This list is going to be so comprehensive by the time I finish! I might have to add to it annually or something. Some of the things on my list might be a bit weird, but I think that's okay- only so many people will see my list, and maybe it will bring some originality.
From CountryRoseDesign: That's a piece of original artwork on that card!
7. Really nice cards
If you want to add to your Christmas Card giving experience, why not buy (or make, if you're talented!) a really nice card that can also be considered a work of art? Not only are you getting a nice card, but a small piece of art that the teacher can frame if he wishes, or generally display. You could write a poem on the back, or just a nice message.
Very reasonably priced from PennyPaperworks.
Made using a recycled postcard by studioBBN
An appropriate notebook never goes astray, at least for me. I'm addicted to spiral bound notebooks. You can link it to what the teacher is currently doing too! For example if I just taught about sustainability, a notebook made from recycled paper would be great, and show that something has sunk in.
9. Food. Early. And hygienic looking.
If you're from one of my aforementioned 'trustworthy families' and you'd like to give food to your teacher, why not do it, but give it two or more weeks before the end of school? Then the teacher will have a chance to enjoy it, it won't be overshadowed by 10 plates of biscuits all on the same day. This might be a controversial one, but if you know that your teacher is very busy or stressed, it might be nice to provide a nice, possibly frozen, dinner for him or her and his or her family to enjoy. This could be VERY useful during report writing season! Obviously you'd have to be cautious about allergies and things like vegetarianism, and probably avoid foods that are very uncommon or unique unless you're pretty sure that everyone would like it if they tried it. Or just go the delicious cake/biscuit route, but early.
10. Nice Christmas Ornaments
A nice Christmas ornament for a teacher should be a) non religious b) not with the name of the child on it or worse, face (except maybe a tiny signature somewhere), c) small.
In my opinion anyway. Maybe your teacher LOVES giant Rudolphs (check that he actually loves them, and hasn't just been given masses by people thinking he likes them, perpetuating the cycle).
11. Some of those grow a tree/mountain things
If you think your teacher likes a bit of fun without going too crazy, this could be an option. Little crystal growing ornaments, that only last as long as you want them to last. He or she could use them in the class too! They're not expensive, at least here. You can often get them for $2 at shops like The Reject Shop or Cheap as Chips. To this category I'd also add things like 'instant snow'.
Ones by KuteKlipboardsbyAmy
12. Great Clipboards
These are attractive and useful, and I almost never see them being given.
Other great things around the place right now are very attractive empty boxes, magazine boxes, document trays, etc. You can get them from The Reject Shop or Officeworks, and they get so battered so quickly that it'd be useful. I also don't think it'd matter too much to 99% of teachers if it didn't match what else they had in the classroom.
To Be Continued...
Shaping the Future in Reasonable Ways
4 weeks ago