Appropriate X-Mas gifts for teacher, bus driver, etc.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by cubsgirl, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have any ideas on cheap(ish) gifts for difficult child's teacher and bus driver and other similiar people. I was thinking that I would get cheap Christmas buckets or felt buckets and fill them with some treats. I work part-time at Target so I can get some of their dollar spot goodies even cheaper. Would something like that even be appropriate?

    Any other ideas??
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Coffee mugs from the dollar store...
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    yes, that is what I do... One year I found a great deal on these ornaments that played piano music, they came in boxed sets and in the end were like $3 each but came in individual velvet boxes... so great, looked like I was giving 20$ gifts. Now I just do cards and little treats. Sometimes I have given the program a gift instead of individuals.... in Special Education there can be way TOO many, ed. aides, teachers, couselors, sp Occupational Therapist (OT) nurse, office people who do extra, etc. This year a bunch of mine get coal.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    A girl at work once gave everyone pretty Christmas mugs (from the Dollar Store) ... she filled them with envelopes of instant hot chocolate, a few little candies and a candy cane, then stuck a bow on them ... very cute.

    This takes a little doing but I once gave everyone in my department, about 15 people, little individual pound cakes. I bought the smallest size package of disposable foil loaf pans from the Dollar Store, I think five of them to a package, and used store-brand pound cake mix, about $2 each. Each box of cake mix made about four or five of them so it was very inexpensive. I washed the little pans and reused them until I had all of them all baked. I sprinkled the tops with red and green sugar, wrapped them in clear plastic wrap, and put a bow on them. All together I probably spent less than $10 on the whole thing and everybody loved them!
  5. jal

    jal Member

    Our difficult child has private transportation for school. We do a Dunkin Doughnuts gift card for the driver. He loves them. Usually a female aide is in the car as there is a non-verbal autistic child who also travels to the same destination (yet different program than difficult child) and we've done some chocolate truffles for her which you can get @ Target..I like the filled mug idea for a female.
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't want to be a Grinch but as a teacher who has taught for a long time . . . there are only so many mugs you can fit into a cupboard.

    Something small like a $5 gift card to Dunking Donuts is wonderful. I always think about the student who gave it to me when I go and spend my giftcard. Another one of my favorite gifts was from a student a couple of years ago. She gave me a box full of teacher supplies. You could get stuff like that from the dollar store.

    One thing I don't like is homemade food gifts. I thought I was the only one until a read an Amazon thread on this very subject. I was amazed at how many teachers on that thread said that they don't eat the homemade gifts. I worry about how clean the kitchen was and when you have older students . . . what they might have put in them.

    Just giving you the view from the other side. LOL

  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I always go with consumables or gift cards. I've had garage sales with teacher friends and I know where most of that stuff winds up.

    Kathy, when my kids were in elementary school most years I made a really nice homemade dinner for the teachers to take home for their families on the last day before winter break. Those meals were probably the most appreciated gifts I've ever given to anyone--seriously. I saw tears, had phone calls at home later thanking me, etc, etc.

    I do have a teacher friend who pitches most of the homemade holiday food she gets unless she knows the family well.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For a teacher or aide... If you're doing the "mini-bucket" idea... instead of candy and such, fill it with an assortment of "different" pens and pencils, various shapes and colors of sticky-notes, odd-shape erasers, sticker sheets... it helps refill their hand-out selection!
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, Kathy - I never even thought that the teachers wouldn't like homemade food items. We have been doing homemade food items since 1992 when my oldest was in preschool!!! This year we are giving homemade pineapple topping that I canned this summer. I hate the idea that it will go down the drain :(

    I have always preferred to give something that I've put time and care into - that burst my bubble.....

  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Sharon, if you've been doing it for a long time and you're a familiar face around school, your gifts are probably something that staff looks forward to every year. But honestly, would you eat home canned foods--or allow your children to--from a total stranger that you couldn't trust to use safe canning techniques? I know I've dumped a few of those kinds of items before that my husband has brought home from various sources.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Sorry Sharon, as a teacher I always threw out the homemade stuff too (unless I knew the parent very, very well).
  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I've always done a gift to the teachers lounge (on the Monday before break starts) of asst coffee cakes or bagels or muffins etc with a lb of "good" coffee and flavored creamers. My kids went to the same school for years-and it was a great way to thank all of the teachers in one swoop for less than I would've spent on 3 individual gifts. I put it on a pretty tray or badket with a card from all of us. Now I don't feel bad for sending in store bought goods when my intent was usually to bake my own!!
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    A nice note and perhaps a gift card for $10 at Starbucks, Dunkins or Panera. It would be like you're buying them lunch for a day.

    When mine were little, I usually baked a quickbread (pumpkin, cranberry or zucchini), wrapped it up pretty with foil and colored saran, put a nice note on it and they were always well received. I've also sent in candle and candle holder. Right now all the bread mixes are on sale for the holiday and it's easy to whip one up. You could hit up the dollar store or job lot for nice candle gift sets.

    That's all I have - it's early!
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Although I did home baked treats for years I stopped when I realized that many teachers were wary. For the last kids I switched over to coupons and figured if they didn't care to use them, their kids or someone else in the family would. The personalization was gone, sigh, but the gifts were used. DDD
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I agree with consumables vs. trinkets. A $5 card to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, something like that, would definitely be a great way to go! Put it in a card that difficult child makes...
  16. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Guess this will be the last year I make homemade gifts for the teachers - I've done everything from canning to fudge to cookies to breads to cookie and snack mixes in pretty jars.....

    I always thought it was more personal and meaningful - 10 minutes in the line at starbucks to buy 8 $5 gift cards seems like nothing to me in relation to what most of the teachers do.....
  17. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    WOOT has been my new best friend lately. I found Sigg stainless steel water bottles on there for 3.99 (regularly 24.99) yesterday. That kind of thing is perfect teacher,etc. gifts.
  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you would like to personalize a gift, take a few minutes to add a nice note about the teacher and how they have helped your child. I treasure notes like that and actually keep them in a folder in my desk. Then, after dealing with a particularly surly child or a crazy parent, I go to the file and read some of the notes to remind myself that all students and parents aren't like that (thank goodness).
  19. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I work in a position similar to one that you mention in your post; I'm a van aide for a subcontractor that transports students in and out of district. I've gotten very few gifts over the 10 years that I've had my job.

    Remembering someone who performs a service is very thoughtful - thank you for putting that on your "to do" list!

    A holiday card, with a personalized note is appreciated. So are edibles ~ store-bought or homemade; they're both practical and special. Or take a moment, look the person in the eye and tell them how much you appreciate what they do - that costs nothing, but etches a place in their mind and their heart.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can understand the homemade issues now. I would have never thought about it from the teachers viewpoint but hearing it...I understand. Actually...makes sense. Most people are great cooks with lovely kitchens but some arent. Unless the teacher knows a parent well, how can they know? If I could bake I would have been doing the baked goods too and had my feelings hurt. I guess the teachers got lucky and I always did things like notepads or more stickers for the classrooms. There used to be stores that you could get teacher supplies and I would get extra pencils for the classroom and colored chalk and stuff like that. Might not be the most personal gift but oh well. I didnt think they wanted a picture of my