End of term is nearly upon us, and with it some parents will be feeling pressure to buy their child’s teacher a (well deserved) Christmas present. This year has been tough for all, and we think it’s fair to say it especially has been for teachers!
Even if you aspire to give a gift, it can easily slip your mind in the pre-Christmas whirlwind. Fortunately, we have two teachers here at Koru Kids – so we thought we’d get their advice! Reassuringly, they stressed that simple gestures go a long way when it comes to feeling appreciated, and parents certainly shouldn’t feel pressured by their peers into buying expensive or extravagant gifts.
We’ve also rounded up some gifts chosen by the rest of the Koru Kids team to support small businesses this Christmas, which feels more important this year than ever.
A non-monetary gift
If money or time to get to the shops is tight there are plenty of other ideas. For example, sparing some time to write a nice handwritten note emphasising how much you value all their hard work will be appreciated much more than a box of biscuits. Our teachers agreed that receiving a genuine message in a card means a huge amount to them. As one said, “I still have the wonderful cards and drawings children made for me framed on my walls.”
Like anyone else, teachers want to feel valued and appreciated for all their hard work. If you’re a fan of crafting, the kids can have fun making their teacher a gift. Handmade kid-to-teacher pressies and personal creations are the ones that last. If you’re not such a fan of crafting, or it’s just too much of a hectic time, there are some really great homemade cards online, which will also support small businesses. At Koru Kids we love Something By Beth who will create custom hand-drawn cards, and LottiePrints, who makes not only Christmas cards, but paintings and gift wrap too!
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If you decide to buy a gift, it's hard to go wrong with stationary, and it usually won’t break the bank. To take things up a notch, consider personalising the stationary by adding the teacher’s name onto the item.
One of our teachers said: “I love useful presents. One year I received a set of pens that had my name engraved on them. I’m always complaining about my pens going missing – obviously Father Christmas was listening.” Personalising items doesn’t have to be limited to stationary either – how about keeping it festive with a personalised Christmas decoration from Etsy? Another great way to support small businesses this year, instead of the usual Tiger of Copenhagen, Paperchase and Amazon.
Although it requires one parent to take the lead in coordinating a collection, the extra effort will mean a lot to the teacher. There are so many options including a gift basket themed around your teacher’s favourite pastime, personalised items such as purses and stationary, or simply a gift card that everyone has contributed to.
If you’re up for going the extra mile, it could be something even more personal like a class photo or a photo album. One of our favourite ideas was a jigsaw made out of the class photo – the teacher loved it so much she framed it for her office wall.
A voucher is also a great option and means the teacher can choose something they really want. Keep it simple and go for somewhere that sells a variety of items like M&S. Being a teacher is demanding and stressful; perhaps buying your child’s teacher a voucher for a spa (for when it’s safe to go again!), or other beauty treatment may go down well (this would definitely fall into the class gift bucket).
The gifts that children, or more accurately their parents, give aren’t always practical, no matter how grateful the teacher is for the gesture. We’ve put together a list of the best, to the not-so-great and the downright puzzling Christmas presents – straight from the teachers’ mouths:
5 of the not-so-great…
- ‘Mugs – there is literally no more space in my kitchen cupboards.’
- ‘An open and half-drunk bottle of wine.’
- ‘A box of biscuits that would have ordinarily been delicious, had they not gone out of date two years prior.’
- ‘While I appreciated the gesture, receiving actual money in a card made me feel all kinds of awkward.’
…and 5 of the best
- ‘Unicorn slippers!’
- ‘A wonderful thank you card’
- ‘Treatwell gift voucher. Which teacher doesn’t need pampering from time to time?’
- ‘I once got a personalised, collapsing lunch box. I love it so much I’ve used it ever since.’
- ‘A kid in my class once bought me a grow your own herb garden. I love cooking so the gift was particularly thoughtful.’
…and 7 of our Koru Kids team favourites, to support ethical, local and small businesses this winter:
- Jewellery to support those experiencing homelessness
- Unique homeware and accessories supporting Colombian communities
- Beautiful scented candles
- More candles!
- A 2021 calendar to support those experiencing homelessness
- Sustainably made face coverings
- Buy a product for a refugee on your teacher’s behalf instead
Not found what you’re looking for but still want to shop small? You’ll find it here!
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