A Holiday Gift Guide: Because Teachers Have Enough Coffee Cups

I feel as though there’s an issue floating around during the holidays and I need to address it.

Teacher gifts.

februaryMy friend Laura and I attended our annual holiday craft fair only to realize that crafters were advertising their items as great teacher gifts. One lady was selling dish towels with an attachment to hang on your oven handle and tried to play it off as a great gift item. Nothing says thanks for teaching my kid algebra like a dish towel. I felt the need to correct her, but my mother was with me and I was not in the mood to be called by my full name and bring my family shame. Laura and I continued our shopping while only making comments under our breath and not out loud to the general public. I’ve decided to address the issue of teacher gifts in the most appropriate way I know how, a sarcastic blog post:

A Holiday Gift Guide According to Actual Teachers.


Things we don’t actually want.

Anything involving teacher sayings, symbols, or supplies is probably the worst. How do I put this gently…… they’re tacky and we don’t want them. I have elementary flashbacks when I see these items and I don’t want them cluttering my desk.

Coffee cups Yes, we drink a lot of coffee, but if you had our job, in a building that bans alcohol you would understand the high levels of caffeine consumption. With this said, we have more coffee cups than we need. One visit to the hurry up and pee break room and you will see the graveyard of cups of Christmas past. One year I was given the same cup and hot chocolate combo pack three times. I now know the value of my teaching is roughly $5.99 plus tax.

Starbucks gift card – I achieved gold status without every paying a single dime for a cup, that’s all I will say.

Fuzzy Socks Maybe it’s my personality that says otherwise, but I don’t want these. None of us do. We only wear silly socks because our bosses told us we could wear jeans if we participated in spirit day. One year I was gifted multiple pairs, when one was too many.gifts-we-dont-want

Baked Goods unless you’re a trained chef we don’t want your baked good. I won’t go into details here, but it involves cat hair.

As seen on Pinterest The success/failure rate on this one leans strongly one way and I’ll let you guess which one that is.

Gift Card Wreaths When you give this gift to your child’s teacher, the other teachers will instantly hate her. A coworker who will remain anonymous (Starts with J rhymes with penny) got one of these for teaching the dumb gifted kids. It’s been 2 years and she stills comments “I still have cards to use”. Like whatever man. I got 3 coffee cups and 2 pairs of fuzzy socks so suck it. Your teacher will love this gift, but she will be a marked woman from here on out and I don’t think you want that for her.

Bath and Body Works products or anything of the like. Unless you know a brand we use, avoid the whole lotion and body product gift sets all together. We’re not 14.


Gifts we actually do want:

Lunch- Bring us lunch from anywhere outside the building and we will cry tears of joy. This is a gift only awarded to us on workdays and professional development. Oh and when we take a half day for a 4:00 dentist appointment.

Gift cards to places we like This is a general rule with all humans, but gift cards to a decent dinner means a lot. Most of us have a tight budget and we’re grateful for gift cards we will use. Just don’t put them on a wreath or we lose all our friends. Maybe just put them in 25 envelopes and we’ll call it advent!

Items that make your kids face light up when they give it to us. The ones that they picked out and they are just bursting at the seems to give us. Those are the gifts we love.


Cold hard cash- I hear this is the norm at fancy private schools and this would pretty much be ok with all of us. No cups, no candy, no cards. Just some cash to say, Thanks for teaching my kid to read and become a somewhat productive member of society.

We know you wish you could bring us alcohol and we do too. This is where a well written suggestive thank you card and some cash go a long way.

Bring us a chick-fil-a biscuit and coffee. We are all terrible breakfast eaters, but we’re hungry and this would make us be the envy of all the teachers in the land.

Old School Thank You Note- Words matter and we don’t hear the positive ones enough when it comes to our job. So take a few minutes and have your kid write us one. You can too. We will even take a nice e-mail to greet us in the morning from the electronic box of doom.

So as you look for that gift to thank a teacher for teaching your kid and you “new math”, think outside the box a little.


Have a gift to add to either list? Let me know about it!


One Response

  1. Kelly R Smith
    | Reply

    I love this and need this. I send three kids to school and spend most of December worrying that I will give a stupid gift to their precious teachers. I think I’ll hold on to this one to review for the next sixteen years of teacher gift-giving.

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