A Gift Dilemma

Back at Halloween, the girls' MDO class had a little Halloween party with special snacks and all that good stuff.  I sent the snack we signed up for, and Mackenzie and Addison wore their cute little Halloween shirts.  I thought we had fulfilled all the 'obligations' for the day.

When they got home from school that day, they had little baskets with small treat bags and Halloween books.  I didn't think much about it, just assuming that the teacher had given it out to the class.  Upon closer inspection later that night, I realized that the little treat bags and books were from the other kids in the class, who apparently brought small favors for their classmates.

My kids were the only ones who didn't bring treats for their friends.  MOM FAIL.

I didn't get too bent out of shape about it, as we are new to the whole MDO thing and two of the three others in the class have older siblings so they have done all this before.  I did, however, resolve that Addison and Mackenzie would most certainly be taking Christmas goodies for their friends.

For the most part, those little gifts are taken care of....thank you, Target dollar aisle!

Now my question is--What do I get the teacher? 

I have heard lots of people, teachers included, mention that the best gift for teachers is a gift card in any amount.  After all, four $5 gift cards add up to $20, which comes in pretty handy, right?  And that has to be preferable over ten bottles of smelly lotion that she will never use or specialty coffee she will never drink.  (I actually have no idea if she drinks coffee all, so that one is out anyway.)

What do y'all think?  Gift card?  If so, how much?  I mean, I don't want to spend a ton of money, but I do have two kids in her class...two-fifths of the class.  She deserves more than a $10 gift for putting up with both of them, right?  $20? 

Then there's the question of what type of gift card to get.  I have never heard of anyone who dislikes Target, so that's always an option.  The problem is, there is not one here in our town.  The closest one is about an hour away.  A Wal-Mart card seems a little generic, like I'm suggesting she could spend it on groceries or something (neurotic much?).  There are a few little gift shops in town, but is that too specialized?  What about a restaurant gift card?  Oh, or maybe gift certificate to the local movie theater?

As you can tell, I am probably way over-thinking this, but I need some advice! 

Thoughts, please.


  1. Oh, no! I never thought about the teacher thing- two kids, do you have to give twice as much? I'll be interested to see what everyone says.

  2. I just received a call about what I could make for a friend's kids teachers - I suggested a coffee mug (that I am going to paint with their first name initial) and the mom will fill it with hot cocoa or coffee beans.

  3. My dad's wife is a teacher, and she has always said she'd prefer a gift card over anything. Even though you don't have a Target nearby, there's always target.com. Or what about Amazon? Or do you have a Barnes & Noble or Books-a-Million? Or a Hobby Lobby? Those all sound like great options to me...as I think through them, it makes me want to go shopping! :)

    I didn't realize there were so few kids in your girls' class...that's awesome!

  4. I doubled my amount. We did a class gift (blissful...I highly recommend it) and I gave $20 per kid per teacher/aide. The aides work just as hard as the teacher at this point, so I give equally. It's freaking expensive, right???

  5. I liked what I did for the teachers the one year. I bought a really good (and not smelly) lotion from Mary Kay and put it in a pretty coffee mug, with some mocha mix and wrapped cellophane over it. The teachers loved the lotion. Definitely good for when you are constantly washing your hands all flu season.

    And I hate when people would do Halloween treat bags in preschool. I found it annoying.

  6. The hubs is a teacher, and I get all his gifts! Perks of hearing him complain all year I guess. I always use the target/walmart cards, we suck down gas cards[LOVE THEM], and I LOVED the rechargeable masterca.rd he got one year. It sucks to pay a fee for activation but they can use it anywhere which makes it's just as good as cash.

    I also don't recommend homemade cookies or baklava. Weirdest gifts EVER! Two ten dollar gift cards might make it seem like less of gouge, in a card with a nice hand written message.

  7. I definitely suggest a $10 gift card, one from each girl.

  8. I vote a gift card to a gift shop in town. I just think that most people don't just go into a gift shop and buy something for themself, so it's a treat to get to pick something for "free."

  9. I've given a variety of teacher gifts over the years.

    One teacher, who really loves the girls like they're her own, got a coffee mug with the girls' Halloween picture on it.
    Another teacher got a mouse pad with One Hundred Years from Now on it, inscribed with the class name and the year.
    This year, their main teacher is getting homemade jam and cranberry sauce, while the director and asst director (who have first graders) are getting gingerbread house kits I'm making from scratch.
    Gift cards to educational supply stores are good, as well as the generic use-anywhere kind.
    The girls have already taken in a big batch of peppermint bark for all the teachers at their school to share. I've also had a special request to repeat last years gift of red velvet cake balls to the teaching staff!

  10. I would do cookies - easy and no clutter afterwards - or gift cards (but those sound expensive when you start all the multiplying by 2).

    I don't think we do teachers' gifts in SA as a compulsory thing? Although at Christmas people do tend to do gifts for lots more people. This year I gave to my massage therapist and her mom (receptionist). Of course that could change as we're becoming more and more Americanised :)

    P.S. Just checked with "my friend with the twins" as they have an older daughter too and she says YES, we do it! oh my word! So much for clutter-free

  11. I had the same dilemma this year...we had 7 teachers/daycare ladies to buy for. So I got them all Christmas ornaments. I figured that everyone has a Christmas tree.....I hope they like them. :)


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