For most kids, this is the last week of school before their long winter break (10 days, in our case). It’s also your last chance to snag that teacher’s gift that you’ve been putting off all season long. For me, the teacher’s gift is always one of the hardest on my list. One mom once told me to just go buy a cheap, cute mug and give that to her. Well, that’s cute, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, but honestly, how many cheap dollar-store mugs does a teacher really need? Since I’m trying to figure out a great gift myself here, I thought I’d turn my research into something helpful for those of you in the same boat.  I even put it in handy-dandy list format, because we all love lists (some of us may or may not have mild OCD when it comes to making said lists).

Five Great Gifts For Teachers…Aside from Generic Mugs

1. Caffeine– When I asked my friend, a teacher, what she would most want for Christmas, she told me “a Dunkin Donuts gift card.” Teachers work with kids all day, and I know from working at the Santa set that dealing with kids requires copious amounts of caffeine. The good thing about a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks gift card is that if your child’s teacher happens to be one of those non-caffeine people (seriously, how do they survive?), she (or he, I’m not trying to be sexist here, but the majority of my son’s teachers are women) can grab a hot tea to unwind after a rough day, or some yummy pastries to help them blow their diet!

2. Book Gift Cards– Teachers need books, right? Sometimes they even get to buy books they want to read. A book gift card to Amazon, BN, or a local store allows her to run out on the last day of school and grab that trashy novel that she’s been dying to read over winter break.

3. Stress Relief Bath Products– This one can be a little tricky, because you kind of have to know whether she’s deathly allergic to perfumes or not, but a basket of trial-sized stress relief bath and body products would be a great way to say “I know my kid drives you bonkers sometimes, and I appreciate you not sending him to the principal’s office every time he decides to stand on his head during math lessons.” Lavender and chamomile make great relaxing scents. If in doubt, give her a Bath and Body Works or Body Shop gift card.

4. Movie Passes– A ton of really great movies come out during the holiday season, and sitting in a dark theater watching some mindless comedy or hair-raising horror film is a great way to unwind after a long semester of filling little brains with endless hours of wisdom. Give her two passes to the movies so she can take a friend, just in case she’s self-conscious about going alone (like me!).

5. An Awesome Mug Filled with Gourmet Tea- Fine, so the mug is a good idea. But it doesn’t have to be a cheesy, cheapy empty mug, does it? Get her a really cool one, like a photo mug with a picture of her class and the year, and throw in some gourmet tea bags. I also reviewed an awesome Contigo Travel Mug that would work great.