What Do Teachers Really Want for Christmas?


What Do Teachers Really Want for Christmas?

Before you start reading this post, I want to preface it by saying that teachers DO NOT expect gifts each year at Christmas. While they are a nice surprise, they are NEVER expected. Please don’t read this and feel like you have to run out and buy your child’s teacher something.

I’ve been teaching for 11 years, and when the Christmas season rolls around, I always find myself with a handful of gifts on my desk from my students. I’ve also seen many mom friends asking for gift recommendations for teachers over the years on Facebook, so I thought I would share some of my teacher wisdom.

What do teachers really want when it comes to Christmas gifts?

Gift cards

One of the best things you can get a teacher is a gift card. Restaurant gift cards, Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, you name it…they love gift cards. This keeps it very easy on you and your child’s teacher will be grateful. Even if it’s just a $5 gift card, they will love it. Gift cards are very loved in the world of teachers.

Classroom gifts

Ask your child’s teacher something they would love to have for their classroom! Teachers aren’t allotted much money to supply their classrooms each year, so most of the time they are spending their own money. Whether it’s baskets, cubby organizers, or supplies, teachers will be grateful for the help stocking their classroom.

Picture books

This is another thing to check with your child’s teacher about, especially if they teach elementary school. High quality, hardback picture books are worth their weight in gold in the K-5 classroom. It can be expensive to get a good collection of these, so ask them if there’s a certain book they want for the classroom.


Nice pens are another good gift for teachers. We use them constantly, and they have a sneaky way of disappearing every so often. I’ve never met a teacher who doesn’t love flair pens. They are a hot ticket item in schools.

Handmade goods

Over the years, I’ve had parents who are wonderful woodworkers make me signs, a beautiful tray for Santa’s milk and cookies, and more. Parents who are great with vinyl have made me the cutest personalized gifts. Parents who work at bakeries have given me beautiful homemade Christmas treats. Homemade gifts have been some of my favorites over the years.


I’ve received several ornaments over the years, and they all find a place on my tree each year. Whether your child’s teacher has a classroom tree or uses their personal one at home for ornaments, they will look back on them fondly each year as they decorate.

Personalized gifts

When I say personalized, I don’t necessarily mean something with the teacher’s name on it. If you know your child’s teacher is a big Georgia fan, they will love something with the Georgia logo on it. I love all things leopard print and Harry Potter, and over the years, I’ve had a handful of students get me things like a leopard print toboggan or Harry Potter mug. Teachers love things like this.

Like I said above, please don’t think your child’s teacher expects gifts at Christmas. I promise, they don’t. If you do want to get them a gift though, I hope this little list is useful for you!