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It’s that time of year when we deck the halls for the holidays — but don’t forget the teachers who have been walking the school halls with our children and teaching them all they need to know this year.
Lifestyle expert Melissa Garcia joined Kathie Lee and Hoda today with some great gift ideas on what to give those teachers (as well as some ideas for your sitter and mail man!).
The bottom line is to forget stationery, apples and pencils, and treat our teachers with something they might not ever buy for themselves.
TODAY Shopping has found a list of items teachers will love from comfy slippers to the new Amazon Echo to a soothing candle collection. Whether you pool together for a class gift or give something individually, here are some great gift ideas for the teachers on your list.
TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.
Amazon Gift Card, Any Amount, Amazon
Gift cards may not seem very personal, but they are one thing we know teachers appreciate getting over the holidays. According to one TODAY editor, many teachers use their gift cards to buy things for the classroom. If you feel like being more specific, Amazon also sells Starbucks, Panera and Gap gift cards.
Gourmet Coffee Box Sampler, $24, Amazon
For the teacher who LOVES coffee comes this fun gift set with four artisanal blends to try from Seattle's top-rated coffee roasters.
Sephora Collection La Pinata, $30, Sephora
Perfect for your Spanish teacher (or any teacher), this gift set comes with 10 beauty surprises including makeup, skin care, bath products and accessories.
Dark Chocolate Champagne Bears Bar, $24 for 2, Nordstrom
Many teachers have told TODAY that they enjoy getting something for their bar as a holiday gift. Wrap a nice bottle of wine or champagne up with this dark chocolate and champagne candy bar from Sugarfina and you'll be at the top of the class.
Out of Print Tote Bag, $18, Amazon
This heavyweight canvas book bag features classic cover art from the original first version of "Where the Wild Things Are." Out of Print totes cover many literary titles from "The Little Prince" to "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
Rib-Knit Cashmere Gloves, $37 (normally $45), Nordstrom
These cashmere gloves are not only luxurious but will keep your teacher’s fingers nice and toasty during those outdoor recess hours.
Anker Soundcore Nano Bluetooth Speaker, $21, Amazon
This portable Bluetooth speaker is so small it can fit right into your teacher’s purse or bag.
The "Americana Mac-N-Cheese" Cast Iron Skillet Baking Kit by Thoughtfully, $40, Amazon
A mac 'n' cheese America is bound to make any teacher smile. The gift set comes with a continental United States-shaped cast-iron skillet, pasta and two spice blends.
Full Circle Brumi - Pour-Over Hot Brew Portable Brewer, $37, Amazon
Your teacher can put his or her barista skills to the test with this portable hot or cold coffee brewer.
Gratitude Glass Jar, $45, Amazon
Recently named one of Oprah’s favorite things, this gratitude jar is a great way to give thanks to teachers.
Godiva Chocolatier Gold Ballotin, Classic Gold Ribbon Chocolate Gift Box, 36 pieces, $43, Amazon
Giving the gift of chocolate is special, but giving the gift of Godiva chocolate wrapped in a gold box is downright decadent.
SFERRA Celine Throw, $67 (normally $89), Nordstrom
Encourage your child's teacher to really relax this holiday by giving them this cozy throw from SFERRA. Available in seven chic colors, this blanket has a herringbone weave and fringe.
Amazon Echo Dot, $30, Amazon
The Amazon Dot can do everything the larger Echo can but at a lower price. It's perfect for the classroom, as well as for home.
Fisher Space Pen, Original Astronaut Space Pen, $33, Amazon
Every science teacher needs an official space pen! This pen writes in zero gravity, extreme temperatures and is an exact replica of the pen that went to the moon.
Chesapeake Bay Candle Heritage Collection, Trio Votive Gift Set, $31, Amazon
These soy wax candles with holiday-themed scents will help your teacher unwind and relax after a long day in the classroom.
Tervis Teacher Wait Until Quiet Wrap Water Bottle, $26, Amazon
A little sense of humor in the classroom can go a long way! This fun durable water bottle keeps cold beverages cold to hydrate your teacher all day long.
Villeroy and Boch New Wave Caffe New York Mug, $30, Amazon
Pick your teacher’s favorite destination in the “Cities of the World” porcelain mug collection from Villeroy and Boch. The mug even comes in a themed souvenir box.
Ventev Charge Stand, $45, Amazon
Keeping phones charged is super easy with this all in one compact device that’s a charger, stand and a portable battery.
Many classrooms are now going all in on a larger gift for the teacher. Here are some more expensive gifts you can give as a thank you!
Maui Jim Maverick’s Polarized Sunglasses, $280 (normally $299), Amazon
You’ll always remember when you got your first Maui Jim’s. The classic aviator sunglasses has one of the best polarized lenses in the business. This is the perfect class gift for that teacher who likes to bring the classroom outdoors whenever possible.
Amazon Show, $180, Amazon
A fun and interactive tool in the classroom and at home. The new Amazon Show is all that you love about Alexa but now with a screen and camera.
Instant Pot Ultra 6 qt. 10-in-1, $150, Amazon
The Instant Pot 10-in-1 multi-use cooker has created quite a craze lately with a large cult following raving about its’ quick and easy dinners. Take one more chore off your teacher’s list when dinner is already cooked and waiting for them at home. It can also be used in the classroom for holiday parties and cooking demonstrations.
Vionic Women’s Marley Slippers, $99, Amazon
Vionic slipper’s supportive technology will help teacher’s feet relax after a long day of teaching. These slippers are so comfortable you might even see them wearing them to class.
Looking for more 2018 gift guides? Try our interactive gift guide finder that lets you sort for gifts by occasion, person and interest.