End of term is nearly upon us and, whether you embrace the Christmas period with open arms, or find the whole thing acutely stressful, there’s no avoiding it – at some point you’ll probably find yourself gift shopping.
With most of us focused on what to give to friends and family, if we’re completely honest, buying a Christmas gift for your child’s teacher might have slipped your mind.
The spend on a teacher’s Christmas present can range from £5, all the way up to £30. If you have more than 1 child, the total bill can add up pretty sharpish. Then there’s the pressure of coming up with an original gift idea.
Fortunately, we have two teachers in our Koru Kids team on hand to help our after school nannies - so we thought we’d get their advice! Reassuringly, they wanted to stress that simple gestures go a long way when it comes to feeling appreciated, and parents certainly shouldn’t feel pressured by their peers into buying expensive or extravagant gifts.
Stores like Flying Tiger Copenhagen, Muji and Paperchase do some unusual and quirky pieces of stationery including traditional rice paper, bound notebooks and notebook keyrings to keep to-do lists on. To take things up a notch, consider personalising the stationery by adding the teacher’s name onto the item. One of our teachers said: “I love useful presents. One year I received a set of pens that had my name engraved on them. I’m always complaining about my pens going missing - obviously Father Christmas was listening.” Personalising items doesn’t have to be limited to stationery either – how about keeping it festive with a personalized Christmas decoration from Etsy?
A non-monetary gift
If money or time to get to the shops is tight there are plenty of other ideas. For example, sparing some time to write a nice handwritten note emphasising how much you appreciate all their hard work is quite often the way to go. Our teachers agreed that receiving a genuine message in a card is just as important as a gift. As one said, “I still have the wonderful cards and drawings children made for me, and they are on my walls.”
Like anyone else, teachers want to feel valued and appreciated for all their hard work. We don’t all have the time to craft, but if you have some paint and brushes, the kids can have fun making their teacher a gift. Handmade kid-to-teacher pressies and personal creations are the ones that last. We loved this chocolate themed thank you idea:
Although it requires one parent to take the lead in coordinating a collection, the extra effort will mean a lot to the teacher and so a gift from the whole class is always well received. Great examples, a gift basket themed around your teacher’s favourite pastime, personalised items such as purses and stationery, or simply a gift card that everyone’s put towards.
If you’re up for going the extra mile, it could be something even more personal like a class photo or a photo album. One of our favorite ideas was a jigsaw made out of the class photo. The teacher loved it so much she framed it for her office wall.
A voucher is a great gift for those you know from afar, or who’d prefer to buy their own things. Do make sure your voucher is for somewhere your teacher would ordinarily shop, or somewhere varied items can be bought, like Amazon or One4all gift cards, which can be spent in most major retail outlets. M&S gift cards are also a nice option as it’s full of Christmas treats at this time of year.
Being a teacher is demanding and stressful. Perhaps buying your child’s teacher a voucher for a spa, or other beauty treatment may go down well. One great thing about spa day vouchers is that you can choose the treatments yourself, making it feel a little more personal.
The gifts that children, or more accurately their parents gift aren’t always practical, no matter how grateful the teacher is for the gesture. We’ve put together a list from the best and not-so-great, to the downright puzzling Christmas presents - straight from the teachers’ mouths.
5 of the not-so-great...
● ‘Mugs - there is literally no more space in my kitchen cupboards.’
● ‘An open and half-drunk bottle of wine.’
● ‘A box of biscuits that would have ordinarily been useful, had they not gone out of date two years prior.’
● ‘While I appreciated the gesture, receiving actual money in card made me feel all kinds of awkward.’
...and 5 of the best
● ‘Unicorn slippers!’
● ‘A wonderful thank you card’
● ‘Treatwell gift voucher. Which teacher doesn’t need pampering from time to time?’
● ‘I once got a personalised, collapsing lunch box, I love it so much I’ve used it ever since.’
● ‘A kid in my class once bought me a grow your own herb garden. I love cooking so the gift was particularly thoughtful.’