We have featured Far & Wide Collective on the blog before, and I am so happy to keep suggesting them as a place to shop for gifts. Far and Wide Collective is a fair-trade on-line marketplace for artisans in post-conflict and emerging economies. I have bought for myself and for others from their site, and the delivery and presentation of the gifts is beautiful. In December, I could not help myself and I did a “one for you and one for me” kind of shopping with these Afghan silk scarves ($60), which come in so many gorgeous colours. They came beautifully wrapped in tissue paper folded like origami, all ready to present (or, um, open for yourself….).
These geometric patterned notecards ($20) would also make a great end of year gift for a teacher.
And I loved this post on how to write a thank you note to a teacher at the end of the year from fellow Savvy Mom Storyteller, Jan Scott. I think you can never go wrong with personalized stationery for teachers, but what a special addition to make sure that you send along your own detailed thanks for the highlights of the year.
I’m nuts about stationery and books, and this gift idea makes me happy in so many ways: a bookplate stamp personalized for your child’s teacher. From Etsy retailer Stamp Out Online.
Or what about a great tote bag for your child’s teacher to carry around all his or her summer reading? I love the bold impact of this one from Nicole Tarasick available on the One of a Kind site.
Nathalie is the best gift giver of anyone I have ever met. Receiving a gift from her is the ultimate! I once asked her how she always knows just the right thing to give and she told me her secret. She listens. She listens to what people are talking about, what people are planning and what people are saying. Hard to believe in a society where everyone seems to be tapping on their phones to post to their social media more than actually being social. So here’s my take on the perfect gifts to give teacher this year . . . first off, listen. Find out what their plans are for this summer and use that as a springboard to curate the perfect gift. It’s worth noting that the perfect gift doesn’t mean expensive or hard-to-find. It can be something simple or it can be a more elaborate group effort. Either way, it should be well thought-out and ultimately come from a place of sheer gratitude.
Here are few suggestions to help get you started:
This teacher can’t wait to sample the latest food trends on a patio, and has already planned supper club with friends to while away the summer. A gift card to a new resto getting rave reviews may be ticket but if this teacher prefers the prep to the pomp, then I would suggest one of these cookbooks.
It’s perfect for the more unconventional cooks but beware, there are some naughty words that could get Teacher sent to the Principal’s office.
Brown Eggs and Jam Jars is chock-full of gorgeous photos that make even me want to cook!
Fellow Savvy Storyteller, Amy Bronee of Family Feedbag, recently published her much buzzed about book The Canning Kitchen – the perfect accompaniment to the bounty that summer gardens bring.
This ash and wood salad bowl from Indigo is tops on my list. For some reason, I can never seem to have enough bowls and this one says “summer salads”.
But my favourite gift to give a foodie is something you’ve made. Baked goods, canned goods, pasta sauce . . . wrap it pretty and serve with your favourite how-to instructions.
This teacher has been meticulously planning their trip down to the nitty gritty details. Of course guidebooks are recommended but chances are this teacher has already highlighted and dog-eared every other page.
Literary travel books like We’ll Always Have Paris: A mother/daughter memoir are a great way to build excitement for a trip and supplement the facts gleaned from traditional travel books.
Cookbooks featuring cuisine from the country is a way to whet the appetite for what’s to come. In the past year I have heard many travelers (and Paddington too) touting the glory of Peru. The Fire of Peru by Ricardo Zarate caught my eye.
I also like the idea of getting a travel kit, like this one from Herschel, and filling it with all sorts of drugstore goodies like earplugs, sunscreen and bug spray.
The Binge Watcher
This teacher is going to score an A+ in relaxation this summer with plans of sinking into a vegetative state binge watching TV programs. My recommended favourite is Call The Midwife, granted not exactly up everyone’s alley so my second recommendation is True Detective.
And you can’t score top marks for vegging without all the accoutrements. Gourmet popcorn is a must and while I have not tried this Toronto-based company, I just may have to because Tuxedo is calling my name!
I have a strong practical streak and can’t shake the flawed practice of giving people what I like, so keep this in mind as you read on. In a nutshell, I think giving soups in a jar is delightful. It’s giving both the gifts of nutrition and time, especially to one of our teachers who is also a single mom. I love the idea of giving her what essentially amounts to a night off from cooking, but still having a pot of steamy nutrition bubbling on the stove. You can make these easily enough, or Soup Girl has some wonderful options at the ready.
I’m not sure how helpful this is for a gift guide, but honesty will reign, so herewith goes a plug for handmade presents. I really enjoy making things, often with my kids, and I try to involve them with all of our gift-giving. Handmade cards make frequent rounds, and this year I will be gifting some natural cold-pressed soap that I made.
One of our teachers is also a health buff and loves his protein smoothies… we drink smoothies around here so know a dedicated travel jar for them might be nice. Maybe for the mornings when he’s racing to work to teach our littles? (How hard could it be to make one of these…?)
Finally a confession: I also tend to contribute to classroom gift cards for the teacher. It’s easy, it works, and we do try to personalize them to the teacher’s interests. Let summer come!