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November 16, 2006



I have been a teacher, and on the receiving end of all those Christmas gifts. While the gifts are appreciated (I still have, in fact, a flannel scarf given to me by a family whose child I student-taught years ago), I don't know any teacher who actually EXPECTS them or keeps track of how many there are. A card with a personal note is fine; something small (a small knitted purse, maybe?) is great and will be appreciated for a long time. Something made by a child is always a winner. Bigger gifts, IMO, are not necessary.


Here's the "no's" with teachers' gifts: no coffee mugs or cutesy teacher stuff. They all have boatloads of that.

Here's the "yes's": chocolates and book store gift cards.

Trust me.

Oh, and don't even think about knitting for them! Your masses of loyal followers need you to focus on the -- you-know-what.


Yeah, I hear ya. My son goes to a special needs preschool four times a week, and he's got one main teacher, a speech teacher, three assistant teachers, a bus driver, and a bus aide. Only the main teacher is getting a handknit, for my sanity's sake. What thrills me to no end, though, is that HE requested a scarf for her -- a purple scarf, no less. For a little guy who used to rarely connect with people or even make eye contact, this is fabulous. When we talk about it, he acts out how she'll open it and say, breathlessly, "Oooh, bootiful!" :)


I live in the subtropics but cannot resist that Malabrigo!


Last year, DS had four teachers (two men and two women). I made felted wine totes for the men, a baby sweater and hat for one female teacher (pregnant at the time) and a drawstring purse for the other female teacher. The felted wine totes were very quick and well received. The other two gifts were appreciated as well, but they weren't as fast. Maybe it was the wine bottle they liked and not the totes? I don't want to think about that. Good luck!


I am knitting a Malabrigo shrug/cardigan thing...I am in love. The color you scored is A-mazing!


I am currently knitting a very cool scarf out of Malabrigo...and my son wants to give it to his teacher for Christmas.

Luckily it is cold here and scarves are always welcome.

This Malabrigo is sweet stuff!


MMMMMMMMMMalibrigo! sigh

I'm gonna go there... I'm gonna buy some... and I'm gonna what???? Doesn't matter. Some things are just to good to need justification!

I think I need to plan a family trip to the snow! Or maybe I can go visit my Dad in Ohio! Hmmmm...


To avoid the pile of small gifts, at my school the room parent sends out a note saying that they're going to purchase a class gift and welcomes contributions. From my understanding, people chip in from $5-20. Then they buy an Amex gift card or something of that nature so the teacher can get something a little more substantial...be it a dinner out or a new winter coat for recess duty (true story).


starbucks gift cards all the way around.


I got the best teache gift this year. Each year our school has a Fall Carnival and Silent Auction. There is a parking space right by the door that they auction off by the month and you get to park in that space. I won the months that both of my kids teachers have their birthdays in, December and January. So, ds took them their parking passes today and they are thrilled!

I have always ordered a book for my child's teacher for their classroom and have found that it has been well received and appreciated. Go to Amazon.com and look at their best sellers for that age group.

Good luck!

Elizabeth M.

If you feel you must give them something (and I vote "no" on that), give them a gift certificate to a bookstore or educational toy store so that they can buy stuff for their classroom.


Malabrigo = crack.

I have so many relatives to get (or knit) gifts for that I think I'd implode if a teacher were added to the mix.

It's nice to hear from the actual teachers here in the comments, though. It all sounds very sweet. Christmas brings out the sap in me, I suppose.


Teachers dedicate their whole lives practically to teaching and I'm sure they need a break once in a while. I bet they'd appreciate a gift for themselves, rather than on for the class. Starbucks or Jamba Juice gift cards are always high on the list. Malabrigo... mmmmmmm. Seems like there's nothing softer or squishier. Here's a secret. I have 7 skeins in my stash waiting to be knit up for gifts. Enjoy!


I used to work at a yarn store that displayed all the Malabrigo in hanks hung on the wall. One giant wall stuffed with Malabrigo.

When I was having a bad day, I'd just go to the Malabrigo wall and lean on it. Heaven.


My husband has been a teacher for many years. He works in a school district where money is extremely tight for both the schools and the students. As Christie said, he never EXPECTS anything. Once he got a Starbucks card for Christmas - he genuinely dislikes Starbucks, but thanked the child graciously. His most treasured gifts are notes from the students (gifts costing money are pretty much nonexistent). A gift for his classrooms would be welcomed any time of the year. Give what you think would mean something to the teacher - a heartfelt note perhaps with a certificate to an educational store. Maybe even a donation to a school fund, if one exists. I'm sure that this all varies in levels of economy, but again, I've never met a teacher with a gift expectation. And can you give a teacher yarn - sure, if her or she will enjoy it, I think it's a wonderful gift.

gina L

Malabrigo, my favorite! I think teachers are the most important people in your kids lives after their family. A little gift is nice to let them know they are appreciated. Just don't give any mugs or apple theme items. So forget about buying those apple buttons!


Speaking as an X teacher? Go for the consumables: Chocolate, soap, lip balm, hand cream, stickers, cute pencils, note pads/post-its, cool shaped erasers, smelly markers, magnets if there's a magnet board.

Okay, magnets aren't consumable, but very useful, small, and easy to wrap.

Now if I was GF's teacher you could give me as much yarn as you wanted. :)


My brother and his wife are teachers. They do their best to provide books and supplies when the school system cannot. They don't expect anything either, but a gift card to Barnes and Noble helps them avoid spending their hard earned money on children's books. Just my two cents. :)


The Yarnplay book has a great purse pattern that uses Malabrigo. I will knit it eventually. But, if you don't want a sweater or something, the purse is an option - but then again, you being the designer you are, I am sure you would come up with something amazing!


My husband is a teacher. He gets a load of stuff every Christmas, but I know he wishes he didn't. Teachers aren't keeping score, and if they are, shame on them. Give ONLY if you really want to.

(OTOH, the one thing he WOULD not turn down would be Kleenex. Boxes and boxes of Kleenex...cold & flu season approaches. If you can find it in your kid's class, ask who supplies it. I bet it's the teacher.)

Miss Scarlett

I teach Preschool and really - a card with something your child made is the best gift.
If you really want to give something in addition a coffee or book gift card are excellent choices.
As a part of a team of teachers it is not good getting one teacher a better gift than everyone else. Very tacky. Insulting and tacky.
Unless it is the child's idea - and then a little discretion in presenting it would go a long way.
Really though, you should never feel pressured to give something.


I'm a teacher. Generally speaking, we don't expect anything, are pleasantly surprised by things like lotion, candles, soaps, and gift certificates. Someone mentioned a Jamba Juice card, which I imagine would rock anyone's world. I'd be thrilled by yarn, too, but not sure how others feel. I read an article a couple of years back in the New Yorker about how the parents of high falutin' private school kids were giving things like iPods and cashmere sweaters to their kids' teachers. Not my reality at all, though a girl can dream.

Miss Scarlett

Can I edit my post? I think I spotted a few more spots I could use 'really' in.


I am a teacher, and I'll back up everyone before me who said that teachers don't expect the gifts and don't think badly about those who don't give them-- especially when a lot of the gifts are mugs. That said, if one of my students gave me yarn, I would be ecstatic.

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