I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what to do for my sons’ teachers at the end of the year. I would like to do something for them, and the teachers’ aides, that shows them how pleased we were to have them as teachers this year. I’ve been trying to think of present ideas for a few months now. Last year, at the winter break, I re-gifted a bottle of wine from my work, but I didn’t give anything at the end of the year. This year I didn’t give anything at the winter break, so I would like to do something nice at the end of the year.

I especially want to do something nice for my younger son’s teacher, Isabelle. My older son was in her class last year and both he and my younger son adored her and the feeling seems to be mutual. How can I not like her?Teacher

As a person who strives to be both frugal and uncluttered, I cringe at the idea of offering just another knick-knack. I don’t really know their personal tastes and I’m sure they already have enough coffee cups! I did run into Isabelle at Ikea one time, but a gift certificate, especially for all three teachers, is a bit out of our budget right now.

Then I remembered some blank journal books that my motherhad made and given to me. These are very nicely bound books with handmade clamshell box covers; she can and sometimes does sell them for $50. She gave them to me after de-cluttering her own bookshelves; she makes them as models in classes she teaches so always has quite a few on hand. They are just sitting on my shelf, gathering dust, but I think they will make beautiful (and frugal) presents. I’m also planning on making a large batch of chocolate chip cookies, that quintessential American treat, for all the teachers’ aides to share and enjoy.

I can see my sons progress daily and I know how much effort goes into that. I didn’t want to give something meaningless just to give them something, nor could it be too expensive because of our financial situation. I hope these gifts will reflect how much we appreciate the work that the teachers and aides do.

Do you give end of the year gifts to your children’s teachers? What kinds of presents do you give?