The day is finally here, winter break is about to start. I remember when I was a kid how excited I was to have weeks off from school. As a parent the feeling is totally different! Before I get into that I want to cover the subject of what to give the teacher as a holiday gift! This year all the parents got together and decided to pool money from all the families and pick one person to go out and buy a gift card for the teacher. Something unique that we did this year was that one of the moms in the group actually surveyed the teacher and asked their likes/dislikes, favorite stores, colors and other information like that to help buy them something they would like. Now, there was not requirement to donate money for the gift but it certainly made everyone’s life much easier this way. Typically teachers are given the same gift of candles, soaps, ornaments, and chocolates year after year and believe me they are grateful for any gift you give them. I always like to give gifts that are useful or something meaningful that my child sees and knows that is something their teacher would use. Many schools have a strict policy on gift giving so always make sure the check.
If you are tight on money this year than you can always just pull them aside and thank them for all their hard work. Something else that does not cost a lot of money is making the teachers a little baked treat. This year we are giving them a little rum cake, chocolate chow mein clusters, and chocolate truffle bars (the menu was planned by the kids). There also is the dilemma of what to tip the postman, sanitation workers, security in our neighborhood. We are all on a tight budget this year so there may not be enough to tip these important people. Still, I like to express my gratitude with a little note thanking them for all they do for us. It is not about the gift it truly is the thought that counts. We are all struggling and doing the best we can for our families but taking time to say thank you just costs a little of your time.
Here are the people that typically get some sort of gift or tip around the holidays.
Babysitters, according to the research I did many people spend about the cost of babysitting for them one night. Many times you can just get a gift card for Itunes, Target, Justice, Movie tickets, Toms gift card.
Teachers, budget is between $10-$50 according to what I read. Like I described above, all the parents usually pool money together to give a gift.
Day Care Staff, I would always set a budget of between $20-$30 if I could afford it and I would usually buy a gift card for the grocery store or Target and I would always put it with a drawing or card that my child made.
Coaches, We always got all the parents together and asked for $5 from everyone and gave the coach a gift card for a sports store or sports bar type restaurant.
Mail Carrier, according to what I read you cannot give them cash or non cash gifts with a value of more than $20. Again, gift cards are your best bet.
Security Guard, this is a tough one because how can you put a dollar value on your security. Give what you can, if you can but make sure they know how grateful you are for the work they do.
This year is was easy for us to decide what to give as gifts. The whole family loves TOMS shoes and if you keep up with this blog you have seen many posts about them. The kids wear them to school and I almost always have them on when I go for class parties and each and every teacher has asked me what TOMS is. I tell them all about the One for One concept and they are immediately surprised and the next thing they say is that they have never seen them before. Toms is such a versatile shoe and is perfect for teachers! We are giving TOMS gift cards to all our teachers this year and of course tell them about the TOMS Coupons we offer here on Shopaholic Mommy! The most important thing is to enjoy the holidays with your family. Winter Break may seem long but if you enjoy the time with your kids it will create memories for a lifetime. We will be posting tips and advice for a keeping busy during this long holiday so come back and see us! Happy Holidays and we always love your feed back. What are some of the ways you give thanks ?