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Getting Tacky Things for the Holidays



I know this may be very unPC-like but is there a way to get around students and their parents buying you things? Has anyone ever given a Wish List out? All I want are hand made things, if anything. I told that to my kids last year but it didn't work. I would feel very weird passing out a piece of paper to all parents stating that hand made things are best.



Good for you! I don't think it would be bad for you to request that at all. Perhaps you could send out early holiday cards and ask that instead of gifts to you, students donate the money they would spend to the charity of your choice. Then they could still give you a hand made item with a note. Or maybe your class could help support a child from another country and you could ask that parents send money to help that endeavor.


Full Member
Gift for Class

I ask parents to give a gift to the classroom instead of to me. Suggestions I give are music CDs, books for the library, class decorations, etc.


Teach 5

Senior Member

I don't think I would request homemade items. For some people that would be very stressful.
I did ask my parents to donate small baby items in lieu of a teacher gift, the items were then donated to a crisis pregnancy center. I usually bought a diaper pail or baby bathtub to put the gifts in. However, many of them still gave me a gift. I began to feel that the baby item was a burden for them since they wouldn't give up the gift for me.
I love the idea about the classroom gift. I might try that one.


Classroom Gifts

I like the idea of gifts for the classroom. I think it would be fine to send a note home to parents asking for classroom items rather than personal gifts, and then write a wish list of supplies needed. I don't think parents realize how much of our own money we spend on our classroom, and how much we appreciate anything they are willing to give. It would be items that would be used too...

I was cleaning out a cupboard the other day and found a bunch of coffee from students who gave me coffee for Christmas last year. I can't stand coffee...!


Senior Member

I accept all gifts graciously and thank the students for every coffee cup or chachka I get. At the end of the year during post planning, if I have tacky gifts still lingering in the room, I put them in the trash. It may feel weird to throw away perfectly usable coffee cups, but such is life. When I married, I married a teacher who had been married to a teacher. We had to box up about 50 coffee cups when we moved in together--we couldn't use so many and it was hard to store them. I have given them away but there seems to be a glut.

I have sung to the students, "All I want for Christmas is some dry-erase markers," or a similar ditty and I've received these items too, but every year I do get the other things as well, including all manner of baked items.

Merry Christmas, y'all!


Senior Member
Listen to this

A note went out to the parents requesting that they not buy teachers any presents but make a donation to the school pta and they would divide up the money between 48 teachers and staff.

Personally, I hate the idea. I don't think it is fair that parents want to give a gift to their child's teacher and it is going to be divided up. I would rather that it all went to a charity.

If a parent is really generous and wants you to have a gift, you may only receive a $1.00 of a $50.00 gift. I'm sure it is because the specials and other non homeroom teachers do not get as much as a homeroom teacher does but they only have the student 45 minutes a week not 7 hours a day.

Do you think I am being picky?


Senior Member
You Can't Really Win Sometimes

One year, I suggested that items for the classroom would be most welcome. I even suggested some: colored copy paper, dry erase markers, laminating sheets, etc.

Guess what! I got a really nice supply or those AND lots of other presents from the same givers. I felt as if I only caused them to spend more, and that was certainly not my intention.:s)


New Member
Tacky gifts

Okay, from the tone of the other responses, I guess I will be very un-PC. I know that all of the gifts you receive may not be things you would buy for yourself. I've gotten some gifts from students that were not my cup of tea (some may consider them tacky), but I always thank each student for the gift as if it were the best gift I ever got. I think it would be "tacky" to be act ungrateful to students and their parents or to request things like "homemade gifts." The truth is that most students give gifts because the really want to show they care. Some gifts, admittedly, are given with ulterior motives, but they should all be accepted with grace. One of the best solution I have heard about for those gifts you don't want or can't use is to donate them - to Goodwill, Hope Harbor or any other charitable organization that can sell them. That way, your place is not cluttered and someone else would get some use from the items.