Are you looking for that perfect gift for the teachers this holiday season? Most teachers have mugs and ornaments up to their eye balls. Unless they specifically ask for it, avoid the knick knacks. Instead consider these ideas:
1. Eco-Friendly: Buy a “Feed Bag” From the Feed Foundation - When you purchase this 100% organic cotton reusable grocery bag, your dollars will help give children a much needed healthy meal in schools across the world. You can stuff the bag full of goodies for teachers to use over winter break like lotions, soothing CD’s, slipper socks and DVDs. The Feed Foundation offers several bags and apparel items for many different budgets.
2. Inexpensive: Mix in a Jar - This is great option especially if you have a lot of people that you would like to give gifts to without breaking the bank. You can make these in bulk with inexpensive ingredients. To make it more economical, split the cost of the supplies with a friend. You will have fun putting them together and it goes much faster with more than one person helping. There are lots of ideas here.
3. Crafty: Monogram in Crayons - How cute would it be to have this hanging in your teacher’s classroom? This craft is simple and inexpensive but big on style. It makes a huge statement and let’s face it, you will be proud to see it displayed in the classroom for years to come.
4. Group Gift: Gift Card Tree- If you have a group of very involved parents, why not ask if they want to contribute to a group gift? Each person can send in a gift card of their choice and you can hang them with ribbon from a poinsettia or a specially designed gift card tree. The gift card trees are available at most craft stores.
5. Donation: Give to a Charity in Your Teacher’s Name - One positive thing you can do, especially at this time of year, is to donate. Most charities allow you to make gift donations in someone else’s name. Donate to a charity that reflects the teacher’s likes and interests. Another option is to donate a book to the school library in their name. Print up a certificate or write in a card saying that you made a donation in honor of them.
6. Made in Tennessee: Visit Räla - Räla is a downtown shop that specializes in “local and regional artisan wares.” It is a great place to browse and also to buy prints, ceramics, jewelry and one-of-a-kind items while supporting our local economy and artists. Located at 323 Union Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902, 865-525-7888
7. Books Without the Bulk: Nook and Kindle Gift Cards - Most teachers love to read. If you know that they have an e-reader, why not give them the gift of books? Barnes and Noble offers Nook gift cards and Amazon offers Kindle gift cards. Better yet, both places offer e-gift cards. Simply put in your information, pay and print. Voila, Instant gift and no cluttering up bookshelves!
8. Easy Last Minute Gift: Teacher Survival Kit - This is an easy idea that will give teachers useful supplies for the classroom. Items for the kit can include: pencils, pens, highlighters, paper clips, safety pins, individual antibacterial wipes, sharpies, band-aids, ear plugs (if you want to be funny) and small snacks like Hershey’s kisses. Place these items in a small divided bin or box that can be kept in or by their desk.
9. Shop the Markets - If you are still unsure of what to get those special teachers, check out The Southern Market located at 5400 Homberg Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919, 865-588-0274. The Southern Market is full of interior decorations, as well as jewelry and other gift-worthy items. Turkey Creek Public Market also has a wide variety of items such as handbags, candles, picture frames and more. You can find this market at 11221 Outlet Drive, Knoxville, TN 37932.
10. For the Classroom: Age Appropriate Books or The School Box Gift Card - Elementary school teachers have their own mini libraries in the classroom. You can add to their collection by giving your teacher an age appropriate book. To avoid buying duplicates, purchase new releases and of course, give a gift receipt. The School Box is a teacher’s dream store. It has every supply a teacher would need under one roof. A gift card to The School Box would provide your teacher with more money to make your child’s classroom great. They located 260 Morrell Road, Knoxville, TN 37919.
Robyn Marshall is a native Missourian who moved to Knoxville in 2010 after living in three other states. She is a stay-at-home mom to one son who is a first grader. In her spare time she likes to knit, be crafty and is forever trying to get caught up on all of the seasons of Dexter.