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Top Gifts for Teachers

Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2023
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
Gifts in front of chalkboard with teacher gifts written in chalk on chalkboard

Gift-giving can brighten up a person’s day! It is a great way to say thank you to America’s great educators.

Saying thank you:

Giving a teacher a holiday gift is not compulsory, but it is a splendid way to thank important educators for all they do at this special time of year. Note that gifts should be given with the best intentions in mind and never be used as a bribe.

Is it legal to give teachers gifts?

During the holiday season, teachers often receive small gifts from students. This is perfectly acceptable in most cases. Group gifts, whereby money is pooled to give to teachers, are trickier. Bear in mind that some group gifts may exceed allowable gift limits or come with stipulations, such as the inability to name individual gift contributors. Note that most public employees generally do not accept gifts valued at $50 or more.  However, since gift giving policies are dependent upon laws and school regulations, do check your school district’s gift-giving policies before proceeding.

It’s not a competition!

Giving teacher gifts is not a competition to see who can make or buy the best presents. Rather, it is a kind gesture to let teachers know that they are appreciated. Teachers understand that not all families have the resources to contribute gifts. For this reason, group gifts are often discouraged. Should group gifts be permitted, those collecting funds should not pressure students to contribute. Additionally, students who cannot participate should not be penalized, called out, or excluded.

What are the best gifts?

Should you choose to give a teacher a solo holiday gift on behalf of your child, here are some inspiring gift ideas besides the standard candle or mug:

  • A handwritten note stating why your teacher is special. (This one is free & highly prized!)
  • A creative poem written just for them (Also free & highly prized!)
  • Small gift cards to any of the following: coffee shops, convenience stores, grocery stores, art supply centers, gas stations, home improvement stores, hair and nail salons, department stores, bookstores, restaurants, Amazon, and more
  • Holiday ornaments; homemade or purchased
  • Blank notecards or paper crafted goods such as gift tags
  • Portable makeup mirror
  • Tote bags or makeup travel bags
  • Comfy socks
  • Picture frames
  • Water bottles/tumblers/portable mugs that keep beverages hot
  • Assorted coffees or teas
  • Milk frother
  • Scarves
  • Hat and glove set
  • Hand sanitizer holder case
  • Throw blankets
  • Coasters
  • Charcuterie board items: dip mixes, cheeses, cured meats and more.
  • Assorted barbecue items: assorted bbq sauces, bbq tongs, bbq meat thermometer, spatula, etc.
  • Kitchen items: cutting boards, cheese spreaders, aprons, serving spoons, oven mitts, trivets, casserole dishes, measuring cups, kitchen timers, and more.
  • Mason jar gifts 
  • Succulent plants
  • Donate to a teacher’s favorite cause such as the ASPCA, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing animal cruelty.

From the heart

Classroom teachers, assistant teachers, librarians, specialty teachers, and all those associated with the teaching community perform important duties related to instructing and guiding our children. They foster creativity and encourage young people to think, learn, and thrive. And, along the way, they become mentors. Thus, it is only fitting to acknowledge their support, especially during the holiday season. Teachers don’t work to receive gifts. However, they do appreciate knowing that they are appreciated. Gifts don’t have to be bought. Nor do they need to be expensive. The best ones just need to come from the heart.

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