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Christmas gifts for classroom TA's
Old 11-17-2019, 05:54 PM
  #1

This is my first year as a teacher and I have three classroom TA's (2 female, 1 male). I know I don't have to, but I feel obligated to get them a small Christmas gift but I have no idea what to get them. I know they enjoy working with students (obviously) and two of them like coffee since they bring their own coffee in every morning. Other than that, I'm not really sure what else they really like.

Here is my opinion about gift cards: They are wonderful to give when you don't know what someone may want or need and you can prevent getting someone something they already have or don't want or need. On the other hand, sometimes I think of gift cards as non-creative gifts. I can give someone a gift card that sends the message "Here, I didn't know what else to get you, so go buy something yourself that you may want". Since I have this opinion about gift cards, I'm not really sure about giving those to my TA's.

Can someone give me gift suggestions? If you have TA's, what have you given them in the past? What are you giving them this year? Should I give all three the same gift? Please help!! Any tips, recommendations, or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!


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Old 11-17-2019, 06:07 PM
  #2

I've been with my aide for more than a decade. I buy her the Costco-sized MEGA JUG of Crown. You have three and it's your first year, so that probably isn't appropriate.

I agree, gift cards are impersonal. If you know one of them loves nuts, buy him/her a jar of fancy mixed nuts. M&M addict?

Do you bake? A tin of cookies is nearly always appreciated. Do you knit? A beanie or scarf is a lovely, one-of-a-kind gift.
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:14 PM
  #3

Coffee shop gift card and a donut? Bring in lunch one day from Jimmy Johns?
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:19 PM
  #4

When I had aides I did gift cards. True it's not creative or personalized, but their salary is so much lower comparatively that I felt it would be more appreciated than a cute coffee mug etc.
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Outside duty?
Old 11-17-2019, 06:20 PM
  #5

If they have outside duty or have to load/unload student in cars a warm scarf (as pp said) to keep on hand at school would be nice. Watch for sales coming up. Old Navy usually has deals on them.


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Old 11-17-2019, 06:21 PM
  #6

I donít see anything wrong with a coffee gift card - my TAís loved them - they said it was great not having to buy coffees for a couple days. I always paired it with something else like some cookies or glazed pecans.

I do a bit of basket weaving and have given baskets with small items such as candy or cookies. Fun pens (Flairs, Sharpies, and the like) are handy too.

Iíve also given and received homemade items such as jams, applesauce, etc. if you do that sort of thing.

I really feel that regardless of what you give, just the thought that you recognize their efforts and show you appreciate them will be paramount.
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Ideas
Old 11-17-2019, 06:52 PM
  #7

Warm winter scarf

home baked cookies

take them breakfast tacos one morning or maybe big cinnamon rolls

make them a hot chocolate dry mix in a jar to keep at school for breaks this winter

a homemade casserole to have for dinner one night

take them out for happy hour after school one day

a loaf of home baked bread

make each a fleece tie throw blanket

a Christmas wreath

chap stick and lotion for their dry skin needs during the winter

those special mittens where you can uncover them partially to use fingers on phone

tell them you are buying them lunch one day and have it delivered
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:53 PM
  #8

I usually found a nice food gift in either Walmart or Target.....soup mixes, hot chocolate with fancy mugs, etc. I agree with you about the gift cards. I"ve been retired for four years and I still haven't used some of the coffee gift cards I received from parents and colleagues years ago.
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:59 PM
  #9

Personally I prefer to receive something that is a little creative or at least unexpected. I like to receive gifts that don't make me feel guilty to receive. I once received a cup filled with a variety of school supplies for my own use. One year I was given a Tervis cup, which I love, but feel was entirely too much money spent on me by a co-worker. Another time a teacher made cookies and wrapped them on a melamine Christmas plate that I use today at home to serve Christmas cookies. Another year that teacher baked mini loaves of cranberry bread for each member of the team and included the recipe. I have received countless candles. One staff member always used to put baggies of Christmas Chex mix she made in all our mailboxes. A tiny box of candy (literally the holiday box of 3 pieces of chocolate) and a card might be welcomed. Inexpensive, store bought Christmas treats are nice to receive. If you don't want to don't want to give food, you might consider making homemade toiletry items. One year my daughter's friend made homemade face wash for her friends and bought cute little jars from one of those craft stores (maybe Michael's). Inexpensive Christmas ornaments, homemade or bought are always nice. You might also think about gifts you received from students over the years. I received a set of Christmas tree candy bowls that I cherish and pull out every year. Another student gave me a set of Christmas votives which couldn't have been very costly, but I love to use those every year. It's just nice to see those each year and remember somebody thought of me.

Sorry, I'm not very creative and don't have a lot of ideas. As a para, I have appreciated receiving gifts but have found it to be awkward. On my income it was.often all I could do to cover the extra expenses at home for Christmas spending, so spending on co-workers was difficult. Not everyone feels the way I do, so you have to know your TA's. I have also been just fine not receiving gifts from teachers, especially if they are kind and wish me a merry Christmas and truly mean it.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:45 PM
  #10

I should add that I tried to give versatile gift cards, like Target. That way, the recipient could use it for something she needed or wanted, depending on her financial situation. I found that this was always very much appreciated.


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Old 11-17-2019, 11:50 PM
  #11

I often make homemade salsa in the blender and buy a bag of good tortilla chips to give to coworkers. It's always been a big hit, especially when we are heading into Christmas break.
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I would buy
Old 11-18-2019, 03:21 AM
  #12

A unique Christmas ornament.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:46 AM
  #13

I have never had TA's, so have never faced this dilemma but get what you are saying.

Off the top of my head: (I would do all 3)

*Nice hand-written note inside a card, along with a lottery ticket or 2.

*Something small/personal related to their likes. Our school has a list of everyone's likes so we can refer to it for gift-giving. Does yours?

*Amazon gift card (because they really don't make much and how nice to be able to get something for themselves).

I think then, you've covered all your bases, ha. Not too impersonal, but at the same time, something they can definitely make use of/enjoy.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:07 PM
  #14

I exchange gifts with my fellow teammates (just something small) and last year I got each of them day-by-day calendars. They are only around $10 - $12 and there are some REALLY cute ones out there. Amazon has tons! The malls always have the pop-up calendar shops around this time of year (but Amazon is usually cheaper). They're a fun gift - every day is a little new surprise. I got one that was called "F in Exams" - all silly test answers, and another was "Dog Shaming". I had the Sandra Boynton one two years ago but she stopped making the day-by-day calendar.
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