Top Ten Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas (written by a TEACHER!)

Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas–> One of the biggest stressors of the Christmas season can be buying gifts for family and friends. Some are easy to buy for… and then there are some where you break out in hives just thinking about what to get them… you know…the brother-in-law, a teenage niece or nephew, and… your kids’ teachers.

Many a time I have asked myself, “What should I get for Teacher Christmas Gifts?!” Which seems a little silly since… I am a teacher! Nevertheless… at times I still struggle!

So… I asked myself… As a teacher, what would I want (or not want) for Christmas? What cheap Christmas gifts are acceptable? And do preschool & kindergarten teachers expect any different Christmas gift?

(*Please Note: teachers do not “expect” gifts, and a hand written note is wonderful, too!)

Or watch this video on YouTube here!

Let me start with: What NOT to get teachers for Christmas

Bad teacher gift ideas. Please, don’t give into the temptation to buy us:

1) another coffee mug (our cupboards are full) or
2) more Christmas knick knacks or ornaments (We have plenty… and the longer we’ve been teaching… the more we have.)

(Exception: If you happen to know your child’s teacher and find something you KNOW they would love… by all means… go for it. It is one more thing you can check off your Christmas to do list.)

I know, I know… right now you’re thinking, “How does this help?! Now I’m even more stressed out?”
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Okay here it is… This is what every teacher wants for Christmas:

What TO get–The Top 10 Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas (plus a few more!):

A vacation to Hawaii, extra snow days that don’t need to be made up at the end of the school year, the entire class to turn in their homework… on time!
Oh wait… you wanted practical ideas…

And that is the secret…. practical or consumable!

Gift Cards:

1) Any kind of gift card for a fun coffee, treats, or lunch: Starbucks, Caribou, or your local coffee shop, Cold Stone Creamery, Dairy Queen, Subway, McDonalds. (We teachers are like a pack of wolves when it comes to food. Any thing that is somewhat edible and ends up in the teacher lunchroom is sucked up quicker than a Lego in a vacuum cleaner.) An Amazon gift card is another great option…not much you can’t get on there!
Fun, new school supplies:

2) Fancy markers/Colored Sharpies
3) Post-it Notes & Blank Note Cards

4) Gorilla Double Sided Tape & Stickers (*Remember, teachers are school geeks that get excited when school supplies come out in the summer!)
Other Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas:

6) Fun smelling hand soap or hand sanitizer
7) Fuzzy or fun socks
8) If your child’s teacher/school has iPads: iTunes gift card
9) Amazonor other bookstore gift card
10) Candy or some other type of treat: if you don’t know… go with chocolate! Often it is chocolate or caffeine that get us through the day!
11) Get the teacher his/her favorite beverage (that won’t get your kid sent to the principal’s office) or favorite candy

If your child is old enough, have them do a little re-con work: get them to find out his/her teacher’s favorites… (good chance they’ll already know…)

One of my favorite gifts last year was when a student brought me a fountain pop from Holiday gas station and gift card for more… He had been paying attention and noticed that many-a-day there was one of those bad boys on my desk.

Tired of your Elf on the Shelf? Introduce a new tradition this year!!

Easy Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas for the Male Teacher

Let’s take a moment to discuss the hardest teacher to buy for… the MALE teacher! Keep reminding yourself… practical & consumable

1) Movie certificate taped to a box of popcorn
2) Something you can find at the checkout counter of your local hardware store: flashlight, inexpensive screwdriver or hammer, batteries
3) Duct tape
4) Car wash coupons
5) Gas gift card
6) Jar of peanuts or mixed nuts
7) Favorite candy/pop
(Note—A lot of these ideas would work for the female teacher as well!)

Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas for the Middle School Teacher

What about the Middle School teacher? Does my child need to bring in a present for one or all of them?

Your Middle Schooler (be careful not to call them a child… it offends them… but then so does the color of shirt you’re wearing today…) now has 4-6 (or more) teachers… that’s a lot of teachers to buy for! There is no hard and fast rule… some kids don’t bring in anything, some kids bring something in for their Homeroom or Advisory Teacher, and some bring in something small (like a candy bar) for each teacher. You get some wiggle room when your child… kid… gets to Middle School.

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But should I get them something more personal?

I know… some of you are thinking…a gift card or candy doesn’t seem very personal… Shouldn’t I try to make it special and find something to make from Pinterest?

If Pinterest is therapy for you and you’ve been pinning Christmas gift ideas since July, by all means… get your creative mojo on and make us something. We’ll be very appreciative! (I have gotten some stinkin’ cute gifts that were Pinterest inspired!)

However, if you’re like me and you know this path will end up with you up at 2am working with pipe cleaners, cardstock and Elmer’s glue…just save yourself the headache and get something from the list above. Remember we love chocolate and caffeine just as much!

Hopefully, some of these ideas will help alleviate the stress of Christmas shopping. And remember…that whatever gift your child brings, we will love it… because we love your kids! It’s why we teach! But hey… if you can swing a vacation to Hawaii or an extra snow day… I promise… your child will be his/her teacher’s favorite student…forever!


We have a COMPLETE INDEX of Elf on the Shelf ideas?? EVERY Elf on the Shelf Idea ALL in ONE place!!! It has:
– Uniform picture sizes
– Its ordered new ideas to old
– and you can even make a saved ideas list!
Find the complete Elf on the Shelf Ideas List HERE!!!

What do you think of these teacher Christmas gifts? What’s the best teacher Christmas gift you have given? Have any ideas to add? Please share below!

(Oh! And if you found this helpful, would you do us a favor and pin it or share it on Facebook so that other moms and dads can see it, too? THANK YOU! :) 

 – Beth
Best teacher christmas gifts

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