Sometimes I feel like the teachers that handle my spirited 3-year-old son deserve a million hugs and an all-expenses paid vacation to the beach. Short of that, below are out-of-the-ordinary gift ideas – all from South Asian companies – to show gratitude to the people that help nurture and guide your most prized possessions.
For the R&R lover: Scrumptious Wicks offers long-burning, delicious-smelling candles free of paraffin, a petroleum by-product that can release harmful toxins into the air. Founder Sonya Malani Panchal uses sustainable, U.S.-grown soybeans for the wax of the candles, which come in everything from nostalgic scents – Indian Monsoon and Mango Lassi – and holiday smells – Cookie Butter and Wintry Forest.
Suggested note for greeting card: Thanks for being a bright light in our lives.
For the organizer: Every teacher is juggling a million things each day -- Silk + Sonder, founded by Meha Agrawal, sends beautiful monthly, hand-curated journals that allow the recipient to plan, introspect and organize their lives. You can gift your teacher a three-month, six-month or year-long subscription.
Suggested note for greeting card: We don’t know how you manage to plan for, organize and inspire 30 children regularly -- here’s something to help keep you sane every single day.
For the nature lover: Ansel and Ivy founders Anum Tariq and Hiraa Khan know owning plants brings joy to so many -- but it can be hard to keep them alive. Ansel and Ivy brings plants to your teacher’s door in recyclable packaging, with detailed care instructions, with curated plants and pots to make it easy to be a plant parent.
Suggested note for greeting card: My child has blossomed this year -- thanks for you always be-leaf-ing in her!
For the conscious teacher: Inspired by Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign and founded by Meena Harris, niece of Kamala, the organization aims to bring awareness to social causes. Your teacher can rock the “Phenomenal Teacher” t-shirt, or maybe the more general “Phenomenal Woman” one, at home or school. Bonus: Net proceeds go to their non-profit partners, including The Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Suggested note for greeting card: Thank you for being a phenomenal inspiration and a ph-antastic teacher.
For the teacher in need of self-care (so, every teacher): While Blume founders (and sisters) Taran and Bunny Ghatrora are known for the company’s period care, Blume also prvides skin gift boxes, with face wash, facial mist and even a jade roller. If yummy scents seem more appropriate for your teacher, we also love Kaya Soaps, handcrafted natural skincare and spa products.
Accompanying note: Thank you for taking such great care of my child this year -- here’s a little something to take care of yourself.
Avani Nadkarni is a former journalist who currently works in tech PR and is forever navigating the tricky balance of trying to raise her child in the U.S. while teaching him about his Indian and Sri Lankan roots.