Put down the "best teacher ever" mug . . . and the vanilla candle, and the personalized ornament, and, heaven forbid, those apples! This year give your children's teachers the gifts they really want. Chocolates and Starbucks cards might be nice, but if you really want to impress teacher, consider one of the gifts below.
- A group gift: Your teacher doesn't expect each student's parents to spend hundreds of dollars on a gift, but an iPad or Kindle is probably at the top of his wish list. If you have a cohesive group of parents, ask everyone if they would like to pitch in for one big (and much-appreciated) gift.
- Gift cards: They may be boring, but gift cards mean that your child's teacher can buy exactly what they want. Cards for Amazon, iTunes, or an office-supply store are helpful for classroom supplies, but you can also consider your teacher's personal preferences. Think about Sephora cards for beauty addicts, department-store gift cards for fashionistas, or restaurant gift certificates for foodies.
- Little luxuries: Candles and lotions can be tricky, since fragrance is such a personal thing, but a small, universally liked luxury item like a pair of J.Crew cashmere gloves or a designer umbrella is usually a hit.
- School supplies: So many teachers end up paying for supplies out of their own pockets, so help lighten the load by stocking them up. Consider games, books, puzzles, stickers, markers, and colored pencils (we love stylish Muji pencils).
- Something personal: If you've gotten to know your teacher well, then gift her something you know she'll love. Book fans might love a beautifully designed Penguin classic, theater lovers would appreciate tickets to a local show, cooks might like a new kitchen gadget, and caffeine addicts would flip for the new Starbucks Verismo.
- Thank-you note : If your budget is tight, then a handwritten, thoughtful thank-you letter is always appreciated, especially when it comes on Rifle Paper Co.'s floral card.