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30 thoughtful holiday gifts for teachers to thank them for everything they do

Submitted by Tech Insider on November 8, 2019 - 1:06pm

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  • Celebrate the teacher who has led you through an entire semester's or year's worth of learnings with one of these 30 gifts. 
  • A custom rubber stamp, a pillow massager, and gift cards they'll actually use are a few ideas that will keep you on your teacher's good side, long after you're no longer in their class. 
  • Find more holiday gift ideas from Insider Picks here

Teachers form the backbone of our educational system. They teach us everything we need to know in and beyond the classroom, and with endless enthusiasm, patience, and compassion along the way.

As the year winds down, it's only proper to show them some love and appreciation. Teaching any age group — kids, teens, adults — is a difficult job that most of us can only attempt to understand. So, as you say goodbye before winter break or graduation, make sure to give your teacher the thanks they deserve. 

They have more than enough mugs in their cabinet by now that you probably shouldn't default to giving them one, no matter how witty the slogan on it is. Instead, give them one of these 30 thoughtful and useful gifts. If you're not already one of their favorite students, you surely will be after they receive something from this list.

SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift ideas, in one place

A travel book to inspire her summer vacation plans

Gift National Geographic's "Journeys of a Lifetime, Second Edition: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips," $27.86

Summer vacation is still half a year away, but now's the time to start looking for a warm, tropical destination or bustling, adventure-filled city to escape to. Nat Geo's 10th-anniversary edition of "Journeys of a Lifetime" is packed with gorgeous photos of and guides to the world's best trips. 

 

A coffee subscription

Gift a Driftaway Coffee subscription, from $86

Chances are the coffee in the teacher's lounge isn't exactly top-notch. Thankfully, Driftaway Coffee's is, and keeps things interesting by sending new whole bean varieties every month and improving upon the next selection based on their feedback. By the end of the school year, your teacher will have a good idea of the type of coffee they really like. 

An insulated mug

Gift the Hydro Flask 12 oz Coffee Mug, $29.95

Whatever it is they drink in the morning to prepare them for the school day ahead, this mug keeps the beverage at the appropriate temperature for an astonishingly long amount of time. It's comfortable to carry and comes in many bright colors. 

A gift box that combines fitness and wellness essentials

Gift the Boxfox Wellness Gift Box, $95

The fitness and wellness-oriented box, containing a fitness towel, ginger chewing gum, and apple cider vinegar capsules, and more, brings them back down to earth after a tough week at school. 

A fragrant candle

Gift an Otherland Candle, $36

These sophisticated coconut and soy wax candles come in scents ranging from refreshing Canopy (fig, ivy greens, mint) to rich Chandelier (champagne, saffron, leather). The beautiful look, delightful scents, and personalized matchbox make this candle gifting experience special

 

A way to squeeze in leisure reading

Gift an Audible 3-Month Membership, $45

In between grading papers and designing lesson plans, it might be hard for your teacher to carve out time to read a book (for fun). Their commute is probably the best time to catch up on the best sellers everyone's reading, appreciate the classics from a new angle, or finally dive into that book they keep falling asleep to in bed. 

A detailed poster of the opening lines from famous novels

Gift the Pop Chart Lab 'Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels', $30

English and grammar teachers will appreciate this chart diagramming the opening lines from 25 famous works of fiction. After admiring the partitioned, color-coded picto-grammatical representations, they'll want to read the books all over again. 

 

A cell phone stand

Gift the Lamicall Cell Phone Stand, $9.99

The simple, sleek, and durable stand is the perfect way to keep their device upright at just the right angle as they work. While it's a no-frills gift, it's undoubtedly practical and useful. 

A small potted plant for their desk

Gift the Snake Plant Zeylanica, $33

Instead of gifting a flower bouquet, try an indoor plant. It lasts longer and requires less maintenance, but livens up their desk just as well. 

A portable tea set

Gift the Zens Mobile Moon Portable Tea Set, $29.99

Don't just give them the tea infuser. Give them the cups and a handy carrying case, too, so they can enjoy a hot cup at work or at home. The glass teapot has an integrated infuser plus two indentations for easy holding, and the tea cups are double-walled and resistant to high temperatures. All the pieces fit snugly in the eye-catching hardshell case so they can take their favorite tea from home to school and beyond. 

A fun tape dispenser

Gift the Otto the Otter Tape Dispenser, $15.33

A cute twist to the traditional, ugly tape dispenser will instantly liven up their desk. 

Beaded luggage stickers

Gift the Pottery Barn Beaded Letter Sticker, $3

Teachers are just as happy as their students to start a vacation. These carefree, colorful stickers for their luggage set the mood for the break ahead. Pottery Barn also sells travel- and nature-themed versions of these affordable stocking stuffers. 

A unique bookend

Gift the Hero Bookend, $25

Whether they're used in the classroom or for your teacher's personal collection, or for lesson planbooks or comic books, these bookends make for a quirky gift. 

Rich chocolate-covered strawberries

Gift Shari's Berries Gourmet Dipped Fancy Strawberries, from $34.99

The top spot in our book for the best chocolate berries goes to Shari's Berries, whose hand-dipped white, milk, and dark chocolate strawberries have our mouths watering just thinking about them. They'll arrive chilled with an ice pack so you don't need to worry about a mess arriving at your teacher's door. 

A custom rubber stamp

Gift a Custom Stamp, from $15

Gift the stamp they'll always reach for first as they check and grade homework. You can get creative by submitting a picture of your teacher's face or their favorite catchphrase. There are three different mount choices and many more size options. 

A coloring book full of phrases your teacher can relate all too well to

Gift the Teacher Life: A Snarky Chalkboard Coloring Book, $8.99

There are some situations that only teachers can understand, and this adult coloring book perfectly captures them with humor and cheekiness. The illustrations are single-sided, so they can take the page out and frame it if they so wish. 

 

A fun and informative cooking class

Gift a Cozymeal gift card, from $10

Teacher becomes student in a Cozymeal cooking class, which are led by professional chefs and currently available in more than 20 major cities. We took a class and loved it — no matter their level of culinary expertise, they're going to have a fun time. 

A personalized desk sign

Gift the Personalized Desk Wedge Sign, $23.99

The wedge is a solid natural hardwood while the sign is shatter-resistant fogged acrylic glass, allowing it to last through any teacher's illustrious career. 

Mini hand sanitizers

Gift the Olika Minnie 6-Pack, $36

Sister to the original Birdie hand sanitizer that's trying to disrupt an oft-overlooked industry, the Minnie is the perfect little desktop and handbag companion. Your teacher's hands are bound to get dirty while interacting with a room full of kids, but this nourishing, non-irritating formula will fix that. 

A personalized notebook, planner, or address book

Gift the Teach From The Heart Notebook, from $16

Give this one to the best teacher you know. You'll be able to customize the cover design, interior cover, and interior format of the notebook. 

A novelty USB flash drive

Gift the Penguin USB 2.0 Flash Drive, $13.99

A cute and funny flash drive can instantly make work more fun. Sometimes, it's the little things. 

 

 

A thank you card

Gift the Donut Teacher Card, $6

Sometimes all it takes is a simple note to show your appreciation. Include a thoughtful, hand-written note to thank your teacher for all their hard work this year, and it will go a long way in helping them remember you. 

A pillow massager for their neck and back

Gift the Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager, $44.95

If you've ever caught your teacher looking stressed or tense, you're probably partially to blame — but you can fix that with this heated at-home massager that feels almost like a professional massage. It has four deep-kneading rotating nodes to relieve aches, knots and muscle tension. 

A gift card to a popular women's workwear shop

Gift an MM.LaFleur gift card, from $25

Popular women's workwear brand MM.LaFleur makes excellent pants and blazers that are definitely an investment, but worth the price. Its Bento Box contains these stylish and comfortable wardrobe staples to take the headache out of getting dressed in the morning.

A tote bag

Gift the BAGGU Giant Pocket Tote, $37 on sale (originally $62) [you save $25]

BAGGU makes great bags and its machine-washable cotton totes are no exception. Help your teacher carry all those lesson plans, tests, and homework papers with this cute yet sturdy tote. 

Gift cards

Buy a gift card from: Amazon, Target, Staples

At the end of the day, teachers will always appreciate a gift card, especially if it's to a store where they can stock up on supplies. 

Comfortable waffle slippers

Gift the Parachute Waffle Slippers, $29

These cushioned slippers are made with 100% long-staple Turkish cotton for extra absorbency and comfort. Ideal for lounging and relaxing, they'll bring a feeling of everyday luxury, but without the luxury price tag.  

A smart home device

Gift the Amazon Echo Dot, $49.99

In and outside the classroom, the small smart home device is endlessly useful. They can play Jeopardy, ask for recipes, listen to the news, turn lights on, play music, reorder products, and more. 

A personalized key ring

Gift the Leatherology Hotel Keychain, $15

The full-grain leather keychain is a perfectly composed accessory that they'll love to carry, especially if you personalize it (for only $5) with a monogram. 

Beautiful note cubes inspired by an American artist

Gift the Louis C. Tiffany Favrile Note Cube Set, $36

Known for his stained glass work, Louis C. Tiffany lends his colorful and delicate designs to these trays, which hold 500 loose paper sheets and 50 color paper clips. 

 

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