Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time for Teachers

Ok, for all you people out there with children in school... this blog is for you. After years in the gift business it amazes me how much gift revolves around the "teacher gift." At market stores buy things completely with the mindset of "This will make a great teacher gift." I have enlisted the help of my dear friend Kristin who is a 2nd grade teacher and gets loads of bad gifts.

First, do not, i repeat DO NOT give your teacher a mug. I don't care how cute you think your mug is, she does not want another mug. There are a couple of questions that will allow you to rule the mug out- Have you ever even seen your teacher drink coffee? How many mugs do you think he/she owns already? Also while we are talking about coffee- unless you see your teacher drinking Starbucks- they do NOT want a Starbucks gift card (and they re gift it to people like me!)
Second, no generic bath product. Yes I know it is already wrapped. Yes I know it is an easy thing to pick up at WalMart that you think looks more expensive than it really it. Scents is such a personal thing- you have no idea if she likes to smell like vanilla... now with that being said, I still think soap is a great gift. Think about the person though- maybe they don't need bubble bath, bubble confetti, lotion, and everything thing else included in the basket. Maybe just a nice triple milled soap in a neutral scent on a great dish is better (and not expensive.)
Third, nothing that scream or says HOLIDAY. Working in the stores this past week it amazes me how many people give something with a Christmas theme- do you realize the Holiday is almost over? Then what do you do with it? No teacher wants notepad that says "Ho,Ho,Ho" what do they do with that in March? With that being said, they also do not want a Holiday scented candle either. I know that people get into time restraints on looking for teacher presents but why not pickup something in October when you have that free day off and you are out?
So now on to the most important part of this blog. What to get your teacher. There really are so many great items out there that work on small budgets (we understand that you have a lot of people to buy for!) Here are my ideas...

The easy first, something for their desk. Yes this may seem obvious but take it to the next level. I love the new pencil holders from the line SuzyJack- talk about a chic way to hold pencils. Why not pair that with a great notepad or something for their chalk board? I am mildly obsessed with Mayfair Lane. The clips and everything that goes along with it are adorable- and they stick to stainless steel! Another great idea, how about a great desk calendar? If you have a favorite teach you want to do a little more for- get her a Karen Adams Calendar and she will think about you guys all year!

Secondly, and this goes completely against this blog, a gift card. Now really I am not a fan of gift cards, but i do see their purpose especially with Teachers. I think a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store is a very thoughtful idea. Why not treat them to dinner as a way of saying thank you for enriching my kids life? One year Kristin's room mom collected $10 from each child who wanted to give a gift, and combined the money into a gift card to her favorite store, Ann Taylor Loft- what a thoughtful idea!
Third, why not think outside the box? There was a customer in one of my stores this week with Triplets and another child... so they needed a lot of gifts! I suggested why not give them cocktail napkins? They went with Curly Girl Design napkins that had sweet saying on them and I believe they were around $5.95. If you wanted to add a little extra you could throw in some initial Styrofoam cups or coasters. All very affordable, and really not what they are expect!

I realize that money is tight for a lot of people this year, but I have to say that I think thoughtfulness goes a lot further than spending lots will!

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