Tag Archives: Christmas

Teacher Gifts- The 12 Days of Christmas


It’s the Christmas season, which means not only are you shopping for friends and family, but also for all the teachers in the lives of your children.

School teachers, Sunday school teachers, extra-curricular activities teachers, even coaches! Yep, they are probably all on your list.

Seeing as how I am married to a teacher and I was a teacher myself, I’m pretty sure that I am an expert in the area of “Teacher Gifts.” So let me help you out this year.

I wanted to do something special for my son’s teacher, but we live on a budget, so what did I do? I turned to Pinterest, of course. From there I was inspired, added my own touches, and came up with the Twelve Days of Christmas for Teachers.

The original inspiration came from this site, but I changed some of the gift choices and created my own gift tags.

My gift choices–


Twelve Days of Christmas for Teachers

  • Day 1- hand lotion
  • Day 2- gourmet chocolates
  • Day 3- popcorn
  • Day 4- dry erase markers
  • Day 5- cocoa
  • Day 6- glue sticks
  • Day 7- stickers
  • Day 8- pens
  • Day 9- Hershey Kisses
  • Day 10- monogram note cards
  • Day 11- gloves & chocolate
  • Day 12- candle and socks

Each gift will be wrapped and sent with a little note that includes a poem about that day’s item.

Here’s an example of one of the gift tag poems:

To stay in my seat is what you want me to do,

Sometimes you just might have to use glue!

None of the gifts included in this project cost me more than $5 each.

While some of the gifts match the number of the day that they are on (5 packages of cocoa for day 5, etc), not all of them do. That’s okay. As long as the poem you send on that day makes sense, it’s all good.

I went to the dollar store to purchase cute little gift bags (25 for $1). Add tissue paper and some ribbon, and each day holds a special surprise.

Your child can deliver a gift every day for 12 days, or you can package all of the items together into one large gift. I plan to let my son deliver a daily gift.

To use the gift tag poems I created, click below.

12 Days Gift Tags– click to print

This is an example of the gift tags with poems that I made. Click below to print.

This is an example of the gift tag with poem.

** Keep in mind that my son goes to a Christian school, so some of these poems do mention the Bible and God.

If you aren’t feeling up to doing the 12 Days, here are some tips when buying presents for teachers:

  • School supplies and items that can be used in the classroom are helpful because many teachers have to spend money from their own pockets to keep supplies in their classrooms. Computer paper is always great because it’s often not supplied by the school, and teachers print a lot of stuff.
  • If you have an “about me” page from your child’s teacher that includes things like favorite food, favorite candle scent, favorite restaurant, etc., don’t ignore that. Those papers are supposed to make your shopping life easier. For example, I know that my son’s teacher really likes Hershey’s chocolate, so I made sure to include that in the 12 Days.
  • If you have a little more money to spend, gift cards to movies and restaurants are ALWAYS appreciated.
  • If you really want to go all out, think a gift certificate for a spa day or a gift card to the mall or a clothing store.
  • If you don’t have a ton of money to spend, think about doing a $5 gift card to a place like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. A little treat can be a big deal. (These kinds of gifts work great for male teachers, too!)
  • Personalized stationary makes a great gift. Notepads or cards are great for sending notes home to parents or just jotting things down at school.
  • A nice pen is also a great gift. Teachers write. A lot.
  • Try to be intentional. Don’t go for the easy “apple”. Look for something that would make that teacher smile, like a desktop joke calendar.
  • Have your child write a note to the teacher expressing some kind personal thoughts about him/her. Many teachers save notes like this, especially as your child ages and the notes become fewer and farther between. I taught high school, and I still have a box of personal notes from students. They make my heart happy.

What NOT to give a teacher:

  • ANY KIND of jewelry or clothing, etc., that has an apple, a bus, a pencil, or any other teaching paraphernalia on it. Don’t do it. It’s not as cute as you think it is.
  • Ornaments. An ornament can be a nice gift, but teachers get a lot of ornaments. If you go for one that’s personalized or represents something special about that teacher, then it might be okay. But referring above, do NOT go with a school bus, a pencil, or an apple. Or an ornament with your kid’s face on it. See below.
  • A framed photograph of your child. No offense, but teachers are just like you– they don’t want random photos in their homes, and they certainly can’t display framed photos of your kid at school. Favoritism much?
  • Homemade goodies. Again, teachers tend to get a lot of these. More than they can eat. Most of it ends up in the trash.

Another teacher gift idea:

I wanted to do something cute for some of the other teachers in my boys lives, and once again, Pinterest inspired.

I decided to make these adorable Soap Reindeer.


Made out of washcloths, there’s a gourmet bar of soap inside each one. Cute, affordable, and still a treat.

I purchased the bars of soap at World Market ($3.99 each), where I happened to find peppermint vanilla fragrance. Perfect.

I also had to purchase the washcloths, googlie eyes, pipe cleaners, and red Rudolph noses. The entire gift was under $6.50 per person.

The original idea and tutorial for making them can be found here. Also included on that site are cute poems for the gift tag for this present.

I hope these ideas will help you this season!

Share with me: What cute or creative gift ideas have you found (for anyone) this season?

Real Signature


Filed under Parenting, Uncategorized

Ideas For Celebrating Advent With Your Kids

My oldest painted this nativity scene last year during the holiday season.

In our house, Christmas is a big deal. Decorations everywhere. Countdowns to the big day. Lots of excitement.

We’ve always stressed that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, even though we also have fun with Santa and elves and other holiday festivities. But this year, we wanted to do even more to stress the real meaning of the season.

This year, we’re going to celebrate Advent. 

While Advent calendars have been a part of Christmas for me since I was a child (the kind with 24 doors and a piece of chocolate behind each door), the celebration of the coming Christ always was, too.

We want to get excited about Christmas. We want our kids to be excited–but we want that excitement to build for the right reasons, fun included.

For some reason, our church no longer stresses Advent. There used to be the traditional candles, readings, and scriptures on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, but that tradition stopped for some reason a few years ago.

(**I’m please to say that since this post went up, our church brought back Advent!! What a beautiful ceremony filled with so much meaning, hope, and joy. So glad we can enjoy it as a church family.)

I want to bring it back, if only in my own home. So Advent is becoming a new family tradition.

If you’d like to celebrate Advent in your family, here are some great ideas.

The word Advent is a derivative of the Latin “coming,” focusing on the coming birth of the Christ. Traditionally, the season of Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas. (For 2012, Advent begins Sunday, December 2.)

To celebrate Advent, you can focus only on the four Sundays of the season, or you can incorporate a daily reminder of the coming Christ child.

In our house, we’re going to do a daily reminder, and light the candles on the Sundays leading up to Christmas.

Here’s what you need to celebrate Advent:

Candles– traditionally 2 pink, 2 purple, 1 white.

An Advent candle holder (Advent ring).

Scriptures to use during the celebration.

**I purchased my Advent ring and candles at Hobby Lobby. The ring was $9.99, the candles $4.99, with 50% off of each. I had some extra garland at home, so I wrapped it around the ring to make it a little more festive.

You don’t have to use an Advent ring or pink and purple candles. Advent is about the preparation of the heart, so any candles will do.

Scriptures: I found a great site that helped me with the scriptures and focus for the lighting of the candles each Sunday.

For daily focus, I found these great printable verses.

Extra Advent Fun

11 Frugal Advent Activities & Free Printables 

Free Advent Coloring Pages for Kids– Printables

Celebrating Advent: Lighting the Candles

Free Advent Jesse Tree Book from Ann Voskamp

Thriving Family’s Free Advent Activity Calendar

This SUPER amazing list of all kinds of Christmas FREEBIES compiled by The Better Mom

I pray that your family will receive joy and blessings as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Share with me: Are you adding any new holiday traditions this year? Do you have any other ideas on celebrating Advent?


Filed under Parenting

Celebrate His Birth

To all of my readers and friends, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

I hope you make memories with your families, enjoy your tried and true traditions, and make some new ones!

I pray that you will find the joy of the season as you remember that we celebrate the birth of a risen Savior who is active in our world.

Remember that he is HERE.

 Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men. Luke 2:14

Merry Christmas!

**I’ll be taking some time off from blogging for the holidays. See y’all soon!

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Filed under The Christian Walk