Gifts for teacher, mail carrier, baby sitter, etc?

United States
December 3, 2008 1:41pm CST
Many people have a huge long list of gifts to buy for people they hardly know, such as a child's teacher, the paper boy, mail carrier.. anyone we come in contact with or who performs a service for us. Do you do this? Do you get gifts for everyone you can think of? Do you think it's bad manners not to? I get gifts for my kids teachers, and usually I try to remember the bus driver, although I've forgotten him in the past. But I've never gotten a gift for the mail carrier, although I know others in my neighborhood have. Last year she ended up giving my kids a ton of chocolate others had given her. What is a good gift for a service worker or person like this? What is the most you'd spend on a gift for them? We've recently had a Tim Horton's built about 15 minutes away, so I'm giving the teachers and bus driver each a $5 gift card for that! Who wouldn't appreciate a gift of coffee and donuts?
8 responses
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
4 Dec 08
First off I LOVE Tim Horton's and go there far too often. And if not going someone else is, who will bring back the liquid gold. LOL Tim cards are like pure cash around here in Cape Breton. LOL As for gift giving. I have to say in the past I only gave to my three children. That was it. I could barely scrap up enough money for Santa to give mom a small box of chocolates for christmas, let alone anyone else. But this year I have been able to be more generous. I have been saving my freebies all year which have now grown rather large. I have sent my sister a large parcel full of goodies I know she wants. Stuff for the kids, got my box of chocolates, and even my partner has a gift which consists mostly of freebies but hey they are cool ones. I have gotten some Amazon Gift Cards from surveys which I am sending my avid reader father. I even gather a bunch of baby items from freebies and stuff I donated to charity. All in all I think my gift amount this year is less then $500 which I did over time. So we are doing good. (I am owed over $3000 in child support) so I do what I can. There are other people that will get cards of thought from us. The teachers, some community people, extended family, and friends. I think it is a step for us to do what we are now and hope that each year to have more and more to give.
• United States
4 Dec 08
I have a very good friend who grew up in Cape Breton, she now lives in Ontario. Of course I'm not even in Canada, I'm in New York. I fell in love with Timmies when I visited my friend, and then this past fall Timmies moved into my area! Since they opened I had decided the teachers would be getting the gift cards.
1 person likes this
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
4 Dec 08
HAHAHA I am from Ontario and moved to Cape Breton.
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
3 Dec 08
I think a $5 gift cart to Tim Horton's sounds like a good idea for a gift. My son's teacher, principal, and bus driver are getting a basket of homemade goodies for Christmas. They got some toffee last year. I am going a little further this year and giving them some of the pretzels and popcorn too.
• United States
3 Dec 08
That sounds nice. If I were that talented in the kitchen I would do that as well, but I'm not sure how appropriate a home made gift is considering they don't allow the kids to bring in home made cupcakes for birthdays.
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
3 Dec 08
One of the reasons why I am glad my son's school lets you.
@camomom (7537)
• United States
3 Dec 08
We only buy for family and very close friends. We don't buy for teachers or kids friends or anyone else. I don't think it's bad manners to do this. I think, if you don't have the money, you don't have the money. I think you idea for gift cards is a good one. I'd love the gift of coffee and donuts.
• United States
3 Dec 08
When your girls are in school you will probably do SOMETHING for teachers. I used to just do a dollar store thingy if I couldn't afford anything else.
@camomom (7537)
• United States
4 Dec 08
You're right I probably will. It's hard to think of my step son as my son still. We just don't get along, he's so difficult. Maybe if we can fix our issues, I'll do things for his teachers also.
@Anne18 (11036)
4 Dec 08
Our school has loads of people to buy for, the teacher, teacher assistant and class helper and we have three children so thats times 3!! What I do at christmas and end of school term in the summer is buy a book for the classroom and that way no one is left out and the classroom gets a gift.
• United States
4 Dec 08
That's an awesome idea! I like that.
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
4 Dec 08
That $5 gift card would be appropriate for the mail carrier too. I used to buy for teachers, mail person and the fed ex guy. We had a lot of business mail from them.
• United States
4 Dec 08
I'm sure it would, but I have 1 bus driver and like 4 teachers to buy for. That alone is $25! I do believe this will be the last year for buying teacher gifts for my oldest. Next year he'll switch teachers every class, so I will either not bother, or I'll get something cheap like a candy for each teacher.
@ravinskye (8243)
• United States
3 Dec 08
I think a gift card for coffee and donuts sounds good. We don't get our mail man anything. This is the first year for the teacher gifts. I have no idea what to get my daughters teacher. Normally you would get them a teacher themed gift, but her teacher is retiring this year. She has been teaching for like 20 years. So I'll have to think about what to get her.
• United States
3 Dec 08
I've never given teachers a teacher themed gift. I figure they must be so sick of those. Past years I got a coffee mug and filled it with little candies, and perhaps a little ornament as well. I've also given them scratch off lottery tickets... not sure if that was appropriate or not, but figured what the heck. You could always steal my idea and do a $5 gift card to dunkin donuts, mc donald's, or any coffee shop or breakfast place nearby.
@gemini_rose (16193)
14 Dec 08
I have never done this, mainly because up until recently I have never been able to afford to. My children never want to give a gift to their teacher I have asked them before now but they always say no although they will send them a card.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
4 Dec 08
I'm not a big fan of giving gifts to all "service workers." I don't know, I figure they are paid for their job and don't need a gift from me to prove they've done it correctly. The one exception to that is when my son was young we would give a gift to his teacher. Usually it was a gift card, or holiday ornament my son chose. Money has always been tight in my family too, so I don't have extra to toss around to everyone either. I know of one woman who buys boxes of chocolates, wraps them and has them stacked by the door to hand out to pretty much anyone who comes to her door. Personally I think she is nuts, and wasting her money as well.