Get Lizzy's first chapter free and join my readers' group! Send Me my First Chapter!Send Me my First Chapter!

Teacher Gifts and How Buying Gifts Cards is Hard

I’m going to give a couple of tips on Teacher Gifts for the end of the year.

But first, a disclaimer.

I recently tried to send gift cards to some graduates we know.  You may think “It’s a gift card.  How hard could it be to send a gift card?”

Turns out – it can be very hard.

First off, I looked at the rows of gift cards and decided a nice generic Visa card would be nice.  I was at Target so it ended up being a Target Visa, but it still should work wherever.

I grabbed five, without looking at each one.  This got me gift cards wishing Happy Birthday and much love to a Happy Couple.

The top one is completely appropriate for graduates. This isn’t my fault

I decided people would just have to deal with this and that it’s the thought (and money) that counts.

For many people, that would be enough snaffus for one gift card giving experience, but not for me.

It turns out half of the cards I gave away weren’t activated.  A friend let me know something was up, luckily.  I was charged for the cards, but a glitch in the computer system didn’t allow activation.  (Consumer Tip: Only buy 4 gift cards at a time.)

I have no idea who has those cards because I didn’t write down who I sent a wedding v. A bday v. A plain gift card to.  I know I should be more organized, but I didn’t think it would matter.

I then messaged everyone to ask them to let me know if I sent them a gift card or just a useless piece of plastic that was for the wrong celebration in the first place.

If you’re okay with getting gift giving tips from someone who just did that, read on.


If giving a gift card, MAKE SURE THE GIFT CARD IS ACTIVATED.  It will say on the receipt.  Look at the receipt.  Supposedly receipts are helpful things.  Who knew?


I’m still having a hard time getting over the tip #1 experience.


Here’s what I do:

  1. Individual Gifts to Grade School Teacher – I try to give something unique or that will be of good use.  Starbucks gift cards; Pizza gift cards; Office Supply gift cards; basically, I give gift cards.  (You’d think I’d know how by now.)  I’ve also given random things I find like post-its from the Wicked Witch of the West and a Dr. Seuss notebook.
  2. Gifts to the staff – Once my kids started middle school, I realized I couldn’t give teacher gifts anymore.  There are just so many.  So I give food baskets to the whole staff.  My go-to is Great Harvest because there’s a large selection and I live in a small town and it’s what I have.  (I just realized I should include more gluten-free gifts.  It’s the thought…)
  3. Ice cream on Field Day – I think grade school Field Day is miserable.  It’s amazing for the kids but it feels like chaos control when I’ve volunteered.  This year I decided to give the staff Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen because they need something with chocolate.  (I should include something for lactose intolerant.  It’s the thought…)
  4. SMILE – it’s the end of the year.  Everyone is at their final wit.  No one knows where anything is and we are all trying to make that pencil stub survive two more days.  I try very hard to smile the last week of school even if there are last minute projects and kids are complaining the duct tape is all gone.  (It’s not.  My son just refuses to use the Princess roll I got on clearance for his rocket that represents the Cuban Missile Crisis.)  Sometimes it’s a fake smile, but I still try.

I hope some of this helps.

Cuz once school is out, you’re on your own.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.