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Top 11 Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers

The holiday season is almost upon us, so it’s time to start brainstorming gift ideas for the important people in our lives. Teachers spend a great deal of time and effort educating students, so they definitely make the holiday gift-giving short-list. But finding a perfect holiday gift for teachers can be tricky.

Teachers have specific rules from the school board regarding what gifts they can accept from their students. When you show gratitude for their endless wealth of knowledge, you’ll want to find the ideal sentimental present that your teacher will cherish.

But picking the best gift doesn’t have to be complicated — here are 11 excellent teacher holiday gifts to show appreciation for your favorite educator.

11 Gifts for Teachers to Kick Off the Holiday Break 

Teachers put in a lot of effort to aid their students’ education and overall development. Some of their wisdom will remain with students for the rest of their lives.

Expressing your gratitude with a small token of your appreciation will bring a smile to their face and start the holiday break off right.

The best part about gifting holiday presents? You can give them to the teacher personally or collectively split the cost with your whole class.

While some gift ideas are simple items to make their school work easier and more enjoyable, others can be used during the holiday break to relax, rewind, and retreat.

1. A Delicious Food Certificate

There’s no better holiday gift for your child’s teacher than a delicious, free home-cooked meal of their choice.

The turkey, ham, or fruit and vegetable gift certificates from PerfectFeast are ideal if you want to give your teacher a tasty treat of their choosing during the holiday season. Since these gift certificates provide options, your teacher is sure to find something that meets their personal taste and dietary needs.

These gift certificates are redeemable at supermarkets throughout the country and are a much better choice than actually gifting turkeys or hams.

Why? Because you can personalize a gift certificate to make it more meaningful and emotionally impactful. You also won’t need to worry about refrigerating turkeys and hams or carrying them in heavy boxes to gift your teacher.

These certificates make for a great gift because they are universally accepted in the U.S., are good for any brand or variety of your teacher’s choosing, and are free from taxes to the recipient. They are also great ideas for last-minute gifts because they are instantly accessible no matter where you live.

2. Everyday Pocket Hand Sanitizers

Between seasonal colds and viruses, schools can be full of germs. So, teachers should always maintain the best hygiene standards for maximum safety. That’s what makes small pocket hand sanitizers one of the best holiday teacher gift ideas this season.

This simple gift can be conveniently carried in the form of a tiny spray or push bottle. Teachers can have a hand sanitizer in their pocket or bag all day long and use them in between classes, before and after meals, and at the end of the work day.

You can also add a matching hand cream or lotion with the same scent to complete this perfect teacher gift.

3. Matching Hat and Gloves Set

Around the holidays, the temperatures start to drop quickly — making a matching hat and gloves set an excellent gift for any teacher.

Depending upon your local climate, some schools allow recess and educational activities to take place outside, even if the weather is chilly. Gifting a hat and glove set will ensure that your teacher is ready for whatever the day brings them.

If you are skilled at knitting, consider making the hat and gloves yourself! A present of a homemade hat and gloves is incredibly thoughtful and shows educators that you appreciate their hard work.

4. Tiny Table-Top Planters for a Teacher’s Desk

Mini planters are the best teacher gifts for those with green thumbs. Small table-top planters with evergreens like bonsai or bamboo will make a beautiful addition to their staff lounge, classroom table, or work-from-home desk.

The best part is that there are so many varieties to choose from. Some plants have special meanings, such as white chrysanthemums for loyalty, bamboo for strength and grace, anthurium for abundance, basil for success, and hydrangea for heartfelt gratitude.

One of the most popular holiday gifts is the poinsettia, a beautiful plant with vibrant red flowers and green leaves. These plants are easy to care for, so your teacher can enjoy their thriving greenery as they relax over the holiday break.

You may even consider gifting them a fake succulent in a beautiful small pot, so it never dies and always reminds them of their beloved students. Gift the planter in a cute box with a personalized note to add a one-of-a-kind touch.

5. A Cozy Blanket 

The holiday break is a time for rest and relaxation for educators and students alike. It’s a sign that the first half of the school year is over, yet there is still a lot of work to do before summer vacation.

Surprise your teacher with a warm, comfortable blanket as a holiday gift. Whether you’re gifting an elementary or high school teacher, no one will be able to resist wrapping themselves in a cozy blanket when the temperatures drop.

6. Customized Photo Frames

Show your teacher gratitude for their guidance and hard work by incorporating their lessons into the gift itself!

Since teachers are keen on helping you embrace love and care for the environment, creating your own quirky photo frames is one of the best teacher holiday gift ideas.

You can repurpose an old photo frame or purchase a low-cost frame for your child to decorate for their elementary school teachers. Break out the glitter, paint, or additional adornments and go wild! Teachers will greatly appreciate a homemade frame to decorate their home office or school desk.

7. Delectable Treats

Who doesn’t love enjoying a sweet treat over the holiday break? Gift your favorite teacher pre-made cookies, wrapped candy, or a box of brownie mix to start their holiday season off on the right foot.

While homemade treats are incredibly thoughtful, most teachers will be hesitant to accept these presents. The chance of catching a virus has increased over the last few years, and our hardworking educators deserve their time off. Nobody wants to spend the holiday break recovering from a cold.

Also, make sure that your beloved teacher doesn’t have any food allergies!

8. Personalized Notepad for the Busy Teacher

Teachers have to deal with notes, to-dos, great ideas, and lesson plans — it’s all in a day’s work.

Give them the perfect place to organize their thoughts and tasks with a personalized notepad with kind messages, art, and multiple sections within.

Go the extra mile for the holidays and opt for a winter-themed notepad. That way, your teacher can alternate between themed stationery throughout the year!

9. Seasonal Coffee Mugs

Hot cocoa, coffee, tea — there’s a warm drink for everyone to enjoy in a holiday mug. From pre-K to high school teachers, any educator would adore seasonal mugs from their students

A coffee mug is a thoughtful, inexpensive gift, making it the perfect present for large families with a handful of teachers to thank.

Consider pairing the mug with a gift card to a local coffee shop for an added holiday bonus. Alternatively, you could include a bag of coffee or a packet of hot chocolate for a homemade beverage.

If you want an extra sentimental touch, give a hand-painted mug! Any gift that shows a student putting time, effort, and thoughtfulness will warm a teacher’s heart.

10. Scented Candles for When They’re Relaxing

Teachers need to rest, don’t they? Help them do that by gifting them a pack of scented candles with soothing aromas.

Holiday-scented candles offer various options exclusive to the season — you can find tons of great-smelling candles that won’t be available year-round. From spiced apple cider to fresh fir fragrances, you can find a wonderful scent to gift your teacher.

Make sure to select an assortment of various fragrances and colors, so your teacher can choose their preferred scent to light in their home.

Want to go above and beyond? Personalize your candle with a sweet message of gratitude and appreciation.

11. A Book They’ll Love

For an English teacher, there is nothing more special than a book they will love reading in their leisure time. A complete novel collection would make for a fantastic holiday gift idea for your beloved teacher.

Try finding out what genres your teacher thinks are the most interesting to read—adventure, mystery, romance, historical fiction, mythology, literary fiction—and pick a bestseller or two.

If you’re nervous about gifting a previously read book, consider browsing brand-new releases. The odds are high that your hardworking teacher hasn’t gotten around to reading them yet! Alternatively, you could opt for a gift card to a popular bookstore or online e-reader shop.

Get Ready for the Holiday Season with Thoughtful Gifts for Your Favorite Teacher

Over the past few years, the pandemic has made teaching complicated. Whether your child has a new teacher or a seasoned pro, every educator deserves our gratitude for navigating these difficult circumstances.

That’s why gifting your teacher a thoughtful holiday gift is more important now than ever. Most teachers will appreciate gifts that have utility in the classroom for the year ahead. However, educators will also cherish a little something that they can bring home to their families.

Give the gift of a homemade feast with gift certificates from PFR — these certificates are affordable, useful, and highly relevant for busy teachers who want to make a delicious holiday meal. Accepted in grocery stores throughout the U.S., our gift certificates make an excellent gift for the best teacher in your life!