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8 Alternative Gift Ideas

Sometimes, coming up with just the right holiday gift for your child’s teacher can be a challenge. Here is someone who is responsible for your child for a good chunk of the day, inspires him or her to love learning, and someone we actually might know very little about on a personal level.

And so we play it safe with a coffee shop gift card, an apple-scented candle, or our personal favorite, a monogrammed mug. We’re not saying these are bad gifts, but they’re extremely common. So just for something a little different, and something your child’s teacher is sure to appreciate, here are 8 alternative gift ideas.

  1. Anything made by your child. It could be as simple as a hand-written note.
  2. A gift card to places like Amazon, Target, or the local school supply store.
  3. A gift the entire class can use. Ask the whole class to fill a large plastic bin with pencils, paper, dry-erase markers, crayons, and so on.
  4. Something personal, but not too personal. How about an iTunes gift card for the music lover, or ready to mix and bake cookies (complete with recipe) in a mason jar for the sweet tooth.
  5. Your talents. If you’re handy with a hammer, consider building a new bookcase for the classroom. Or sewing a new seat cushion for the teachers’ chair.
  6. Time with his or her family, like a gift card for the local movie theater or a miniature golf course – once the snow melts.
  7. A genuine offer to help out in the classroom. Imagine how easier your life would be if someone gave you an hour of their time once or twice a week? And if you can’t help in the classroom, see if there’s something you can do to help the teacher from home.
  8. A donation to a classmate in need. So many families struggle during the holidays and often can’t provide gifts for their children. Ask the teacher if there is anything you can provide to make someone’s holiday a little brighter. Just know that, more often than not, the teacher will not be able to tell you who the gift is going to.

Oh, and while you’re at it, consider a little something for the school nurse, too. Especially since most public school nurses are responsible for up to 750 students per year. Now if that doesn’t merit a special “thank you,” we don’t know what does!