How about all those teachers and/or caregivers? I personally struggle with this --not because I don't want to give a gift - but because I want to give a gift that they'll really love. So this year I've polled a bunch of teacher friends and family and compiled what I think is a pretty interesting list.
- A special card or note made by your child. Nothing makes a teacher more appreciated than hearing from one of their students directly!
- Homemade edibles. Homemade jam and a jam knife (perhaps even a funky vintage one picked up at a yard sale or thrift store). A pottery bowl full of homemade granola. A loaf of bread.
- Movie tickets for teacher and friend/spouse. I picked up some plastic move-style popcorn boxes in the dollar section at Target -- thinking it will make a cute package with some popped corn as filler; tickets and maybe even some Good N Plenty or other movie style candy.
- Anything handmade. A knit scarf. Mittens. Earrings. Whatever your craft is!
- A new plant for the classroom. Let's face it, January can be tough -- a lovely new plant might just help!
- A customized SIGG water bottle. One teacher friend said she loved getting one of these which included words selected by her class.
- A gift certificate. Give your teacher a treat. Pool resources with other parents and splurge on a gift certificate for a massage or dinner out.
- A magazine subscription. A year-long subscription to a magazine that features something your teacher loves -- gardening? crafting? running? Or, perhaps a subscription to a magazine that will benefit the classroom.
- A donation to a charity in your teacher's name. Is there a cause that is super important to your teacher?
- Parent coupons. Promises from you. Offer to help plan a classroom party. Lunch delivered for a week. A homemade ready-to-take-home dinner delivered at the end of the day. A commitment to help organize the room or help with a project. Be creative!
One of my favorite ideas came from my sister. Her school's PTA is creating (has created?) giving trees -- each teacher has put wishes (ranging from pencils to pillows for the reading corner) on the tree and parents are encouraged to purchase items off the list. In some ways this might not seem like a gift to the teacher -- but so many teachers spend lots and lots of their own money buying basic supplies like tissues, pencils, etc. that I believe the idea of not doing this would indeed be a gift!
Any other ideas out there? Please share!