Whether your budget is $0 or $100, Natalie has a great holiday gift for your child’s teacher or favorite school employee. From cute DIY ornament ideas to luxury gifts, there is something your child’s teacher will love. If you need a thoughtful Christmas gift for a teacher, teacher assistant, or bus driver there are great presents at any price.
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Hey, it's Natalie and welcome back to Primary Focus.
Before we get going, make sure you like this video and subscribe to my channel. Honestly, this is my favorite type of video. I love a good gift guide. I think gift giving might be one of my love languages. I try to be really thoughtful. I even keep notes throughout the year when I think of good gifts for people
well, I do the same for these videos and I have collected some of the best tips from my own experience teaching, things I've thought of throughout the year, and of course submissions by you all for some great gifts this holiday season.
If you're with me so far, make sure you like and subscribe to this channel.
I'm mixing up my video this time and breaking it down based on budget from your zero dollar budget all the way up to 100 bucks.
But before we get going, I've got a couple of general tips. The first is, send in your Christmas card. It is so cute. When I was teaching, I loved getting a copy of Christmas cards, and honestly, they looked pretty nice on my wall, so I often hung them up around my desk.
It's just really fun to see because we know your child in the school setting, but we don't always see them out in the wild So getting that picture of the whole family together looking nice is just really sweet to see.
My next tip is if you have your act together and you can send in your holiday gift a few days before winter break starts, you're gonna make life a little bit easier for the teacher.
That last day before winter break is really chaotic, there's usually a lot going on, some sort of class party, a lot of holiday spirit, you don't want your gift to accidentally be left behind or forgotten on their desk. If you can send it in a few days earlier when their mind's a little more clear, that impact is gonna go further.
The next thing I'll say is label your gifts well.
if your gift has multiple pieces, maybe you've got a card, a gift card, and a chocolate bar, for example, just make sure you've written your child's name on all of the pieces so that they know that it was from you., if you're worried that the teacher didn't get the gift, you can always check in or maybe email the morning of and say Hey, my child's coming in with a little treat for you. Make sure that they give it to you. And that way you can at least get confirmation that it made it from the backpack onto their desk.
If your school has a PTA or Incredible Parent that is organizing things, your teacher might have a gift guide that they filled out at the beginning of the year. It can make it so much easier for you to filter through and see what kind of gift you'd like to give.
I've heard feedback on some of my other gift guides that I've made that people feel uncomfortable asking a teacher what they want. And I agree. I think asking anybody what do you want is, is really uncomfortable. They have no concept of what your budget is, your time constraints, or if this is a trick question maybe you've already bought a gift.
So what I would do instead is narrow this question down. What kind of chocolate do you like? Do you ever wear hats? What's a favorite restaurant you like?
Things like that. Just get it a little bit more specific. And then these questions might not feel as uncomfortable because you can kind of sneak them into normal conversation or just throw it at the end of an email.
If your focus is getting a gift that they will actually use or enjoy, then I think it's worth it to ask the questions.
You don't have to get a gift, you don't have to spend money. This video that I'm making is fun and completely optional. The best gift of all is an involved parent or an involved student that is invested in their education.
Okay, a zero dollar budget. All you've got is your time and your love.
So let's talk about writing the perfect card to a teacher. This is the format. You're going to start with something kind, a memory, and end with good wishes. For example, you might start off and say, Dear Miss Natalie, Hope you're having a happy holiday season. Do you remember the one time in class that there was cupcakes and we all smiled and had a nice time?
That was such a good day. I hope that you have a really nice break, with love, and then your name.
I think handwritten cards are really nice. And if you're a parent writing this, having your child write the card, even if you cheat and you have them just copy it, that's okay.
Moving into those DIY projects.
Before you spend a lot of time and energy making something, you need to manage your expectations. Another comment that I get a lot, and in particular from people that seem to still be students, is that they feel like teachers don't appreciate the special gifts that they make them.
And that breaks my heart.
If you're going into this hoping that whatever you're giving will become your teacher's prized possession, don't do it. But if you are going into this showing them that you care and to make them smile and feel good, then I think you're good.
A couple of do's and don'ts for this. Your time is money. this project feels frustrating to you or you don't have time, don't do it. Do not push one more thing into your holiday season that does not fit in.
I'm not much of a DIYer, but having received a lot of DIY gifts, here's what I think. Teachers like things that are useful.
They don't have a lot of counter space, so if its purpose is just decor, it should be small or something that can hang on the wall easily. If it hangs on the wall easily, please give them something to hang it up with, like the command strip
one type of DIY gift I loved getting this time of year were DIY Christmas ornaments. I have a ton of ornaments I receive from students over the years that I love because they're like a sweet memory that I revisit every single year.
Let me show you a couple.
This is a nice crocheted snowflake that I had made by a student. I think it's so cute. I also really like it because it's lightweight, so it doesn't weigh down the tree. This one, one of my kindergartners gave me. I'm not exactly sure what this is called, but it's like a craft kit where you melt together the plastic, almost like a shrinky dink, but clearly it didn't shrink.
But it's a cute little candy cane. This one I actually think is the coolest. One of my students, and I think his mom might be watching, hello, he was in Lego club and made me this really cool poinsettia ornament.
I thought that this was really cool and clever. Also, this student was really into Legos and into design it felt really passionate, like, oh, this is a little piece of him. It's not just a random craft, it's something that was important to him too.
So I thought that was really nice.
my last free idea was submitted by a newsletter subscriber. This person suggested that you take some of your free time to volunteer in the school or in the classroom.
First you want to reach out to the teacher or if you have another part of the school like the library you want to volunteer and reach out to them too. And you're going to send an email saying that your gift this year is volunteering to do something special.
Alright, let's jump into our next tier, which is going to be your 5 20 gift.
Let's start simple. A lot of people love to do like a 5 buy you a coffee gift card. I think that is super cute. It is easy. It is budget friendly. If you're doing five bucks, I would do Dunkin Donuts over Starbucks because there's so much cheaper.
If you own a business with different products or you have a close friend that owns a business, this could be a really cool time to give a unique gift. I think people always love to support locally owned small businesses. So why not let somebody shine bright?
Local baked goods are so good . I would try and bring that in a few days early. You'll find a lot of teachers are on the first flight out as soon as winter break hits. and of course we wouldn't be talking about gifts if I didn't talk about gift cards. Even though people think they're impersonal, I think gift cards are a fabulous gift at any dollar amount. Most often to places like Target, Amazon, Starbucks, and Panera Bread. Well, for me it was Panera because there was one right next to my school. Maybe you can find something fast casual that makes sense for this.
And then, of course, a Christmas ornament.
So, if you don't want to DIY a Christmas ornament, buying a nice Christmas ornament is on theme with this time of year. Of course, you do want to make sure that the teacher celebrates Christmas.
If you're not sure, you could hold off on this. You could ask them if they have a Christmas tree in their home, or you could try to get something that feels more multi purpose, like if you got a nice glass one, and a suction cup, they could hang it in a window, and it doesn't feel like it has to be an ornament.
Get one that represents the school, like the mascot.
Or you could custom print one with a class picture on it,
I had a submission from one of my Instagram followers, she's a teacher. She got a stay at home movie night, and I thought that was really cute. She said it was a big thing of nice popcorn, and then it was a red box gift card so that she could access free movies using the code.
And I love that because a lot of teachers, when they're in their off time, they just melt to the couch. So treating them to an at home movie night is cute and also pretty inexpensive to put together.
If you're enjoying this so far, make sure that you like this video and subscribe to my channel. You can also join the fun in my weekly newsletter where I dive deeper into child development and tips to help your kids thrive in school.
all right for people that want to start treating their teacher. Let's talk about the 20 to 50 dollar bracket First of all, thank you. This is a very large gift and if you're willing to give a gift this size, I think that is very kind to spoil a teacher.
The easiest thing that you can do is up that gift card amount. If you want to get a Visa gift card, this is great for gifts that are 20 and up. I think a Visa gift card is Better for a higher dollar amount just because it's harder to shop with those online. I would usually save those for a bigger purchase.
If you want to do a DoorDash or Postmates gift card, I think it's also better at these higher amounts, since with all the fees, you're not gonna get an order for under 30 bucks a lot of the time.
If you want to give something different than a gift card, but you're not exactly sure what to do, I think a ticket to a local attraction could be a lot of fun. I live near the National Whitewater Center in North Carolina,
this is a really cool outdoor adventure park, but there's also a restaurant there, even if you're not particularly active, there are a lot of fun, interesting things that you could do. one time I had somebody give me a pass there, and it was just such a great gift, because it was saying like, hey, we acknowledge that you have a life outside of school, and we want you to relax a little bit.
This place is a little bit pricey to go to, so why don't you have a ticket on us?
If you pick out something like this, make sure it's something you can redeem at any time and it's not set into a specific date or a specific month.
Alright ballers, let's talk about a 50 100 budget.
This one came from a newsletter subscriber and they said, Dinner for two somewhere nice. That is so thoughtful, because a lot of times teachers are on tight budgets and they're not going to treat themselves to these nicer restaurants. A lot of the food related gifts that we do get are more related to fast casual dining, which, believe me, is appreciated.
Everyone loves it. free meal. If you want to go ahead and get a gift card to that new spot in town that is so generous. This next one, I put in the 50 to 100, but I think you could swing it in at 20 to 50, depending on what you get.
And this is something from their alma mater.
If you know where the teacher went to college, a nice t shirt, sweatshirt, or a winter hat is a really nice gift. Teachers tend to like wearing college gear because it reminds kids about going to college, and a lot of times schools will have kind of theme days where they ask teachers to wear clothes from their alma mater.
I understand asking for clothing size can feel a little uncomfortable, but if you feel comfortable doing it, I don't think it hurts to ask.
If you don't want to, generally, I would size up on clothes like this. I think people go for more of a baggy look. And maybe give a gift receipt as well.
Alright, and now for those gift cards, I think you could give a luxury gift card, maybe to a department store. department stores are great here because they tend to have a variety of items.
If you see them wearing a specific brand like, I know Rothy's shoes are really popular with teachers. Those fall under your 50 to 100 range, so you could get them a gift card and say, Hey, go get a fresh pair of shoes. I know your feet are tired.
If you live in a cold environment, heated gloves for recess or a heated neck warmer. Oh, those are such nice gifts, if it's cold where you are, and you know that they have to go stand outside no matter what the weather is, oh, that is a great gift.
I want to close off here with wine. Now, when it comes to wine, I hesitate for two reasons. The first is, if you live in the United States, you are dealing with some legal issues about buying wine. I've talked about this in other gift guides. The other thing I'm going to say is you might be excited to buy somebody a 50 to 100 bottle of wine. The recipient might not know that's what it costs or that it's special. So if you want to drop some money on wine, I would pick something with some name recognition, or what you can do is explain in the card why this is a special winery, or why this is gonna taste so good, just some information so that when they do open it, they understand what they're drinking.
And now I want to hear from you. Have you given a great teacher gift?
Maybe you're a teacher and you've received one. Don't gatekeep on it. Drop a comment below and let us know what you got.
Thanks for watching Primary Focus. My name's Natalie. See you next time.