All I Want for Christmas – Teacher Edition

The following is a guest post by Contributing Writer, Staci.  Staci is a local resident and Middle School Teacher.  This is a follow up to a popular post she wrote for End of School Year Gift Ideas.  Maybe you’ll get a new idea for Christmas.  Or feel free to add your ideas in the comments below too!

I’m in my 10th year of teaching middle school. That’s 10 rounds of Christmas gifts and throughout that time, I’ve gotten some…um…interesting gifts!

Let me preface this post by saying that I’m not writing this as a wish-list of gimmie, gimmie, gimmie but it is merely some suggestions. Middle school presents a whole new set of circumstances. In elementary school kids have 1 or 2 teachers all day, but when they get to middle school they can have up to 8 different teachers! I know it’s overwhelming and can really add up…but it doesn’t have to!

With winter break fast approaching, here is a little bit of advice if you’re trying to decide on what to give to your child’s teacher.

  • DON’T feel like you have to buy for every teacher. One option is to spend a little more money on those teachers you feel put a little extra effort into your child and something smaller for the rest of them.
  • DON’T, for the love, give us a-noth-er mug!!
  • Oh, and filling it up with candy doesn’t make it any better!

So here’s some ideas:

Gift Cards

Honestly, you just can’t wrong with these. Ice cream card, gas card, grocery card, office supply card, iTunes, Target or Wal-Mart card. Honestly, any gift card you give will probably be spent on classroom anyways, so it’s an investment. My all time favorite gifts are Starbucks gift cards. Don’t feel bad for getting your teacher a $5 gift card. They add up!

Some local ideas: Dutch Monkey Doughnuts, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, or even consider something that the entire family can enjoy – like Mia’s Pizza & Eats or movie tickets.

Handmade Gifts (by you or the kids)

It just doesn’t get any cuter than some of these:

A:  Create a “Crayon Initial  Plaque” with this tutorial.

B:  Don’t negate practicality. I got one of these one year and use it to keep my place in my teacher’s edition book.  Here’s a great tutorial to help you make one.

C:  Here’s a great tutorial for making an ordinary (and cheap!) clipboard look worth much more than what you actually paid for it.

D:  I got one of these my first year teaching and still put it on my desk every year. This link is to the tutorial to help create your own.

“Fun” School Supplies

All teachers need paper. Why not spice it up and let your child pick out their favorite color or choose red or green with a coordinating bow.  Throw in some fun post-it notes or some holiday colored Sharpie’s, write a cute note and you can make a practical gift very cute!

Personalized stationary

I didn’t realize how much I actually liked this until I got it. Then I realized how much I actually used it.

A local shop: The Preppy Ladybug

Handcrafted Gifts (by a professional)

I just met “The Pleated Poppy” at the blogging conference I went to. She was handing out these homemade pins that she made. I would LOVE to get one of these!

Local Idea: Check out any of the shops inside Market 334.  It’s full of handcrafted funky finds, unique clothing, accessories & more!

Homemade goodies on a cute plate

You can get some really cute, cheap plates at Crate & Barrell or even Target.

Kitchen gadgets

Who doesn’t love kitchen gadgets? Why not put a bow on a nice grater with a note: Thanks for being a “grate” teacher.

Photo Source


This one walks a fine line. If your child’s teacher is young and dresses fashionable, then a pair of earrings from Forever 21, Charlotte Ruse, or Charming Charlie would be a hit.

Some Local ideas: Trinkets & Treasures by Mimi , AshieGoosh


There’s nothing worse than walking out of the building after a long day, seeing the rain and realizing you’ve left your umbrella in the car!  Between the carpool lane and the bus lane, we usually get stuck parking far away from the building, so on those rainy days it really stinks to forget your umbrella.  A teacher would love to have a cute umbrella that she could keep in her room for such days.

Need More Ideas?

Think of stuff you like – 31 Gifts, Scentsy Candles, good soaps, lotion & more.  For some local ideas, check out this list of locally owned “online” businesses.  What about for male teachers?  Those are a little harder sometimes, but again gift certificates could be a great idea or maybe something for holiday grilling!

Another local idea? Consider a gift certificate to Teacher Toys, just off the square.  He or she might just need to get some new things to start the year!  Or is your child’s teacher new to the Atlanta area or maybe they’ve lived her for a while but now they have young children of their own?  100+ Free & Cheap Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids is a great resource by a local blogger, Field Trips with Sue.

I hope this helps and alleviates any stress or concern about those Christmas gifts.  Honestly, we will appreciate anything you get us. I certainly didn’t go into teaching for the Christmas gifts! I love what I do and want to be the best teacher I can be.  I won’t love your child any less if you get me a “World’s Best Teacher” mug filled with leftover Halloween candy…just don’t be surprised if you see it in a garage sale!

Stay Connected with Staci


31 Gifts – Independent Consultant

Post linked to Top Ten Tuesday at

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  1. We have a huge selection of teacher gifts at Market 334! All handcrafted and affordable! Gift wrap included! Open 7 days a week 10-6 and Sunday 12-5.

    • We knew you would Kim! You made our list for finding handcrafted items locally!

      • Thank you so much for always supporting us!

  2. We got 2 tickets for Studio movie grill which includes a movie pass and a free drink…from Groupon 2 x 6 = $60.00 well spent and a night out!

    • Love movie passes – great for a night out. And most definitely can’t go wrong with pairing that with a Groupon deal. Good for you!

  3. These are great ideas and I have lots of teachers to buy for…thanks for linking up!

    • Awesome! Glad it helped!

  4. Thank you for the helpful ideas!

    • You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks for thinking of Mia’s! These are great ideas! As a teacher myself, I love getting the handmade gifts from the kids themselves (although I teach high school, so they come few and far between); those are the ones I cherish and keep in special places. Not that all gifts parents and children give aren’t appreciated with HUGE thanks. There is something about the handmade that just touches me.

  6. Woo Hoo! Thank you for including us (Menchie’s), we appreciate it. I remember reading the end of year version and using a couple of craft ideas, the crayons in particular, and this time the kitchen gadgets in the mitt is too adorable not to use, it would also make a cute shower idea or housewarming gift, or the 1st college apartment.

  7. Your gift ideas are awesome!! Your continued support to a local business is very much appreciated!! We love supporting our educators and so appreciate you!! We know how the economy has impacted everyone.. and with this in mind we will be giving a discount of 10% for all those who are part of the education system… and for those who will be buying for and giviing a appreciation gift this Holiday a discount of 10% off your purchases… Thank you to Mandi and Cumming Local for there support!! We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!! MiMi

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