Every year, I buy my children's teachers gifts for Christmas. Some of the class mothers take up collections to buy them gift cards and when they do I participate. When this doesn't occur, I buy them my own. I always pay attention to the individual person and personalize the gift.
One year, my child had a teacher that used to work on Broadway. He jokingly said at the open house that he decided to become a teacher "because he wanted a home and a couch to sit on." He was quite the character. He started the drama club and every year he does a very elaborate production that gets rave reviews by the local paper. He is also a Green Mountain coffee lover. Throughout the year, I gave him a Green Mountain coffee set with a travel mug and Godiva Chocolates (he's also a fellow chocolate lover) and a three tape compilation of Broadway show tunes by the original recording artists. I know he enjoyed that! I'm sure it has given him ideas for the kid's productions.
Another one of my kids had a very young teacher that recently moved to this rural community from NYC. She was quite homesick. She missed the style, the night life and the cultural diversity. I realized she was a Tommy Hilfiger fan because she often complimented my children's clothing. I bought her a small knapsack type bag from Tommy Hilfiger. I noticed she wore red often. I purchased a beige one with red trimming. Every now and then, when I pass by the school I see her using it. I know she liked it.
I think I have become known as the Bath and Body Works Mom. Why? I do buy the teachers gift sets from there or I put their products in my own gift basket creations. The beauty about their products is that if the person doesn't like the fragrance, they can exchange it in the store for the one they do like...without a receipt of course! I think the teachers know and they drop hints. I don't mind because I enjoy giving the gifts. They teach my children and spend many hours a day with them. For this I WANT to give them a token of my appreciation.
Fruit Baskets are great gifts as well. I have made some beautiful baskets for some teachers because I know that they are health conscience and fragrances are not their style. For the ones that run the latch key program, that care for my kids after school...They were on diets. The diet solution? Depending if it's Atkins or low fat. Popcorn tins are not a bad idea. They can munch on them at the end of the day!
Some more tips:
1. Pastries or donuts..try Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts and the coffee too!
2. Victoria's Secret has some great lotions and small gift sets too.
3. Scrapbooks are also a great gift. If you can collect enough pictures from different school activities, you can make a beautiful one!