With summer vacation just around the corner as an etiquette and protocol expert I get a lot of phone calls about what to give the fabulous people who have inspired brilliance in our adorable children all year -- their teachers.
To make it simple I've put together a list of my favourite teacher gifts as well as my definitely don'ts.
My number one favourite gift is: A gift card and a handwritten note
Although I would say I know my children's teachers well -- I don't know them well enough to know their shoe size or what brand of shampoo they use and that means a really personal gift is out. This is why I LOVE the gift card. What gift cards do is let me say thank you by saying "here is something just for you that you can use to treat yourself in whatever way makes you happiest!"
Rules of gift cards:
- They must provide the teacher with flexibility, purchasing power and the least restrictions.
- If you do know your teacher loves a certain store, then a store credit card can be great -- one way to find out is to ask them.
- A credit card gift card can be great too -- but make sure you check the terms, some of them have sneaky per use user fees that can quickly make them useless.
- Ensure whatever cards you pick ensure it is fully activated so that they can use it as soon as they receive it.
Now to personalize this slightly impersonal gift -- a handwritten note is ideal. Something prepared by you and your child that says how much you appreciate their support and efforts is really the key to making this gift a teacher favourite.
You should also make sure to wrap the card in a gorgeous gift package so that it feels like a gift to your teacher.
For bonus points: You can collaborate with other families in your class to make a group gift so that teachers receive one fabulous gift card an one fabulous note from all of their adoring families and students.
Second Option: A gift your child selected and absolutely had to give their teacher
This has happened to me where my daughter saw something in a store and said we absolutely had to get it for her teacher. One year it was a scarf, another year it was a little change purse -- on both occasions I couldn't resist because of this: my daughter recognized the importance of saying thank you in her own way to someone important in her life.
If you do choose this option, I would advise to also do a smaller version of my favourite gift above as well.
Gifts you should never give:
- Clothing or Footwear
- Perfume or a Candle
- Figurine or bobblehead
- Fresh Fruit arrangements
Remember, it is the thought that counts so the gift value doesn't have to be extravagant but the point is should be thoughtful which is why I love using gift cards so our teachers can treat themselves to something special for treating our little ones so well during another busy school year.
MORE ON HUFFPOST: