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Christmas gifts for teachers

Sarah Walker Caron is an award winning journalist, freelance writer and editor. She lives a happy life in Maine with her two children, where they love to hike, visit the beaches and have lots of silly fun. Check out her food blog at Sara...

Thoughtful gifts for educators

Looking for a special holiday gift for your child's teacher? These gifts are perfect for educators in any school.

Thoughtful gifts for educators

Vermont Nut Free Chocolates

With so many schools going nut-free to accommodate children with severe nut allergies, sending food to school has gotten a little more challenging. But if your child's teacher loves chocolate, the Vermont Nut Free brand is a safe option for any school.

Check out their fantastic Peppermint Bark ($19.75), which comes in a generously sized metal box. It has a thick layer of dark chocolate topped with a thinner layer of sweet white chocolate. On top, crushed peppermint is sprinkled all over.

For a less expensive option, the Christmas and Hanukkah miniatures ($5.60-$7.65) are a nice smaller presents. Available in bags or a snowman tote box (for the Christmas themed chocolates), they're also small and light enough for little hands to deliver. Gift baskets are also available if your class is giving a joint gift. Order online at

Gift cards

Take a poll of teachers you know and you will quickly learn one thing: they love getting gift cards. Teachers give so much daily in the classroom, and often choose to supplement their classroom materials out of their own pocket. Gift cards are a great thank you – and they allow the teachers to go and spend a little on themselves.

So where to? It depends on your child's teacher. If he or she is a coffee fanatic, a gift card to a local coffee shop is a great idea. If they are avid readers, a bookstore is another option. For the well-dressed teacher, a gift card to their favorite store could be a great option too.

Charm bead bracelets

Charm bracelets are all the rage these days – especially the ones with charm beads like the ones made by Trollbeads, Pandora and Chamilia. The bracelets and the beads can make a great teacher gift. If your child's teacher already owns the bracelet, then you can purchase a special charm. Include your child in the choosing so that it really is a gift from the heart.

If your child's teacher doesn't have one, purchasing the bracelet and a bead can be a little pricey. Make it affordable by organizing it as a joint class gift or a gift with a few other families. Your teacher will surely love the effort.

Something homemade

Sure, your teacher doesn't need 22 fingerpaintings every holiday. However, if you or your child has a special talent, then a homemade gift can be very thoughtful. For instance, if you are a master knitter, a special scarf, hat and mittens is something that your child's teacher could use – and the fact that you made it makes it even more special.

For preschoolers who are mastering dexterity, a great homemade option is a special bracelet. Buy some nice chunky beads and have your child thread them on a pipe cleaner. When they are done, secure the ends and viola! Instant homemade bracelet.

Another option? Homemade food. A frozen meal (prepared by you and frozen in a nice dish), cookies, homemade candy or bread can all be nice holiday gifts as well. Just make sure that you make something that your child's teacher likes and can eat.

An olive branch wreath

How about a gift that gives back? Every year, Lindsay Olives sells handmade olive branch wreaths ($30-$35) at the holiday time. The pretty green wreaths last for quite a while and look so pretty.

But these are more than just a pretty decoration. Proceeds from the wreaths go to Meals on Wheels, so you are giving more than just a holiday present to your child's teacher. To purchase one, go to

Mix it up

Who doesn't love digging through a big gift basket? It's like the gift that keeps surprising. And sure, you can buy gift baskets. But you can also make your own gift basket, assembling it with special items that focus around a theme (or not!). For instance, you could assemble a gift basket of your special homemade bread and jam and toss in some fancy butter, cheese and salami.

On a smaller scale, you can pair something homemade with a gift card to give the best of both worlds – a heartfelt item that you or your child made and something to let your teacher pamper themselves just a little.

For more Christmas gift ideas:

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