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Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Teachers (and Some of the Worst)!

It’s that time of year again where we’re all trying to come up with the best teacher gifts for Christmas. No doubt you want to thank your child’s teacher for all their hard world and dedication throughout the year, but when it comes to what to buy a teacher for Christmas, it’s not always that easy.

Teachers get numerous presents every year, so it can be quite difficult coming up with great Christmas gift ideas for teachers that are a good balance of original, personal and something that they will really love.

Well luckily, I know lots of teachers…..

And luckily we have lots of teachers in our database and on our Facebook page. So, we asked them what they consider good Christmas presents for teachers and then complied all their gift ideas for teachers into this guide on the top teacher Christmas gifts!

All the teachers who responded said that they are always touched that students and parents consider them at this time of the year and while Christmas gifts for teachers are not expected, they are truly appreciated and valued.

BEST Christmas gift ideas for teachers (and some of the worst)

Kindergarten teacher reading to children in library

So for all of you out there trying to figure out what to get teachers for Christmas, we’ve asked them, and they have answered.  Below we not only have listed some great Christmas gifts for teachers, but we also have listed some of the worst Christmas gifts for your teacher (tip don’t buy anything off this list!).

Top 10 best Christmas gift ideas for teachers

First up let’s check out the best Christmas ideas for teachers from students.  Stick with any of these ideas for Christmas gifts for teachers, and you’ll no doubt have one very happy teacher:

1. Gift vouchers

According to our teachers, vouchers make the very best Christmas gifts for teachers.  I guess that makes sense too because, with so many kids in a class, teacher’s will no doubt get loads of the same type of gift.  With a voucher, they can cash it in for something they choose themselves.

You can get a voucher for anything these days.  Some good ones include movie tickets, book vouchers, or even a more general voucher for the local shopping mall.

You can even get other parents to put in (see below for more details about this idea) and get a higher value voucher.

Vouchers are super easy Christmas gifts for teachers if you’re time poor too, because, you can even just order vouchers online.  Here are some to consider:

  • QBD – teachers can grab a book to read over the holidays or buy some books for the classroom.
  • Scoopon – you can get vouchers for almost anything here – and they are often at bargain prices too.
  • Biome – great for the environmentally conscious teacher.
  • Lime Tree Kids – So the teacher can buy new equipment for the classroom or their own children rather than spend their own money.
  • Amazon Australia – with an Amazon voucher, the teacher can buy a range of different things for themselves.

So if you have completely no idea when it comes to what to give teachers for Christmas, stick with a voucher. You might not think it’s overly personal but believe me, the teacher will thank you for being able to get something they really want.

2. Group presents

Mother’s Day Gift Hampers

When it comes to Christmas gift ideas for teachers from students, I think the very best idea is instead of getting your own individual present, organise for all the parents to put in and buy one larger present.

There are many benefits of the class buying a present together.  Firstly, it prevents double-ups – no teacher wants 10 boxes of chocolates or bunches of flowers.  It also helps those families that may not be able to afford much, as every family can just contribute whatever they can.  Lastly, it allows you to purchase more expensive Christmas presents for your teacher that on your own you wouldn’t be able too.

Even with group presents, you can still buy a range of gifts as listed here in this top Christmas gifts for teachers guide or just the one gift.  It’s completely your call.

Some more expensive Christmas gifts for school teachers to consider are:

  • Experiences: Experiences make great Christmas present ideas for teachers – as it will create memories they will never forget. How about a spa treatment, Gold Class movie tickets, cooking classes or even sky diving tickets for the adrenaline junky teacher.  Sites like Scoopon have some great deals and will help with some inspiration if you can’t come up with anything.  
  • Hamper Baskets: Whether your teacher likes wine and cheese, chocolates or beer – there is a perfect hamper basket for them.  Either make one up yourself or do it the easy way and order one online.  Check out some of these ideas from Gourmet Basket.

3. Plants

Cleveland Markets plants
Cleveland Markets plants

Good Christmas gifts for teachers that have a bit of a green thumb is an easy to maintain plant.  They may either take the plant home or keep it in the classroom.

You can purchase plants from the local nursery or there are sites online that have some beautifully presented plant gifts.  Check out Edible Blooms plant gift range for some inspiration.  Any of these gifts would look lovely on the teacher’s desk in the classroom.

4. A personal note

The best Christmas gifts teachers love, don’t even have to cost money.  A personal note from the student or parent saying what they liked about the year is a lovely touch.  It also allows you to let your teacher know just how much their efforts are appreciated.

5. Classroom equipment

Teachers spend quite a bit of their own money decking out their classrooms, so one of the great teacher gifts for Christmas is a bunch of new classroom equipment.

Whenever you visit your child’s classroom, take a quick look around and see what things are getting used often or any workarounds being used.

Some things to consider include:

When it comes to what to get your teacher for Christmas, classroom equipment will be well received.  And if you’re not sure what they need or want – just ask them.

6. Alcohol

Yep, that’s what they said!  In fact, it’s really no surprise that according to the teachers we surveyed they said one of the perfect Christmas gifts for teachers was a bottle of their favourite drink.  I mean that’s probably the perfect gift for anyone!

Package this gift up with some nice cheese and crackers or something.  If you’re super stuck for ideas, there are plenty of places that sell these already packaged up – like  Gourmet Basket.

And if you aren’t sure what their favourite drink is, grab them a voucher to the local bottle shop.

7. Personal on the go items

Some more great Christmas ideas for teachers are portable on the go items such as travel mugs, water bottles and items for teachers to bring their lunch to school each day.

Sites like Biome and Lime Tree Kids have some beautiful items for sale.  Here are a few things to get you thinking:

If you’re not sure what they need, get your child to do a little bit of spying to see what your teacher already has.  Although these items often go a miss, so I’m sure they will appreciate a backup.

8. Edible things

I know people regularly consider buying chocolates or biscuits for their teacher, and no doubt teachers love receiving one or two boxes of chocolates or other treats – but what usually ends up happening is they receive many many boxes of chocolates!  So when it comes to edible Christmas treats for teachers, try and think outside the box a little.

When it comes to edible gifts, one of the great unique teacher Christmas gift ideas is a fruit bowl or even a combined fruit and vegetable box.  While it is a somewhat practical gift, you can present this gift really lovely in a nice basket or fruit bowl.  

You can also make a hamper with practical items like nice jams, teas, cheeses, oils and chutneys.  It doesn’t have to be just sweets.  If you’re time poor there are some great hampers you can order online, look at places like Gourmet Basket, Edible Blooms or MacArthur Baskets.

Just note that in our survey from teachers, edible gifts came up as both one of the worse and best presents for teachers at Christmas – so use your discretion with this one.

9. Lottery tickets

Our survey results showed that lottery tickets and scratchies are another welcomed gift among teachers.  These are also reasonably inexpensive Christmas gifts for teachers so perfect if you don’t have a lot to spend.  They also are great if you’re buying a bigger gift on behalf of the whole class and have a bit of money left over to spend.

10. USB’s

Interestingly enough, one of the things teachers reported that they like to receive is USB’s.  Data storage can be expensive and small USBs often get lost, so a few back-ups never hurt. 

Top 10 worst Christmas ideas for Teacher from students

So we’ve covered off on some awesome teacher gifts for Christmas, but we thought you might also like to see what the teachers said in our survey made the worst Christmas presents for school teachers. 

I reckon we are all guilty of giving some of these presents at least once or twice, so to prevent making the mistake again, be sure to check out these worst school teacher Christmas gift ideas.

1. Craft

 Teachers can only display so many pictures or wear so many handmade necklaces.  Chances are they have their own children too so already have a stack of craft gifts they are storing at home. Sorry but craft is not an ideal Christmas gift for teachers – a personalised note from your child is much better received.

2. Flowers

Flowers, of course, are one of the most common gifts to give teachers for Christmas.  And no doubt teachers love receiving flowers from time to time but can you imagine if they received a bunch from every child at the end of the year.

If your class is putting in a for a group present – sure flowers are fine, but for an individual present, choose another one of the cool Christmas gifts for teachers in this guide.

3. Candles

Candles tend to be another one of the most popular gifts to get teachers for Christmas.  I’ve heard of teachers having whole cupboards full of unused candles.  For unique teacher Christmas gifts, leave the candles in the store and look at something else from the list above.

4. Expensive or personalised pens

Teachers also reported that they are not overly keen on receiving expensive or personalised pens.  They said pens go missing all the time and so they’d much rather receive a pack of cheap 100 pens rather than one fancy one with their name engraved on it.  So if you’re after some cheap Christmas gifts for teachers, it seems a pack of basic pens will be much appreciated.

5. Edible things

Yes, edible things also appeared as one of the best gifts to give teachers for Christmas, but it also came up as one of the worst presents too.  This is mainly because teachers often get inundated with edible presents.

So like we said above if you’re after the perfect Christmas gifts for teachers that are edible, try and think outside the box a little and get them something different to the usual chocolates, lollies or biscuits.

6. Books

Honestly, unless you know just what the teacher likes to read, don’t buy them a book.  Books are such personal things.  However if you do know they like to read by all means buy them a book voucher – book vouchers make the best gift for a teacher on Christmas because they can get exactly what they like. 

7. Perfume

Don’t get perfume for the teacher, it’s too personal, and so if they don’t like it, you’ve wasted your money.

8. Cosmetics

Again, don’t buy your teacher cosmetics – it’s too personal.

9. Personalised Stationery

Teachers also reported they’d rather receive everyday stationery items rather than personalised stationery.

10. Mugs

Yeah, coffee mugs are nice Christmas gifts for teachers and all – but do you know how many of these they receive?  Plus, with teachers walking around school, they really aren’t that practical either.  So if you are keen on buying a mug – make sure it’s a travel mug – like the ones we’ve recommended above in the best Christmas presents for teachers section.

So, there you have it. Brisbane teachers have let you know their thoughts on the best teacher gifts for Christmas as well as the worst teacher gifts for Christmas.  Now to ensure the teachers of Brisbane get some awesome Christmas gifts this year, do them a favour and share this post on your Facebook page using the buttons above and below.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

13 thoughts on “Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Teachers (and Some of the Worst)!”

  1. The best presents I received over 15 years of teaching was a nice necklace & a bottle of wine – I was nearly sickened of Ferrero Rochers at Easter time lol

  2. You can never get enough chocolate, but what I really love from my students are hand written notes or cards telling me what they enjoyed about the year.

  3. I have always loved things that the kids have made me. I have Christmas decorations made by kids that I put on my tree each year that remind me of a particular child I have taught.
    One child with a pretty tricky home life gave me a cuddly toy that she treasured – it was a bit worn but she insisted she wanted me to have it. I have a big card from when I left a little one teacher school where I taught with pictures and messages from each child in the school. The parents & kids also gave me silver goblets with all of the kids’ names engraved on them. These things I treasure. I received tickets to a theatre restaurant one time that a child’s family owned. That was pretty fun.

  4. The best gift is a voucher? That seems pretty boring. My hubby and I are doing a hand made chopping board (that hubby made from Australian red cedar) and a lovely gourmet relish/sauce (bought) to go with it.

    • As a Kindy teacher this is an awesome gift! I appreciate gifts, but often get things I can’t use (e.g. hand cream due to sensitive skin).
      Getting a voucher means I can pick something I really want!


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