Grab and Go Teacher Gifts

If you are kicking yourself for procrastinating on teacher gifts, take heart. Stores knew you would arrive at this moment and are happy to help you out. Maybe this last minute dash for a gift will help you empathize with your panicked spouse who is searching for your gift right now (if not waiting until December 24th). You will understand why he opted for the fragrance gift set again – it was wrapped and it was easy.

Here are some options for teacher gifts around town:

  • A’mano in Mountain Brook Village has one of the largest selections of pre-wrapped gifts that include holiday spreaders and dip plates, ornaments, snacks and filled cookie jars. Most of them are in the $20 and up price range, so if you have several to buy for, consider your budget first.
  • Restoration Hardware has pre-wrapped silver ornaments for around $10
  • Stein Mart has polka-dot insulated cups and MP3 cases monogrammed with a single initial. Colors are green or pink and these are reduced (around $10) but the selection is dwindling.
  • Wrapsody in Patton Creek is having buy-one, get-one sales on much of its holiday-themed merchandise. The specials change frequently – examples of specials have included ornaments, green-and-red items, holiday things with polka dots, etc. – and they have a full staff expediting wrapping to get you on your way

If your child’s teacher has been in her profession for several years, you can be sure she has already amassed a collection of mugs and figurines and may have more lotions and creams than she can use. Consider a gift card, which she can use as she pleases for herself or perhaps her family. Give it with a cute, related object and the card will seem more personal.

  • Barnes & Noble – Of course most teachers enjoy reading but consider what else she can fine here: stationery supplies, lap desks, music, or some quiet time in the cafe.  Give with a fun bookmark
  • Panera Bread – She gets 30 minutes to wolf down her meal every day and then she has to make sure her student helpers have wiped down the table before lining up. Is that a relaxing lunch? With a Panerra card she can have a soup and sandwich to herself while she’s out shopping or grab a box of bagels for weekend breakfast. Give with a bottle of Jones soda (sold in Panerra) tied with a ribbon
  • Movie Gift Card – Rave sells gift cards at the box office (usually opens after noon) but this is an errand for your lunch break or before the matinee lines begin at 4 p.m. Blockbuster cards are also available in gift card kiosks at stores like Walgreens. Give with a big box of Goobers or a theater-size bucket of popcorn

Finally, one of the best gift cards for the teachers on your list might be the gift of reading for every young child in Jefferson County. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has partnered with the Junior League of Birmingham to provide an age-appropriate book each month to children residing in Jefferson County from birth to age five. The minimum donation is $10 and an acknowledgement will be sent to your child’s teacher. What a great way to honor your child’s teacher and benefit our own community!

Whatever you do, don’t neglect to include a note thanking your teacher(s) for their efforts. If your child is old enough to write, insist that he/she write a note as well. Appreciation is the most meaningful part of any gift and all of us need encouragement and the reassurance that our work is valued. This is especially true for the educators and caregivers who wash hands, provide tissues, inspire and instruct our kids every day.