Teacher Gift Etiquette

Do you ever wonder whether or not you should give your child’s teacher a gift? After all, you know how hard teachers work, and you want to show your appreciation. Whether it’s for a special occasion, a holiday, or just because you appreciate all the hard work and dedication, there are certain things you should keep in mind when making this decision.

Most parents try to teach our children certain core values, including one of generosity. One of the best ways to demonstrate this is to offer a gift to your child’s teacher. You may want to limit it to special occasions, or you might like to give random gifts just to let the teacher know you are thinking about him or her.

It’s always a good idea to put some extra thought into teacher gifts. Make sure they are appropriate and something the recipient will enjoy. This may be something the teacher can use in the classroom, take home to enjoy, or an item to put on display. Most teachers have fond memories of their experiences in the classroom, and memorabilia type gifts hold a special place in their hearts.

One way to keep the gift appropriate is to get all the students to participate in one present. You’ll have the checks and balances, and no one will feel as though you are trying to bribe the teacher.

Special Occasion

As holidays and other special occasions occur throughout the year, talk to your child about what he or she thinks the teacher would like. Ask if the teacher has mentioned any special interests, hobbies, sports, or favorite pets.

Here are some ideas for special occasions:

  • Thanksgiving – Although this isn’t a typical gift-giving occasion, you can show your gratitude and appreciation to the teacher by giving a Thanksgiving present before school lets out for the holiday. Some things you might want to give include a pretty handmade centerpiece, homemade treats (if that doesn’t break a school policy), or a picture of the class in a Thanksgiving-themed frame.
  • Christmas, Hanukkah, or other religious holiday – Before offering a religious-themed gift, make sure the school allows it. If the teacher celebrates Christmas, a pretty ornament would be appropriate. A Jewish themed book or Hanukkah decoration will be appreciated by someone who celebrates Hanukkah. Most teachers of any faith would enjoy a gift card to a local restaurant. If you want to increase the value of the gift card, ask other parents to go in on it with you and list all the children’s names on the card. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive as long as it is thoughtful.
  • Valentine’s Day – Some children absolutely adore their teachers, and they want to give them something special for Valentine’s Day to show their love. This is fine as long as the gift is appropriate and not too personal. A small box of chocolates with a handmade card is a good choice. Other gift ideas include hand lotion that the teacher can keep at his or her desk, a bookmark, or a coffee table book about the teacher’s interests.

End of the School Year

As the school year comes to a close, most students and teachers have mixed emotions. On the one hand, they’re happy to be free from homework and grading papers. On the other hand, they’ll miss their classmates, teachers, and students. For an end-of-the-year gift, choose something that will remind the teacher of the fun times you had in his or her class.

Ideas for end of the school year gifts:

  • Scrapbook with a memento from each student
  • Photo album with pictures and autographs from the students
  • A bound collection of short essays from each student thanking the teacher for what they learned that year

“Thinking of You” Gifts

Everyone enjoys a pleasant surprise, including teachers. However, randomly giving teachers presents can be a sticky situation, unless the whole class participates. If one student consistently presents things, it will seem inappropriate – as though he or she is trying to buy a grade.

There are other occasions you might want to offer gifts. Show your appreciation by learning the teacher’s birthday and letting the other students know. It is also nice to honor him or her for any awards earned during the school year.

Why not have all the students come up with a “thinking of you” gift day? Each child can make something to show appreciation for the teacher and present it on the same day. If a couple of the parents have some time, you can turn this into a celebration. Just make sure you don’t take up too much valuable lesson time. Don’t forget to add a thank you note, letting the teacher know how much you appreciate his or her dedication to education.

Keep This in Mind

No gift will ever make up for consistent bad manners, so spend some time teaching them what is expected of them in public. Never give your child’s teacher a gag gift or something that may come across as an insult. An inappropriate gift is worse than not giving a gift at all.

Give your children a refresher lesson in good manners before the school year begins and encourage them to use them, starting with the first day. Anything your child gives the teacher during the school year will be like icing on top of their excellent behavior.

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5 Wedding Gift Rules Guests Should Always Follow

Stick to these five easy gifting rules and couples will never return one of your gifts again.

Every time you accept a wedding invitation you’re inevitably faced with the question of what to give. From where to shop to foolproof gift ideas, we know a thing or two about finding something perfect for the couple. Follow these five rules to be the best wedding gift giver ever.

1. Buy From the Couple’s Registry

We don’t hand out this kind of advice often, but in the case of wedding gifts, don’t get too creative. The majority of soonlyweds want you to choose a gift from their already curated wedding registry. Nearly 9 in 10 couples create a registry with an average of 125 items to chose from, so you should no problem getting creative within the boundaries of their wish list. To find it, head to their wedding website which should link directly to their registries, whether they’re setup at traditional retailers, with a cash registry like The Knot Newlywed Fund or both. The couple set up the registry for a reason, and if you stick to it, you can’t possibly buy a gift they won’t like.

2. Bed, Bath and Kitchen Gifts Are Not Boring

Today’s couples want modern twists on traditional wedding gifts from the kitchen, dinning, bedding and bath departments. That means you can’t go wrong with a stand mixer and or beautiful wood salad bowl. Here are a few great ideas for each.

For deluxe bedding and bath, give them gifts that’ll create a spa-like, hotel environment every morning when they wake up. Think about buying them a trio of gifts to create a theme: What about a set of über-soft pillows, a thick down blanket and a pair of high thread-count hotel towels?

In terms of entertaining, couples want serious bang for their (or, ahem, your) buck, so opt for a set of dishes and stainless flatware that can multitask—and either be dressed up for an important dinner or dressed down for a Fourth of July barbecue.

Many couples use their wedding as the perfect excuse to finally upgrade their kitchen. Give state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, cookware, barware and even good old-fashioned cookbooks that are as pretty as they are practical.


3. Spend More Than $50

It’s not a good idea to use the price-per-plate rule to measure how much you should spend on the wedding gift—you wouldn’t give your best friend a less expensive gift because they were having a more casual affair. Spend what you think is appropriate to your relationship to the couple, and also consider what’s reasonable relative to where they live. While a co-worker or friend may expect a gift in the $50-75 range, someone in an urban market, say, New York City, may have double the expectations. Here’s the ballpark you should be aiming for:

  • Coworker and/or a distant family friend or relative: $50-$75
  • Relative or friend: $75-$100
  • Close relative or close friend: $100-$150
  • Urbanite: $150-200+


4. Group Gifts Go a Long Way

Married couples tend to say their favorite gifts are often big-ticket items purchased by a group of their friends, which makes total sense: They’d most likely never be able to afford those luxuries on their own. If the couple has registered for an item that’s out of range for just one person to afford, ask some other guests to go in on it with you. It’s also a great idea for the bridal party to band together and buy the couple something really special.


5. Send It Within Two Months

We know there’s been a one-year rule floating around, but with the convenience of online registries and two-day shipping, there’s really no excuse for such a huge delay. Try to send your gift within two months of the couple’s wedding. And though you’re excited for them to see it, don’t bring it to the wedding—they won’t want to lug it around, and it could get damaged during the night. Have it shipped straight to their door to make things easier for everyone.

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The Best Gifts to Give Your Mother-in-Law

Perhaps one of the most important relationships in your adult life is the one between you and your mother-in-law. Whether you adore her or simply tolerate her, the fact of the matter is that she is going to be a part of your life when you are married to her son or daughter. Plus, if it weren’t for her, your spouse would not exist!

So, whether it’s for a birthday, Mother’s Day, or just to show your appreciation for all that she’s done, don’t worry about having to come up with the most unique gift idea of the decade – we’ve already done the work for you! Below, check out our list of some of the best mother-in-law gifts for any occasion.


Martha Stewart Pastry Assortment

Whether your mother-in-law is planning to entertain, or she just loves a good pastry with her morning coffee or afternoon cup of tea, you cannot go wrong with these pastries. This assortment comes with croissants, Danish pastries, and more, and is THE perfect addition to a lovely Mother’s Day brunch.


Marion Tapered Vase

Are you always sending your mother-in-law flowers? You definitely should! And if your mother-in-law loves showing off those flowers around the house, she should have an equally nice vase.  This tapered vase has a subtle texture with gold around the rim, adding an elegant touch without taking away from the beauty of the flowers she’ll put inside.


Recipe File Box

If your mother-in-law makes legendary dishes for every party, she should start writing down the recipes and keeping them in this adorable box. Bonus points if you are lucky enough to inherit some of your and your family’s favorite recipes someday!


Self-Chilling Wine Glasses

This is the ultimate wine mom gift! When you’re pouring the rosé or chardonnay, the last thing you want it to be is warm, but sometimes you just can’t wait for it to chill in the fridge before you have yourself a little glass. Putting ice in wine is a no-no, because who wants watered-down wine?

With these glasses, these issues are ancient history! Keep the chardonnay cold during even the hottest summer days with this unique mother-in-law gift.


Tea Drop Sampler

These cute little tea drops melt in boiling water to create the perfect cup of tea! This mother-in-law gift is perfect for all the tea connoisseurs out there. Bonus: they come in cute shapes! This way, every time your mother-in-law has her afternoon cup of tea, she’ll know you love and care about her!


Outdoor Patio Fire Pit

Does your mother-in-law throw the best backyard shindigs? Chances are, she needs this adorable firepit to keep the party going after dark! Nothing is more fun than getting the family around the fire to make smores. Pro tip: If you can get someone to help you install it in secret before the big day, it can be the perfect catalyst for an amazing backyard Mother’s Day party!


Layflat Photo Album

This is the perfect mother-in-law gift for mothers-in-law who share the equally special title of “Grandma”! Grandparents love pictures of their grandkids, and in this elegant and beautiful album, they’ll be able to show them off on their coffee table for years to come. Fill it up with the best memories with their grandchildren and family time, and they will know for sure you love and adore them.


Aromatherapy Candles

These aromatherapy candles are such thoughtful, unique gift ideas because they have different scents for different moods. There is one for focusing, one for relaxing, one for stress relief, and one for energy. Send your mother-in-law a candle you think she could use!


“Man of My Dreams” Silver Cuff Bracelet

This silver cuff bracelet is inscribed with the beautiful and personal message, “Thank you for raising the man of my dreams.” This is the ultimate thank-you gift for your mother-in-law, since she did in fact already give you the ultimate gift (the man of your dreams!).


Garden Tool Kit

Get your green thumb mother-in-law the ultimate gardening kit. This kit comes with all that she’ll need to have the best garden in the neighborhood – including a travel carrying case, in case she gets the urge to help you fix up your own garden!


Potted Succulents

Plants may not be the most unique gift idea, but they are popular for good reason. Classic and thoughtful, succulents are the perfect houseplants for either starter plant moms or plant moms who are one with mother nature. They are low maintenance, but just so beautiful! Send your mother-in-law some potted succulents to add a little green to her life!

You never need a reason to pamper your mother-in-law. After all, she raised the man of your dreams, and she might even be your kids’ grandma someday. So it couldn’t hurt to send her some love!

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