Last week, we posted things that collect dust when gifted to a teacher for the holidays. This week, we’re featuring the good gifts. Want that teacher to really appreciate your thought? Go with one of these:
- Gift Card. Really, this is hands-down the best gift. What kind of gift card, though? We’re big fans of Barnes & Noble or Borders, local movie theater, Sephora (for a female teacher) or a local spa. Amazon is great, too.
- Magazine Subscription. Giving a magazine subscription requires a little bit of work. You have to really know the teacher and her interests. Then, once you’ve identified a magazine that she’ll enjoy, call the subscription center. They’ll tell you if she already has a subscription. You’ll also need her address, which isn’t always easy to get. An alternative to all the work? Give a Giftscriptions Magazine Gift Certificate: 50 Choice Magazine Collectionwhere the teacher will get to select the magazine.
- Does she drink coffee? Then a travel mug like this personalized one (not a teacher-y one) is always useful. Slipping a Starbucks gift card inside is an extra bonus–even a $5 card will treat her to a coffee)! And if the school has a Keurig coffee maker for the teachers, find out her favorite flavor and gift her a box of k-cups with a big bow.
- Have a teacher new to teaching? Find your local parent teacher store. She’ll love a certificate to use here. Teaching, unfortunately, costs a lot.
- Slippers! After a long day on her feet, a teacher loves to come home and get comfortable. Plush slippers (or warm, soft socks) are always a welcome gift. You can usually find great ones that aren’t too costly at Sears or JCPenney. Or spoil her feet with slippers by N*A*P.
The gift that’s most important won’t cost a lot of money, its just the promise to stay on the teacher’s side and to work together to help the children. As a teacher, my favorite gift each year was from a family who sent me their holiday card with the kids’ picture. On the back were quotes from the kids from the past year. I still have those in a box of memories. The teacher mugs, scented candles and lotions were given to charity… usually about a week or two into January.
I promise, a teacher doesn’t need (or want) another of these. (Though she’ll be adoring in her thank you note anyway!)
- Scented candles
- Scented lotions
- “#1 Teacher” mug (or #1 Teacher anything)
- Christmas Tree ornament (especially if she doesn’t celebrate Christmas.) This also applies to a Jesus Loves Me baby toy for a baby shower for a Jewish teacher Mom-to-Be. Very nice, but she doesn’t want it
- Gift Card to a store that isn’t near her home. No, she’s not going to drive over an hour for a movie she can see around the corner at a local theater. She also would rather not drive upwards of an hour to a spa, video rental shop or mall. If you’re going to gift a gift card (and gift cards are a good thing to gift!), make sure there is a store local to the teacher, or that she can redeem it online.
So, what should you gift a teacher? Find out in next week’s 5 Things.
- Play a card game. We’ve been playing a lot of Uno Card Game this week, which is great for kids 6 and up. For kids 4 and up, both Color Go Fish Playing Cards andRAT-A-TAT-CAThave been easy, quiet time games.
- Read a book. Or a few. Our almost 4 year old pulls up his little chair next to my nursing chair and we can read for hours. One of the easiest books to read is Caps for Sale – A tale of a peddler, some monkeys, and their monkey business as the layout provides for the reader to bend back the spine and look at the backside to read while the listener sees the picture on the opposite side.
- Tell a story. Get a story or journal prompting book for inspiration and take turns adding to the story.
- Have a set of crayons and some paper around so that your preschooler can illustrate your story (in #3) or play as well.
- When all else fails, grab a great movie like Toy Story or The Little Mermaid and enjoy!
Please, share your breastfeeding/entertainment ideas with us…. we’re in the middle of our 12th game of Uno today! And while we love playing, we may need a change.
With barely 2 hands its tough to multi-task and get much done. While it may be the point that you relax and do nothing, a mom-of-plenty knows that breastfeeding minutes can be minutes of stress when you think of things you can be doing.
- upload pictures from your SD-card to your computer
- surf the web, read your favorite blog, but don’t expect to be able to type
- read a book… read lots of books
- play Sudoku on your phone (or whatever game you have on there)
- catch-up on celeb-gossip reading the tabloids
- (true, its supposed to be 5-things but this one is important) Watch TV. Its premiere week!!
Heading to the hospital for a baby delivery? Consider adding these to your list:
- Box of tissues. I was SO sick the week I delivered. And cheap hospital tissues don’t wipe it. When the husband went home to shower, he was instructed to only come back if he has a box of Kleenex.
- Baby Book. I had the best of intentions for bringing this with me. But the baby arrived before my amazon.com order did. Here’s the book I ordered, it arrived the day we came home.
- Cash. Again, we’re so used to using credit, that we forget cash for things like vending machines and hospital cafeterias. Sigh.
- Thank you notes. I know, it seems silly because they are just doing their jobs. But each time I’ve been in the hospital I’ve left feeling like I’m leaving behind new friends. And while I shout out “thanks! Bye-bye!”, I think how nice it would have been to write a note of appreciation. That, and you can write them for all the flowers and things you receive in the hospital, so you won’t have to do it later.
- Comfortable pillow. I was wrong, they don’t have comfortable pillows (or beds, for that matter.) Bring your own. (okay, a bed may be a little difficult.)
The first 5 things parents should do to calmly reenter life at home, and not totally forgo relaxation:
- stick a frozen pizza or ravioli in the oven
- eat as a family
- ask kids to think of their 3 favorite things on vacation, then draw or journal one of them
- send the kids outside to run off the pent-up travel energy
- take a family walk
Notice we didn’t mention laundry, grocery shopping, sort mail or get messages? Save that for tomorrow when you have a full day ahead.
- Laundry Basket: Forget the super fancy luggage. If you’re staying with a washing machine, pile the kids’ clothes into a basket and yours into another. Light weight, easy to carry, they fit everything and pack and unpack without troubles. Plus, it’s easy to find things if you need them mid-trip. Get to your destination, move the clothes into drawers and you’re set to start your visit.
- An extra headlight: because you never know when you’ll end up with a “pidoodle”. And a “pidoodle” can lead to a ticket. Or an enormous hassle if you drove to a vacation spot without Walmart or a car dealership.
- Baby wipes: for cleaning hands, spills, mouths… but really for cleaning hands. Every single time you get out for a bathroom break
- Armorall Car Wipes: if you’re travelling with kids, spillage is inevitable. And no one wants to clean up spilled milk 5 days later, let alone drive the car home with old spilled milk.
- Cash: So used to plastic that you rarely carry cash? Sure, until you hear the story of the vacationing family who’s credit card number was stolen and had the credit card frozen in the middle of vacation. Being declined while charging diapers at the grocery is not a good thing.
- A good ol’ paper map: Between GPS and cell phones we rarely use maps, who would think to bring one? But should connection be lost or a curiousity followed, getting lost can make you a long way from home.
- camera (with a new SD card–at least 2G, and for this price, go for 4G)
- notebook or netbook computer with wireless access
- cell phone
- change of clothes and comfortable walking shoes
- change for vending machine and money for parking
…(BONUS!) 6. flowers for your wife!