Minimalist Presents for Teachers


As I was blogsurfing today, I noticed much of the talk in February, is what to get your child’s or children’s teachers for Valentine Day. Most of the ideas were at least twenty dollars or higher. Much of them had apples on them, and were trinkets, or food.  Having been a teacher for many years, I wanted to weigh in on the subject.  

Tip 1.  Most teachers don’t need any more stuff.  We would rather you encourage or help your child (or children) in writing a note telling how he or she likes the class, or whys he or she appreciates being in the class.  As I think back to all the ‘things’ I have received over the years, the things I haven’t been able to part with are the handwritten notes, and pictures I have received, and the memories for that matter. 

Tip 2. Invite the son or daughter’s teacher over for dinner. Now that is a yummy way to show the love. It may take a bit of maneuvering, since teachers spend lots of evening time on lesson planning in the evenings, but it will be a lovely memory for your child and your family for years to come.

Tip 3.  Make some homemade treat with your child to give to the teacher.  Funny story. I remember one time I got a tin of brownies from a kindergarten student which were really delicious!  The next time I saw him,  I gave him the ultimate compliment and asked him if he would see if his mother would share the recipe with me. So ..the next day he  prouldly walked in with it. There was the recipe –cut from the back of the Kroger cake mix. He was so happy as he handed me the card, that I had to smile to myself, while thinking  what a wise woman his mother was! You see, as a kindergartener he didn’t read enough to realize…..that the fabulous dessert was a brownie mix. He told me he and his mom had made the brownies together. I know it made him very happy that I was happy, and enjoyed the brownies.And my guess is, he didn’t realize until later, how great a gift that was.  Not only did his teacher(me) love the gift, he also received the give of time from his mother! 

Tip 4. Please, please, please, don’t give any apple stuff! Most teaches have TONS of it, and we are over it!  Unless you are going to give a gift of a bag of organic apples, I mean.  Do we really need to buy any more trinket junk out of the -Made in-China section in Target and support the child labor over there?  I don’t think so. 

So, it may take a little more creativity, but I hope some of these tips have been helpful. The gift of time and appreciation is the BEST gift of all!  More  ways to be thrifty in your gift-giving coming next week!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mindy
    Feb 09, 2011 @ 23:21:06

    I totally agree on not giving “apple” gifts to teachers. I’m not a teacher but have lots of friends who are. I’ve learned that they mostly love gift cards. Even if it’s just a $5 gift card to Starbucks – that’s a great gift! (Nowadays you can combine your Starbucks cards into one card online which is pretty awesome). Gift cards are the way to go. They are not as personable BUT teachers just get too overwhelmed with “stuff”.


    • mooving2minimalism
      Feb 10, 2011 @ 20:53:13

      So nice to see you here! You are right about teachers feeling overwhelmed, and gift cards sound like a great idea. I didn’t know you could combine your Starbucks into one card-very cool! To me, that would seem very thoughtful. Thanks for sharing that!!


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