Here’s What Teachers Really Want For Christmas — And What Parents Should Avoid

Updated December 11, 2017

With winter break finally just around the corner, it's important to know what your kids' teachers really want for Christmas -- and what you should avoid. Keep reading for more details!


Most schools are about to close for winter break any day now, which means parents all over the country are scrambling to figure out what their kids’ teachers might want for Christmas.

While not totally expected, Christmas gifts are certainly a welcome gesture for hardworking teachers, who put up with your kids day in and day out for the entire school year.

Even as parents, we know teachers in this country are typically underpaid and underappreciated, so when the holidays come around, many of us want to make sure we show our appreciation with the perfect gift.

So, what do teachers want? And, more importantly, what should we avoid buying altogether?


Buy supplies for the classroom. It’s shocking that the people shaping the next generation are still expected to pay for their own classroom supplies, but they are! To ease the burden, buying a few supplies and books for the class would certainly be a welcome gift.

Write a note. A heartfelt card is just as important as any other gift, so if you’re low on cash, an honest thank-you note will more than suffice. It’s true what they say: it’s the thought that counts!

Make a personalized gift basket. While gift baskets can often seem lame or generic, putting one together that aligns with a teachers interests is actually perfect. Rather than buying a lotion set you saw on sale, try finding out what your kid’s teacher likes to do in their spare time.

Volunteer. Again, sometimes teachers want nothing more than a little extra help. That’s why offering to volunteer is such a great gift for any occasion. Even if you’re just running to the library to make copies, teachers really need all the help they can get.

Buy a gift card. Nothing says “I appreciate you” like cold, hard cash, but that would be a pretty tacky gift. With that said, a gift card is an awesome idea. If you aren’t sure where the teacher shops, you can pretty much never go wrong with an Amazon gift card.


Buy a lame coffee mug. Nothing screaming unoriginality quite like a generic coffee mug—except one that says “World’s Greatest Teacher” on it. While it’s a sweet idea in theory, so many parents buy teachers coffee mugs that they really can’t keep up. If you are buying a mug simply because you know how much this particular teacher loves coffee, perhaps buy a gift set from their favorite coffee shop instead.

Buy Lotions or beauty products. Unless you know exactly which scents/products the teacher uses on a regular basis, it’s probably not a wise idea to gift any beauty products or lotions. Aside from personal taste when it comes to scent, the teacher may not even be someone who uses lotion or whatever beauty product you buy.

Gift a candle. Again, this is completely a personal taste problem. People are super picky about the candles they like to have in their home. Plus, many people just don’t use candles. Unless you’re OK with your candle becoming a re-gift, you might want to rethink purchasing it in the first place.

Pick up a generic gift basket. While well planned gift baskets are amazing, there’s nothing worse for a teacher than receiving a gift basket they’ll never use. Not only do they have to lug the whole thing home, but they probably already have seven just like it sitting in the trunk of their car. Unless you know exactly what the teacher likes, don’t waste your money on one of these baskets.

Go anywhere near the apple theme. There’s no teacher out there that hasn’t received something apple-themed. While it may seem like a cute thought, it’s a bit overdone at this point.

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