Teachers get so much stuff, they must dread Xmas time - give a gift of time - help clean up the classroom etc. A gently used book for the classroom, art supplies to use in class for next year or a plant from your garden with a home made note from your child - thank you for helping me grow.
Consider homemade French Bread, cookies, breakfast muffins, or canned fruits and jams from your garden. Give herbs that you have dried from your garden or seeds you've collected.
Gifts to share with young friends ...
Printable paper dolls and paper toys
A coloring book made from printable pictures found online
Handkerchiefs, use old sheets, muslin, and broadcloth etc. If you are handy with the needle embroider initials into a corner
Use the hanky to wrap up some popped popcorn. Make a note- have fun popping into the holidays
Hair ribbons and barrettes: Take the ribbons you've been saving and turn them into hair ribbons. Change simple old barrettes into something different.
Jewelry: Have any bits of broken jewelry? Using a pair of needle-nosed pliers, put those together into something new.
Homemade candy and cookies
Raisins from your pantry (bought in bulk and then repackaged into smaller packages, tied with ribbon)
apples and oranges
For young school friends gifts, pick up old Scrabble games at thrift stores and yard sales. Then, use the tiles to create fun and funky bracelets. You can even use the letters to spell out the recipient's name.
For teens gifts how about small donations to organizations they would care about (a donation to the animal shelter; donating to a kids sport charity for underprivileged kids).
Plan a themed get-together (all-you-can-eat snack night) with everyone bringing their favorite snack to share.
How about teens serving together at a food pantry, or a soup kitchen, or help get and wrap gifts for the disadvantaged?
For teacher gift ideas
Homemade cocoa mix in a pretty jar
Bottle of sparkling cider
Home baked bread, include recipe
Homemade cookie mix with instructions for baking
Home baked cookies
Basket of fresh local fruit
Gourmet popcorn and flavored oil
Gardening gloves with a plant or flower seeds
Specialty cookbook - arrange for all the children in the class to submit a favorite recipe
Handwritten copies of your favorite recipes
Prepaid long distance phone cards
Video rental gift certificates
A special Christmas Ornament for your friends that they will cherish for many years.
Ornaments made from baked dough, beads, nuts, or pine cones can be easily designed even by the youngest hands. It is amazing how a little glue, glitter and string added to virtually anything can transform it into an attractive ornament.
Give your teacher a gift for the future--a tree. The Arbor Day Foundation's Give-A-Tree program plants trees in the national forests in the recipient's name.
As a group gift -- If there are farmer's markets in your area, consider buying your teacher a share in a CSA farm.
A reusable coffee mug with a gift card for a local coffee shop.
Provide a Christmas gift that the whole classroom will be able to enjoy. Present the teacher with a gift of baking. Home baked cookies, cupcakes, or one large cake can bring a wonderful Christmas spirit to not only the teacher, but to the entire classroom as well. This is a gift that allows the teacher to share his bounty with the students.
Professional organising expert Lissanne Oliver, author of Sorted, says gift-giving is a fine art and suggests giving non-clutter gifts such as movie tickets, charity donations or an experience. Check out the tips section at her website at www.sorted.net.au for more ideas