It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for coworker Secret Santas! Teacher Maria wrote in to the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE with the following Christmas conundrum: “What do I get for a Secret Santa gift for teachers I don’t really know at all? There’s a $25 maximum.”
Here are 25 no-fail ideas from our awesome community of teachers—all of them 25 bucks or less. Happy holidays everyone!
1. Big pack of Sharpies
Sharpies seem to get lost as often as a sock in the dryer, and it can be a bother to go and buy a new pack every so often. To combat this problem, get your Secret Santa teacher a huge pack of Sharpies so they don’t have to worry about going marker-less (at least for a couple of months!).
Buy it: Sharpies 24 count at Amazon
2. Teachers Pay Teachers gift card
Nothing is more classic and reliable for a Secret Santa gift for teachers than a gift card. Get a TeachersPayTeachers gift card with whatever customized amount you choose, and you’re set!
Buy it: Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card at Teacherspayteachers.com
3. Giant jug of hand sanitizer
For the teacher who doesn’t want to have to worry about their students’ hands all over their classroom, get a huge jug of hand sanitizer to combat the germs.
Buy it: Dove Nourishing Hand Sanitizer at Amazon
4. Spare a basket of items from the dollar store
Stores like Dollar Tree have great-priced items for you to make your own spa-themed gift basket. Be sure to include items like candles, chocolate, lotion, a sleeping mask, a handheld mirror, lip balm, nail care supplies, and any extra goodies to ensure a relaxing spa day. Check out the Spa Basket list at Dollar Tree for more inspiration.
5. Festive classroom decor
Pick out some cute classroom decor as a Secret Santa gift for teachers that will brighten up their classrooms. Bonus points for going in and setting up the decor when they aren’t expecting it!
Buy it: 55-Piece Winter Bulletin Board Decor at Amazon | 190-Piece Snowflake Window Cling Stickers at Amazon
6. Box of antibacterial wipes
You can never have too many Lysol wipes! Teachers will always appreciate an extra pack or two of Lysol wipes to clean up dust and bacteria from the classroom, and these will definitely be appreciated as a Secret Santa gift for teachers.
Buy it: Lysol Wipes 4 Pack at Amazon
7. Scented candles
Everyone loves a scented candle, and Amazon has a wide range of scents for everyone. For $13, you’re bound to find a scented candle that’s perfect for every teacher or coworker.
Buy it: Chesapeake Bay Candle at Amazon
8. Incense for a Zen experience
Bring some Zen into the classroom by gifting your Secret Santa teacher some incense. For bonus points, buy an incense holder as well as gift an incense starter kit.
Buy it: Jembrana Incense Sticks – 6 Scents at Amazon
9. Mug with candy inside
A two-in-one gift! Pick out a cute mug and fill it with your Secret Santa teacher’s favorite candy for a personalized gift.
10. Gift card to the local coffee shop
Whether it’s to the nearest Starbucks or to the most niche coffee shop in town, every teacher needs some extra bucks for their cup of coffee in the morning, and they’ll very much appreciate the free caffeine!
Buy it: Starbucks gift card at Amazon
11. Collection of fun finds from Target Dollar Spot
Target carries some fun trinkets and mini essentials you wouldn’t normally think of, like a mini deodorant for your purse or fidget toys, as well as cute seasonal items. If you have time, go to your nearest Target and pick out a couple of trinkets as your Secret Santa gift.
12. A magazine subscription
Whether it’s physical magazines or an e-subscription, this is a perfect gift for the teacher who likes to stay updated on popular culture, sports, baking, or whatever you choose to gift them. Check out this magazine for Curious Minds as a fun option!
Buy it: Interesting Facts for Curious Minds Magazine at Amazon
13. Good chocolate
Everyone loves chocolate. Need we say more?!
Buy it: Chocolate Truffle Box at Amazon
14. Lavender (or otherwise luxuriously scented) hand soap
Step up your Secret Santa teacher’s soap game by gifting them a pack of lavender or other luxurious herbal-scented soaps. Whoever receives this gift will be grateful for the peaceful properties of the lavender scent, not to mention the cleanliness the soap provides.
Buy it: Dead Sea 2 Pack Lavender Hand Soap at Amazon
15. Individually wrapped brownies
Make some homemade brownies and wrap them like a present for a more thoughtful gift. (Or you can buy this pack from Amazon instead!)
Buy it: 12 Pack Individual Wrapped Brownies at Amazon
16. Matching hat and gloves
Buy your Secret Santa teacher a matching hat and gloves to bundle up in for the winter. This set on Amazon has dozens of fun colors to choose from, so you will find a match for any teacher.
Buy it: 2 Piece Beanie and Gloves Set at Amazon
17. Winter scarf
You can also get a nice-quality thick scarf as a thoughtful and useful gift. Pick out your Secret Santa teacher’s favorite color from the extensive colors at Amazon.
Buy it: Ribbed Thick Knit Scarf at Amazon
18. Cute ornament
Does your Secret Santa teacher have a festive personality? Buy them this Bookworm ornament, or a similarly themed ornament, to combine the holiday season with a fun and simple gift.
Buy it: Bookworm ornament at Amazon
19. Dinner in a basket: pasta, sauce, and a CD of Italian classics
Round up your extra sauce cans from the last canned food drive or go to your local grocery store and pick up your favorites to make this heartfelt gift basket. Alternatively, check out the Amazon link below to purchase an already-packaged pasta gift basket. Add a CD or mix of festive Italian classics or holiday songs to really make this gift stand out.
Buy it: Giusto Sapore Pasta Gift Set at Amazon
20. Classroom art supplies
For the creative teacher, or just a teacher who is looking to incorporate some new, engaging art supplies in the classroom, this art kit is cost-efficient considering the amount of supplies you receive, and it is easily organizable!
Buy it: 276-Piece Art Supplies Kit at Amazon
21. Bake a tin of cookies (or give a fruit platter for a healthier option)
Find a yummy cookie recipe and make some homemade cookies, or buy some pre-made gourmet cookies to impress your Secret Santa teacher. Alternatively, you can put together some of your teacher’s favorite fruits and make a fruit platter.
Buy it: Barnett’s 6 Cookie Chocolates Box at Amazon
22. Festive wrapping paper (you know they need it!)
Make sure your Secret Santa teacher gets in the holiday spirit by giving them some festive wrapping paper. This vintage wrapping paper from Amazon is trendy and perfect for any holiday-loving teacher. Throw in some ribbon, bows, and tape, and it’s a pretty and practical gift all in one.
Buy it: Christmas wrapping paper at Amazon
23. A book for relaxing winter vacation reading
If you have a favorite go-to book, purchase a copy as a great Secret Santa gift for teachers. Or gift them a Barnes & Noble gift card and let them choose their own adventure.
Buy it: Barnes & Noble gift card at Giftcards.com
24. You can’t go wrong with a good ol’ Visa gift card
If all else fails, get your Secret Santa teacher a Visa gift card, and let them pick their own holiday gift. This idea is extremely easy but still thoughtful and will be sure to make your Secret Santa teacher happy.
Buy it: Visa gift card at Amazon