Click the play bar below to listen to this episode now:
Before we dive in, I want to ask - are you struggling with your classroom management? Do you want some tips and tricks that you can implement in your classroom right away? If so, you're going to LOVE this! Check this out:
I don't know about you, but I LOVE the holiday season. I love mini-lights and anything that sparkles, so I feel pretty comfortable with all of the bling and festivities associated with this time of the year.
However, it’s also pretty easy to get caught up in the rampant consumerism and to feel the pressure to spend money on your students. Or, you might be like me – my love language is gift-giving – nothing lights me up more than giving to people, so it’s really hard for me to go overboard and be a little more generous than I probably should be.
The holidays have also gotten a lot more political and complex than they used to be – with many people around our world not participating in the Christian religion and therefore not celebrating Christian holidays, it can even be a little more complicated to think about getting your students a gift at this time of the year. Some schools don’t even allow you to use the word “Christmas,” which is why I’ve changed both the title and the tone of this episode to speak more globally about “holiday gifts.”
However, I can tell you from having spent many a Christmas season in other countries – I think Christmas in Hong Kong and Thailand were two of my favorites – even though Christianity may not be the main religion in many parts of the world, there is still a very special feeling about this time of the year, no matter where you are.
I think what I really do love most about this season of the year is the spirit of generosity that wells up in me. The spirit of wanting to look outside myself and take care of the people I love most, and that doesn’t mean with expensive presents.
I mean, to me, it means doing special things – being especially thoughtful, making the people in my life feel super special, being especially “present” in the truest form of the word, and so when I decided I wanted to do an episode on the best holiday gifts for your kiddos, it wasn’t to give you my favorite bulk-plastic items to order from Amazon (although I have to admit, of course, I’ve done that, too).
I realized that I wanted to talk about this because Iooking back, the best gifts I gave to my students had nothing to do with what I went out and bought them.
Instead, it had everything to do with what I did for them.
So today, I’m going to share with you 12 amazing holiday gifts for your kiddos that I’ve used over the years to make this time of the year a time when I focused on pouring out my love for my students in the most simple and, I think, most meaningful ways.
Here’s how I did that: I gave my students what I called a "Week of Holiday Gifts." Now, you could do "12 Days of Holiday Gifts" as well, and some years I did that also to kind of mimic the 12 days of Christmas, but a week of holiday gifts is plenty. You don’t need to do all twelve, but of course it’s up to you!
First, I would choose five ideas from the twelve ideas that I’m going to give to you.
You can simply print these ideas out and then wrap each one in a present, numbered with the date for each, so that your students get to open one present with you each morning on the last week before their holiday break – and some years I even put up a tree in my classroom that we decorated together.
You could also print these ideas out and simply put them into envelopes and put a bow on each one to make it look cute and then display them at the front of your classroom, or however you want to display them – you could also put the envelopes in your tree if you have one.
However, if your school really doesn’t allow you to decorate for Christmas, you could also hang a piece of ribbon between two bows at the front of your classroom and then number envelopes from 1 to 5 so your students get to open one each morning to find out what their surprise is.
Whatever you do, make it clear to your students that they are going to get one gift from you every day for the last five days of school before their holidays. The anticipation alone of that and knowing that you’ve been thinking of them and planning something special for them is super meaningful for your students. They are going to be SO excited about this!
Then, each morning, gather your kids around, and you can randomly select a student’s name to open that day’s gift and read it aloud to your class.
I hope you've enjoyed these 12 Inexpensive Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Kiddos - have a wonderful holiday season!
NEW! I just gave my 12 Holiday Gifts idea a make-over, and I think you're going to love it... check out my new resource in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:
P.S. Are you struggling with classroom management in your classroom? You're going to LOVE my new online training so you learn how to go from chaos to confidence now! Just click here or on the pic below to check it out.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news from our team. 💛💕 Your information will not be shared.