Should Parents Buy Christmas Presents For School Staff?

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

It’s easy to feel pressure during the holidays, especially whether to buy Christmas presents for your children’s school staff.

Children in elementary school don’t have just one teacher; they have many.

Is there a line you draw when buying Christmas presents for staff members?

Today, let’s discuss whether to buy Christmas presents for teachers and ways to keep the costs low.

teacher Christmas Presents 2022
Should parents buy Christmas presents for all educators?

Buying Christmas Presents For The Entire Staff

While chatting to a group of parents at our son’s school, one mentioned they bought Christmas presents for her son’s teachers.

Immediately, my mind was focused on the word “teachers” because that meant more than one.

Our son is in grade three, and we buy Christmas presents for his teacher, but only for his grade three teacher.

We never gave much thought to the other school staff contributing to our son’s education.

For the sake of this article, let’s consider many of the staff that a public school may have in Ontario.

  • Teacher – Grade school teacher
  • Educational Assistant – If your child uses an EA to include extra help for a child.
  • Bus Driver – Your child’s bus driver brings your child to school and home safely.
  • Principal- Ensures policy and procedures are met and works with parents to ensure a child gets the best education.
  • Vice-Principal – Helps the principal with overflow when needed or is the first contact in the school system before the principal.
  • Secretary– The man or woman who ensures your child gets everything they need outside the classroom.
  • French Teacher – Occasional teachers who don’t come every day but a few times each week.
  • Music Teacher – Occasional teacher
  • Librarian – The educator who provides a safe place for teachers and children to learn how to read and create projects.
  • Gym Teacher – Occasional teacher, including other subjects besides the gym.
  • Sports Coach – Looks after their team.
  • School Counsellor – Is on-site when needed to discuss something with a child and their parents.
  • Lunch and Outdoor Supervisors – These staff members, who may be part-time or not listed as part of the staff, ensure your child is fed, the class is tidy, and outside rules are followed during a break.
  • School Nurse is on-site to help children if they have scrapes or bleeds by cleaning the cut and wrapping it or putting a bandaid or cover for them.

Buy For One, Buy For All

The list seems long, and it is; however, I’m likely missing others, but my question is, where does a parent draw the line?

Is your child’s music teacher less critical than their grade teacher?

I’m sure educators outside of the primary classroom teacher feel like forgotten educators.

The above staff members contribute something different to our son’s education.

Related: Should you give your daycare provider a Christmas bonus?

Budgeting For Christmas Presents

We budget for Christmas presents, baking, dinner, and other holiday snacks.

One aspect we did not calculate was how many Christmas presents we would need for our son’s school educators.

Then, we wondered whether we needed to buy a gift for each educator and whether we could afford it.

Guilt and peer pressure can get the best of parents regarding gift-giving at school.

Anything from birthday parties to teacher gifts can cause issues because not all parents can or want to spend the money.

Then, the child feels left out because other children are bringing gifts, and they have nothing to give.

Perhaps educational gift-giving should stick to greeting cards or homemade gifts.

Doing so would remove the stigma that parents need to spend money so their children can buy Christmas presents.

Related: Sponsor a Family Instead of Teacher Christmas Gifts

Cost Averaging Our Christmas Expenses

Each month, we save x dollars from going toward holiday expenses.

We put the money we calculated into a savings account called “projected expenses.”

Projected expenses are those you know you will have at some point throughout the year.

For example, if we average the cost of our Christmas expenses to be $1500, we save $125 each month until Christmas.

If you want to buy Christmas presents throughout the year, bump the end date to October or July, but expect the projected expense to increase.

Related: How to calculate projected expenses for your monthly budget

Homemade Christmas Presents For School Educators

Instead of buying a present or Christmas card, why not have your kids make them?

Any child can create a holiday card for teachers using the following tools.

Our son made me a Christmas card in church class outside his regular school using the following items.

I’ve linked all of the products to Amazon Canada to give you ideas so you can create your craft space.

Sometimes, pricing can be less on Amazon based on quality, weight, or amounts.

Also, check secondhand shops for bagged school supplies if you don’t have a Dollar Store.

Our son’s joy as he presented me with the card he had made was bliss.

Any educator should present the same excitement to a child who is creative in such a way.

Baked Goods Make Great Christmas Gifts

Related: Easy DIY Christmas Baked Goods In Jars

Parents can include their children in making homemade Christmas baked goods in jars for a small cost.

It’s fun and inexpensive to purchase the ingredients on sale a few months before the holidays.

My favorite to make with our son is the brownies in a jar, and we’ve made spice mixtures.

Make a homemade taco seasoning in a small mason jar with a DIY Christmas tag.

It’s the perfect gift.

Baked goods in a jar for Christmas

Gift Cards

The most popular Christmas presents for educators are gift cards, particularly to a Dollar Store or an Office Depot.

Most teachers have to purchase classroom tools using money from their pockets.

Giving gift cards helps teachers offset costs, which allows them to get what they need to teach children effectively.

Times sure have changed, that’s for sure.

Second-choice gift cards that are popular are from coffee shops such as Tim Hortons or Starbucks.

How much money should you put on a gift card present for a teacher?

The amount depends on how much you can afford rather than what you think other parents are spending.

Dollarama Gift Card $10
Dollarama Gift Card $10

For example, we bought our son’s teacher a gift card for $10 to Dollarama, and our son is making her a card.

We sponsored a family in our community and donated cash for Christmas presents and her gift.

Don’t waste money on candles, mugs, and other trinkets that will likely end up on secondhand store shelves.

For another example, a friend told us that her son’s teacher had broken his stapler a month before Christmas.

The parents and son went to Staples and bought the teacher a new stapler as a holiday gift.

It was a welcome surprise that the teacher still had the stapler on his desk years later.

Growing Indoor Plants For Christmas Presents

Venus Fly Trap Plant
Venus Fly Trap From The Spruce Blog

I’ll throw this idea out there, but we have a massive money tree in our house and can easily make baby plants.

Teachers with windows in their classrooms might love the gift of a plant.

It can be any plant, vegetable, or fruit that can be started in a small plant and later transferred into the ground or a larger pot.

Other options might be herbs such as Rosemary, Oregano, Parsley, and Basil, provided you have indoor space to grow the baby plants.

Recently, our son came home with a Venus Fly Trap plant from a birthday party he attended.

We both thought it was a fantastic gift for a child, so why not grow one for a teacher?

No Christmas Presents

For those parents who don’t have money set aside to buy Christmas presents for their children, educators don’t need to.

Also, consider that not all families celebrate Christmas, so they do not participate.

Realistically, nobody has to buy or make Christmas presents for anyone because that’s not the purpose of Christmas.

Christmas presents are lovely to give and receive, but more important is to see the children flourish so they become the best version of themselves.

Discussion: Do you purchase Christmas presents for your child’s academic staff?

Please leave me your comments below.

Thanks for stopping by to read CBB.

Happy Holidays,


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