Coming up with holiday gifts for teachers sneaks up on me every year. I know it’s coming, but inevitably, I find I’m stressed out and rushing to get everyone taken care of at the eleventh hour. It’s partially because I want to do more than I am capable of doing during an already busy season and Pinterest is no help. All those ideas just lead to indecisiveness and then my ultimately deciding to keep it simple because time has run out. It also gets harder when you have a child in public school. As a parent, you are no longer involved in the daily routine, so knowing which teachers/people to do something special for becomes a challenge.
This year I’m determined to plan better and involve my kids in the decision around which teachers/people to include. This way I can avoid the awkward morning when I send my child to school with gifts in hand and I’ve forgotten to include the bus driver! In addition to my strategy for organizing holiday gifts for friends and family, here are my suggestions for organizing teacher holiday gifts.
First, outline who you will give to. Beyond your child’s primary teacher, are there others you should give a little something too? For school children, is there an assistant teacher, librarian, lunch lady, bus driver or perhaps even the gym teacher? For children in child care, do you want to include the Center Director, Assistant Director or enrichment teachers? This year, I created a list in Excel. In total we have four teachers, one bus driver, one lunch lady and one librarian (she runs a small group book club my daughter is in).
Second, decide what it is you will do. Are you going to contribute to the classroom/school gift pool or do individual gifts? For my son, it’s his last year at Bright Horizons, so we’ve decided to give gifts to his primary teachers versus to the center pool. For my daughter, we will do the classroom pool but then something small for the teacher as well.
Third, determine a budget. With so many teachers/educational professionals on our children’s list we have to set a budget or the holidays will get that much more expensive. Plus we have to consider babysitters and our cleaning lady in the mix.
Fourth, decide what exactly you will give for each person. Will the gifts be handmade by either you or your child, homemade bake goods, gift cards or actual gifts? We’ll do a combination of a few things – different gifts for different people. Progressive Mom has good holiday gift ideas for teachers that she has shared in the past.
Fifth, write it down. Whether you put this into Excel with the actual dollar amount or if you plan to track another way, it’s important to write down what your plan is. That way you can actually stick to the plan and not forget anyone.
After that, all that is left the execution. Putting the gifts together, having you and/your child make a picture or write a note and delivering the holiday cheer. Follow these simple steps to make teacher holiday gift giving a bit more organized. Happy holidays!