Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Teacher Gifts, Already?

Yes, it's that time of year again! The end of the school year is looming just around the corner. Sooner for some than others.

It hit me yesterday. My youngest son's last day of school in on Monday.

And not only did I not have any teacher gifts, I had no idea what to get!

I'm going to make a confession here... I hate buying teacher gifts! I never know what to get! And to top it off, I have so many that I need to get!

My youngest is three and has two teachers in his pre-K program. And not to be "cheap" but I don't really feel the need to go out and spend a fortune on each of the teachers. Plus, my oldest, in first grade, has three teachers I need to buy for. And I'm not even talking about "specials" teachers (like Art, Music, Gym, Spanish, etc...).

I'm a stay at home mom. We're a one income family. I don't have an extra $100 laying around the house to spend on teacher gifts.

So, I've been trying to think of teacher gift ideas that would work.

Obviously, there is the "Home Baked" gift. At Christmas time, each teacher received an assortment of cookies that I had made along with a coffee cup and some coffee. I thought about baking something, but seriously -- I have so much going on right now, baking is pretty far down the list of something I'd want to do, let alone have time to do.

Then, there is the Home Made gift. I'm not crafty. I can't draw or sew. My sister is a wonderful potter with her own kiln so her daughters always get home made pottery. And my mom can sew like nobody's business. I have some really lovely purses that she made for me. Perhaps I should have her start making some now for next year? I do knit, but time is of the essence here and I just didn't think far enough in advance to knit something up for them. And again, I have too much going on right now to do something I'd be happy with giving as a gift. Note to self: begin knitting Christmas gifts NOW.

Logically then, we're moving on to something store bought. I could do a gift card of some sort, but honestly, I always feel a bit cheap giving a gift card for less than $10. And where do I get it from? Not everyone drinks coffee (gasp!) or shops at the same shops as me. So, while they are great if you know the teacher a bit better, I just don't.

Of course there are some things I could do, like lotions and candles, but they just don't do it for me. I did consider a potted plant and may have to remember that one for later.

In the end, I decided on something I'd like to get. You see, I am a reusable shopping bag junkie. I loved these bags suggested by Charlene from the Shine staff, but again -- the whole "time" issue with ordering and all. So I began my search for a reusable shopping bag that was nice enough to use as a pre-school teacher gift.

I had to go to Harry's Farmer's Market this morning (Whole Foods) and I saw these adorable bags. At $7.99 they were a bit more expensive than the $.99 ones, but they are bigger and more substantial.

I bought a bar of my favorite, Lindt Chocolate and wrapped them up with ribbon.

So, what do you think?

And any ideas for teacher gifts for my son's First Grade Teacher, his Reading Teacher and ALP teacher would be greatly appreciated. I have 2 more weeks to prepare!

This post originally posted on Shine!

Sam's last day was yesterday and the teachers loved the bag! Apparently, I'm not the only "reusable bag junkie" out there!


  1. Ooh, that's a great idea! I too hate trying to come up with teacher gift ideas. How many school/apple themed items do they have or want anyway?

    My daughter has four teachers and my son has six. I ended up at Michaels Craft store and purchased really nice looking sets of sticky-notes. Each package had two different designs and the teachers have all professed to loving them. I found them in the discount bins for $0.50 each! Perfect for my shoestring budget!

  2. Wow. I wasn't aware that teacher gifts were needed. Although I see why they're important...Just one more thing to add to my future to-do list.

    Great job, btw. Love the idea of the bags :) And even if they don't use them for shopping, teachers always needs more bags. You could also try the $1 stuff at target. That stuff rocks :-D

  3. So things sure have changed from when my kids were in public schools! We only got for the teacher at Christmas. I don't remember anyone giving a 'gift' to the teacher at the end of the year. Maybe the music teacher after a performance. And since they get sooooooooo many gifts during the year (1st day, Christmas, Teach Appreciation Week, Last Day) from 20-30 students, what to buy them?????? Mimi girl, you will have to get crafty dear if you want to survive the next 12 years of giving gifts! LOL....sounds like the bags were a hit!


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