Simple Last Minute Holiday Gifts for Teachers

Simple Last Minute Gifts for Teachers

As the school year ends or around winter break time, it’s customary to give gifts to teachers as a token of appreciation. Teachers do so much and any opportunity to say a thank you, is very important. Here are a few simple ideas for gifts for teachers that are easy to pull off and will be appreciated.

In gift-giving the most important ingredient is the intention. Any gift that is given with love and sincerity reflects the emotion. Before you give a gift, be considerate of the needs of the recipient: are there any allergies? Will this be useful? Does my child’s teacher really need another cup for coffee?

I include my daughter in the gift preparation process to teach gratitude and to reflect on how important that person is in our life. Along with her room teachers, we also include the staff at her school such as front desk, principal, vice principal and the music teacher.

Budget is an important factor in gift giving. Thoughtful gifts however usually don’t cost a lot. If you put a little thought into the needs of the recipient, you can stay well within budget and give a memorable gift.

Here are a few simple ideas for gifts for teachers that don’t take a lot of time. These are so simple, that if you have the time, you can combine a couple.

Hand-made Card:

Give your child some art supplies and paper and create some beautiful hand-made cards. I ask my daughter to imagine the person she is making the card for and what they would be doing. The result is always interesting. I also ask her to write a “Thank you” and her name inside. Younger kids can draw and older kids can write as much as they can to personalize the gift.

I make my daughter think of ways we are thankful for the person we are giving the card to and add her own words inside. If your budget is small, hand-made cards are always appreciated and when they come with words from the children themselves they become truly memorable.

Coffee Gift Card:

Coffee gift cards make a great gift because everyone loves tea/coffee and most places also have yummy snacks to go with them. No budget is big or small. A card whether of $5 or $25 will be used. You can add a note with the card saying “Hope you enjoy a cup of coffee and some moments of rest that you so deserve” to make the gift more meaningful. This is also an easy gift to pull off. I went through our local Starbucks drive thru and got the gift cards without even leaving the car.


Unless there are any specific allergies everyone loves some chocolates! Best to stay away from nuts to be safe though. Add a note and you’re done!

Holiday Gifts for Teachers

Home-made meal:

Now this may require a bit more time, but you can make some extra portions when you prepare dinner for your own family and give this as one of the most memorable gifts for teachers! A couple of years ago a teacher at my daughter’s preschool was very fond of south asian cooking so I decided to make a home-made meal for all the staff. I asked about allergies and food preferences before hand. Keeping it simple (by desi standards), I made Afghani Pulao and Potato Cutlets. I put portions for all the teachers in Tupperware and mentioned all the ingredients by sticking a note on the top. The effort was well worth it when a teacher told me that this was the best gift she had received in the 15 years of teaching preschool.

Picture message:

If you have a picture of your child with the teacher, make a collage through the many phone apps available. I use Pic Collage and PicMonkey. Add some text to the picture and send it off for printing. I use the phone apps by Costco and London Drugs. That way I get notified when the print is ready and just need to go pick it. Teachers love having a personalized note and picture with their students for the memories that last many years later also.

[Read Also: Seven Simple Rules of Re-gifting]

So here were a few simple ideas for gifts for teachers. If you have more time, here are some fun ideas I picked from some of my favorite blogs:

A handmade journal by Smitha Katti of Smiling Colors

6 great teacher gift ideas by Salma Dinani Dewji from The Write Balance

Snowman candybar wrappers by Amanda Boyarshinov from The Educators’ Spin on it