought me a pet toy, case of canned gourmet cat food, or heated cat bed! Pet Street Mall has some cool products, such as heated dog bowls (so their water doesn’t freeze if outdoors) and special pet food treats.
When you’re showing your appreciation to a teacher when school ends, try to put yourself in her shoes. Maybe you love gift baskets – but maybe he or she is really into her pets, yoga classes, or travel. The best way to come up with good gift ideas is to figure out who your teacher is and what she loves to do.
If your teacher has a dog, read 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Dogs and Dog Owners.
Gift certificates for restaurants, book stores, hair salons, etc
If your teacher has a hobby, favorite food, favorite place to shop, etc, then a gift certificate would make the perfect gift. Get creative, and give a gift certificate for a gas station, grocery store, or an office supplies store like Staples or Office Depot.
I know this isn’t the most creative gift idea for an elementary or high school teacher, but it is a practical way to say thank you when the school year ends.
When I was a teacher, I loved getting gift cards for Christmas. Today, my favorite would be an Amazon.com Gift Card because I can then choose whatever I want.
Tickets for sports events, the opera, or the local theater
Does your teacher love hockey, classical concerts, the Monster truck rally, or ballet? Tickets for an event or activity is a perfect holiday gift – even if the event isn’t for another few months. It’s a perfect gift for your teacher to use in January or February, when the winter doldrums have set in.
A photo on a coffee mug, mousepad, or notebook
PhotoWorks is a company that puts pictures of your teacher, class, school, pets, or special occasions on all sorts of useful items! If you don’t have a picture of your teacher, just ask another teacher, the principal, or any school staff (the school secretary could probably help you out). If you’re considering this gift for your teacher, make sure you put a nice photo of him or her – no closed eyes or funny faces!
Personalized chocolates, like M&M’s
This is a cool idea, even though earlier I advised you not to give your teacher a food Christmas gift: you can create personalized M&M’S®. The Mars chocolate experts will put photos, phrases, and names on their little chocolates. If you have a photo of your teacher, or your teacher and you, you can put the image on the chocolate with something like “Merry Christmas, Mrs Teacher!” And, M&M’s last a long time – so your teacher can savor this present for months, or even years.
Or, check out this popular chocolate gift idea for teachers on Amazon: a pound of Belgian Chocolates – it’s an assortment of white, dark, and milk chocolate yums.
Chocolate mint tea and a teacher’s mug
I’m sipping on a cup of Chocolate Mint Tea right now. It’s the first time I’ve tried chocolate mint tea, and it’s incredible. There’s no fat in it and it smells like rich dark chocolate — a combination that makes it the perfect chocolate brew (unless you’re a cocoa fan!).
Coffees, teas, and specialty hot chocolates are excellent Christmas gift ideas for teachers, especially during the holiday season. Granted, hot drinks aren’t appealing gifts for teachers in June when school ends!
The mug pictured is a beautiful Christmas gift idea for any teacher – it’s a Grasslands Road “Deck the Halls” Teacher Mug.
If your teacher recently turned forty, read 40th Birthday Gifts for Women.
I welcome your thoughts and tips on these Christmas gift ideas for teachers.
Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me! Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.