Sunday, December 11, 2011

Teacher Gifts...and a giveaway this holiday season

What in the world would you do if you all of a sudden had 15,000 bottle caps?

Well, my friend Katherine, was inspired like all busy moms, during the wee hours of the night when she has time to slow down and do her thing.

"I am using 15,000 unused bottle caps to create charms and magnets. I stay up way too late after my family is asleep, piecing together words and sayings and designs to create these fun pieces of art."

Not only does Katherine use the bottle caps to make inspiring little magnets...but she also turns them into charms for necklaces, barrettes, and more. CUSTOM charms with your child's picture are just $8.00.

When her creative juices are flowing she also designs greeting cards for all occasions..

And I am choosing to share her work because it is the perfect time of year for unique little trinkets that are affordable and lovely.  You can shop her website here 

As the holidays draw near there are always a few people who stump you...maybe a Great Aunt or a girlfriend to your brother.....or maybe that lady in your child's life that spends almost 8 hours a day, five days a week, for 9 months out of the year.  YES, his/her teacher.  (And I know that there are many men teachers - but I just picked a gender this time around).  

As the year draws to a close we are all overwhelmed with gift lists to check off...don't forget to think of your child's teacher.  You don't have to spend money.  You don't have to go BIG.  But it means a lot when you think of them with a card or even a note jotted in their assignment notebook.  If your child is older then they might have multiple teachers, a note or small gift for the teacher your child finds most inspiring means so much. 

Your children go to school each day, sometimes leaving after a not so smooth morning, and their teacher most likely greets them with a smile and a "Good Morning, Charley.  I am so glad you are here today."  They give  pats on the back, apply  band aids, inspire growth and  hardwork.  They spend hours this season creating some messy project that your child will wrap and place under the tree for you.  They squeeze all this in while answering your emails, writing newsletters to keep you in the loop, and making each day exciting.  When I was a teacher I always appreciated a note, a tiny gesture, a child made card, or the occasional gift card saying, "We thought of you, we appreciate you, Thank you."  

Teacher gifts can cause a lot of parents anxiety because when you think of what your child's teacher does for you child it can make you feel like you need to send them on a week long cruise, especially as the holiday season adds energy to our littles and glitter adds beauty to their classroom.  But simple, affordable or even free, and thoughtful can be enough.    

Gift ideas:

Your child could help you bake them something
Your child could make them something (an ornament or something)
You could write them a note telling them specific things you appreciate about them (even things like - I love that you send home a newsletter every Friday or sat and talked to your child about a certain playground issue)

You could get a $1.00 mug at Michael's in the dollar section and place a few packets of hot cocoa or a Starbucks gift card in.
You could get them 2 new beach towels and a bottle of sunscreen or a gift card to Barnes and Noble anticipating their summer reading days.
You could get them a gift card to a local pizza or take out restaurant. 
You can get them a bucket with classroom items in it 

You can get them a clipboard and have your child decorate it
You can get them a neat journal for note taking or idea jotting
You can get them some fun pens
You can go to the dollar section and buy packets of notecards and put together fun packs of mixed cards

A new pair of mittens or a scarf for the cold recess stints
A giftcard to Subway or a sandwich shop near the school that they could run to on their 15 minute lunch break.
A frozen pan of lasagna or some other meal to make a late night at school easier for her family.

If you know your teacher loves Diet Coke or Coffee or chocolate...put together a cute package giving her a nice stash for her bottom desk drawer.
If she cheers for a certain team you could support her preference with a unique sport gift.
You could invite her for dinner (I have never done this and have never done it as a teacher - but I hear of other's who have done it and loved it)

Movie tickets are always GREAT.
A gift card for bowling or something local that her family could enjoy.
A board game (but include a receipt in case she has it)
or something else that you know her family would enjoy.

For a male teacher:  Movie tickets, gift card for food, a bucket filled with snacks for the big game, a travel coffee mug....

Items I tend to stay away from are Christmas ornaments (I have enough to fill a tree and I had only been teaching for about 9 years)
Lotions can be hard because you don't know their scent preferences or their skin reactions
Candles too have scents that can get tricky.

To find out the teacher's hobbies, loves, and treat preferences...have your child do a little interview.  Make it a fun little challenge!

Miss Katherine has offered to cross off an item on your list buy giving away a set of magnets to ONE of you.
Just share a gift idea that you give to a teacher, daycare provider, or tricky family member.  The giveaway winner will be emailed on Wednesday night around 9pm.  You will have 24 hours to reply to the email.  Please make sure an email is attached to your comment.

MN friends, email me if you want me to put you into direct contact with Katherine, she is also at local craft gigs around the area. 
Tap her gift resource and take the stress off your holiday shopping.  


shellycoulter said...

We are giving Eli's teacher this...stolen from my favorite blogger. I am also giving them to my closest girlfriends with their gifts.

I plan to wrap it cute and stick a $5 Starbucks cards with it and a hand-written note from Elijah. ;)

These are so cute. I love the tree!

jessica said...

These are great, I would love to win.

This year we are making glass magnets for all the teachers. They won't be perfect but they are made with love!

Kelly said...

I've thought about doing this:

Hmmm...but I'm liking the bottle cap magnets! :)

Anonymous said...

We are getting Nora's teacher this:

I got it on sale after Thanksgiving for $2.50. We are getting her the blue Love one. Thought it was cute and different.

Jamie Trampe

Danifred said...

I actually used an idea from Pinterest this year. I bought 2 Tervis hot/ cold tumblers and filled them with the instant packets of Crystal Light, Iced Tea and Starbucks Coffee. Tot picked out the ones she thought her teachers would like the most. It's a shame I can throw and airplane sized shot Baileys in there too :)

Peggy, Jason, Lily and Connor said...

I bought 2 books for Lily's teacher and a target giftcard for Connor's daycare gal!
I love the magnets, though! If I won, I might keep them!!, I think I would give to my fairy god-mother!

Heather (One Take On Life) said...

I am giving giftcards to the teachers and some homemade cookies the kids will help bake.

Amy M. said...

I think this year we are giving a gift to charity in the teachers' names. Max chose a share of a water buffalo from the Heifer Project. Not sure what Erin will choose yet. Maybe something about reading or horses.

sherry L. said...

We allways bake cookies and put them I decrativeee boxes.


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