22 Holiday Gifts Teachers Really Don't Want

Mary Hawkins | Nov 21, 2018 Big Kid
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  • Coffee and/or Tea

    1

    Even if you love coffee or tea, it doesn't mean your child's teacher does. Unless you know for sure it's something they like to drink -- steer clear of beverages.

  • Body & Bath Products

    2

    Not everyone likes certain scents -- and there are also many people who have sensitive skin and may have a reaction to spa products.

  • Homemade Treats

    3

    This one tops the list of things teachers REALLY don't want. First, some of them have allergies and/or don't eat certain foods. And second -- they tend to be cautious about eating something homemade if they aren't very familiar with the family who made it.

  • Mugs

    4

    They have at least 10,000 of them already and don't want to invest in additional kitchen cabinets to house them all. The end.

  • Pictures

    5

    News flash -- your kid's teacher adores him. But not enough to display something with his picture (or one of the whole fam) on it in her home.

  • Anything With 'Teacher' on It!

    6

    Yes, that ornament is darling -- but your child's teacher has at least 100 of them in a box in her basement.

  • Stuffed Animals

    7

    They're cuddly and adorable. For kids. What the heck is a teacher supposed to do with them?!?

  • Candles

    8

    Sure ... candles are pretty. But if they are scented, they might turn off teachers. Different people prefer different types of smells.

  • Clothes

    9
    iStock.com/RyanJLane

    A resounding please, no! to this one. You don't know their size or their style or what kinds of materials they hate ... so skip the sweaters this year.

  • Smelly Lotions

    10

    Yes, lotions are cheap and easy. But don't you think all the other moms know this, too? Teachers get a million of these, and a lot of them won't be used because of the strong scents.

  • Apple Knickknacks

    11

    Cute? Yes. Way overdone? Yes. Teachers only have so much room on their desks for tchotchkes from all their students over the years.

  • Cash

    12
    iStock.com/Kameleon007

    Sure, money is practical, but cash in an envelope feels a little too much like a bribe (haha). Gift cards to Target or a great restaurant in town might be a better option.

  • Wine

    13
    wine
    iStock.com/Eshma

    Wine may seem like a good go-to for anyone, but teachers say alcoholic gifts are a bit too personal. And they'd rather the things they do in their free time to relax -- and their preference for chardonnay or the occasional old-fashioned -- remain private information. 

  • Makeup Kits

    14
    makeup kit
    iStock.com/gerenme

    Another one that is just way too personal to gift to a teacher whose beauty preferences are unknown. 

  • Perfume 

    15
    perfume
    iStock.com/mustafagull

    Perfume is extremely individual. Also, as one teacher from Chicago put it, "I don’t want to be on a date night and spray a scent that reminds me of your child!" 

  • Hand Sanitizer

    16
    hand sanitizer
    iStock.com/Elenathewise

    It may seem useful and thoughtful, but teachers have their own methods of boosting their immunity and staying germ-free and likely won't dig a perfume-y sanitizer as a gift. 

  • Home Decor Items 

    17
    blankets
    iStock.com/CatLane

    Unless you know the teacher fairly well and have a sense of that person's personal style, avoid gifting anything that they'll display in their home -- from blankets to vases to other random tchotchkes.

  • Scarf

    18
    scarf
    iStock.com/Elen11

    Scarves or pashminas might seem like good go-to generic gifts, but the teacher on your gift list would likely prefer to pick out anything she wears, period.  

  • Socks

    19
    socks
    iStock.com/triocean

    Who doesn't love a cozy pair of socks? Very likely the teacher you're gifting, who may also find it a bit odd to have her students' parents gifting her or him warm fuzzy items for their feet. 

  • Generic Candy

    20
    box of chocolates
    iStock.com/imagedepotpro

    Unless you know exactly what kind of candy/chocolate a teacher loves, as well as all of her or his possible food allergies and sensitivities and preferences, it's best to steer clear of the generic gift box of sweets. 

  • Fruitcake

    21
    fruit cake
    iStock.com/wideonet

    Same as the candy. But also, yuck. Just say no to fruit cake.

  • Jewelry

    22
    bracelet and earrings
    iStock.com/Denisfilm

    Another item that you best leave to the teachers to pick out, as personal style is, well, personal and they know theirs best.

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