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15 holiday gifts that teachers will actually like

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Image: Shutterstock / Patty Chan/target/hydro flask/paper source/amazon

There is really no way to thank teachers, who are vital and woefully underpaid, for everything they do. But you can start by giving them end-of-year gifts that don’t suck.

This means stepping away from the corny mugs (sorry) and looking for gifts teachers might actually want — whether to give their classrooms a boost or allow themselves some much-needed relaxation.

Here are 15 gift ideas for the phenomenal teacher in your life.

Teachers love coffee.

Coffee is the unofficial official beverage of teachers, and there’s a good chance they’ll appreciate more of it. (Be sure to verify that they actually drink coffee, though, lest you commit a beverage faux pas.)

Price: $9.49 at Target

There are lots of colors available.

It’s easy to get dehydrated while teaching a roomful of teens about the Louisiana Purchase.

Price: $44.95 at Hydro Flask

If you want to go the end-of-day hot beverage route, try an aesthetically pleasing tin of tea.

Price: $7.48 on Jet

Great on biscuits, too.

Mike’s Hot Honey, which is infused with chilies, is especially good on pizza.

Price: $20 for two bottles on Food52

Good on anything.

There’s no such thing as too much hot sauce. This one, from Secret Aardvark, is a bold and vinegary option perfect for fans of habanero. (Like Mike’s Hot Honey, it is also extremely good on pizza.)

Price: $24.95 for 3 bottles on Amazon

Students prepping for test season would appreciate this.

It might be worth asking the teacher which classroom books he or she needs. Sure, it won’t be a surprise, but it will address a need directly, which is even better.

Price: $23.80 on Amazon

Anyone who’s tried to use a dried-out Expo marker knows that in busy classrooms, new ones are essentially made of gold.

Price: $14.38 for 16 on Amazon

Just be sure they have enough time to enjoy them at their desk before the end of the semester.

Price: $49 at Farmgirl Flowers

They look pretty real, TBH.

There is no shame in fake flowers. Plus, they’ll never wilt — a forever desk decoration!

Price: $9 at West Elm

This one is 10" tall and 5" wide, but you might need a narrower option.

It is against the rules of gift-giving to give a gift that necessitates more spending. Thus, if you give flowers meant for displaying you must give a vase. Them’s the rules. And be sure to grab the right size for the amount of flowers you’re giving.

Price: $14.99 on Amazon

Let no device go uncharged.

They can fit all their devices on this bad boy.

Price: $39.99 on Amazon

There's also a "succulents" version.

A (very small, admittedly) thing to get excited about when everyone trudges back in from the holiday break.

Price: $9.71 at Paper Source

Full of surprises.

It’s pretty much a guarantee that a classroom will use pencils. For a fun twist, these pencils come from “overruns and misprints” from other orders, which means they’ll probably have some super weird stuff on them. A smorgasbord!

Price: $26.50 at U.S. School Supply

Lavender is a reliable scent.

Image: Little Barn Apothecary

You generally can’t go wrong with a lavender-scented bath product. Just be sure the ingredient list is relatively short.

Price: $28 at Little Barn Apothecary

15. Honestly, a gift card

If you’re stuck on a gift, a gift card — perhaps to Amazon, Target, Starbucks, or a local business if you can swing it — is the way to go. Especially during the money-gobbling holiday season, sometimes the best present is a little extra spending power inside a heartfelt note.

Please don’t forget the note.

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