For the past few years, we've given Hannah's teachers tickets to "The Nutcracker" as a Christmas gift, which in kind of win-win, since she's in the show and always wants her teachers to see her.
Jack's get gift certificates to their restaurant or other eatery/drinkery of choice (Sonic, Starbucks, etc.), which has gone over pretty well.
If you're still trying to decide on teacher gifts, here's a little thing I wrote a few years back that might give you some ideas:
WHAT DO TEACHERS WANT FOR CHRISTMAS? READ ON
Tuesday, December 13, 2005 (The Wichita Eagle)
I have a love-hate relationship with teacher gifts.
Love, because I truly cherish my children's teachers. I wish I could walk into their classrooms like Oprah Winfrey, happily showering them with gourmet foods, laptop computers, new cars and, of course, glue sticks.
But I hate the teacher-gift conundrum: Nothing seems good enough (least of all, my budget). And I'm always torn between the practical and personal: What do teachers really want?
Last week, I asked several teachers to forget the aw-shucks, it's-the -thought-that-counts mantra and give me the straight scoop on gifts. (Note: Their names have been withheld to protect their humility.) Here's what they said:
-- "I have enough teacher ornaments ('#1 Teacher!') to open my own gift shop! Teachers have a life outside the school environment."
-- "I love to receive movie passes, restaurant gift certificates, body lotions and gift cards to places like Wal-Mart, where you can buy items for the classroom."
-- "Many of those 'teacher things' (mugs, ornaments, etc.) are very cute, but if you have been teaching for any length of time at all. . . . You can do the math. Pretty soon, they're not all that cute."
-- "For me the best gifts are from parents who take the time to notice things about me and get to know me. . . . Last year I had a mom who noticed that I drink coffee, and she gave me a Starbucks gift card. That was fabulous ."
-- "Most middle school and high school teachers tend to be forgotten completely at Christmastime. I suppose it is because the child has several teachers, and parents tend to not be as involved at those levels."
-- "If kids feel they have to give me something, (I ask that they) give to a charity in my name. I also suggest that they take a name off of the Angel Tree instead of giving me a gift."
-- "I like gift cards from Barnes & Noble, Borders and Superior School Supply. The books I buy are then used to supplement classroom collections."
-- "I love homemade treats, because I don't have time to do much holiday baking."
-- "Just a heartfelt card or note to tell us we are appreciated is wonderful."
-- "The 'World's Greatest Teacher' plaque, pin or paperweight is great for a first-year teacher, but after that, enough is enough."
-- "Gift cards to bookstores are great. I always buy a book for the classroom and let the child know that I did that. Gifts to charity or organizations in my name are also well received."
-- "The most useful gifts are gift certificates to movies, restaurants or bookstores. The most meaningful gifts to me, though, are the ones that the kids make themselves. Even a simple card is very much appreciated if it's homemade."