Tag Archives: gifts

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

10 Things I’ll Never Live Down – Number One


Number One-

Our first Christmas as a married couple.  My husband lovingly wrapped my Christmas gift and put it under the tree.

I hate spoiling a surprise– like, really hate it, but my curiosity got the best of me and I picked up the gift to give it a shake.

It was flat and thin, and the only thing I could come up with was that my husband had gotten me a calendar for our first Christmas.  And I wasn’t sure what to think about that.  I mean, any time someone gives me a gift, I am very grateful, but I was hoping for something a little more personal than a calendar from my husband for our first Christmas.  And I really hoped it wasn’t a calendar.  I was beginning to go into a panicked “over-analyze” state of what it meant that he had gotten me a calendar.

Christmas Eve.  I was making lunch or something in the kitchen, and we were talking about the gifts we had gotten for each other- keeping everything a surprise until Christmas morning.

My husband says, “I tried to be really thoughtful.”

Hmmmm….I’m thinking.  Thin, flat…suddenly my brain flashes to commercials I had been hearing on the radio for weeks.

“I really hope you didn’t get me something goofy, like buy me a star.”

I was jesting.  All in good fun.  Because there was No.Possible.Way. that my hubby had registered a star in my name.  No.Way.

But I watched as his face fell.  And my heart broke.  Not only had I ruined the surprise, I felt like a two-cent piece with a hole in it (as my mom says).

So my hubs goes over to the tree, gets the package and hands it to me.  “Go ahead and open it,” he says, sadly.  So I did.  And it was a star registry.

Never in my life have I wanted so badly to laugh and cry in the same moment.  I felt like a jerk, but at the same time, I simply could not believe that he would spend money on something like that, although it very much did fit my idea of personal.  But for a hopeless romantic, I didn’t really buy into the whole star registry thing. We didn’t even own a telescope!

I thanked him and did my very, very best to make up for my gaff.  And I’m still trying.  And I still feel like a jerk when I think about it.  And we still don’t own a telescope.

Every single holiday or gift giving occasion since, my husband has handed me the gift with the following comment, “No, I did not get you something ‘goofy’ like a star.”  I can’t believe he still gets me gifts at all.  If I were him, I wouldn’t buy me anything.  From that first Christmas on, he’s given me some seriously amazing, thoughtful, helpful things.

I still have my star registry paperwork.  I still think he was being very thoughtful.  I still can’t believe he actually did that.  I’m so lucky to have him.

But I’ll never live it down.

Share with me: Have you ever ruined someone’s gift giving surprise?


Filed under Just For Fun