5 Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer at Your School

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

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The beginning of December is the perfect time to plan a fun holiday activity for the teachers at your school. There are only a few more weeks before holiday break, the kids are bouncing off the walls, and the teachers need a little bit of excitement.

Here are 5 ways to spread holiday cheer to your colleagues.

Get together with your fellow teachers to spread cheer this holiday season

1. Secret Santa

Surprises are always fun, and Secret Santa puts a little bit of mystery into the holiday season. Here’s how to set it up at your school.

  1. Put the names of all the teachers at your school into a Christmas stocking.
  2. Have each person select another teacher’s name.
  3. Set a number of gifts and an amount that should be spent. (At my school, we give one small gift that costs about $5 each of the first three weeks of December. Then, we buy a larger gift that costs about $10 for the last gift.)
  4. Each “Secret Santa” delivers the gifts without revealing her identity.
  5. Right before holiday break, have a "reveal party" where everyone gets together and exchanges the final gifts.

2. “You’ve Been Mugged”

“You’ve Been Mugged” is another fun way to spread holiday cheer.

Find a holiday mug. (If you’re like me, you have a whole cabinet of them that you received as gifts from students.) Fill the mug with small items that one of your colleagues would enjoy.

Here are some ideas:

  • Candy
  • Nail Polish
  • Pens
  • Post-It Notes
  • An Ornament

Leave the mug in a colleague’s room with directions for what to do and some slips that say “I’ve Been Mugged." That teacher should take out the goodies, fill it with new treats for another colleague, and put the “I’ve Been Mugged” sign outside her classroom.

3. Dice Roll Gift Exchange

I’m sure you’ve done a white elephant gift exchange before: everyone brings a wrapped gift, gets a number, and chooses a gift. As the gifts are opened, you get to choose to keep the gift or steal someone else’s gift.

The Dice Roll Gift Exchange is a new spin on this, and it’s perfect for teachers! It’s just like the dice games we give our students at centers. You roll a die, and the number tells you to pass the gift, steal a gift, or unwrap your gift.

4. Holiday Cookie Exchange

A holiday cookie exchange is a great way to have fun with your colleagues, and relieve some stress. You don’t have to bake 10 different types of cookies for your holiday gatherings. Just buy the ingredients for one type of cookie and bake extra batches. Then, exchange with other teachers at your school, and you have a variety of cookies to serve to your guests.

  • Find out exactly how to organize a holiday cookie exchange, and get a free download of a hassle-free sign-up sheet to share with your colleagues.

5. Holiday Breakfast

At my school, we have a holiday breakfast every year right before break. It’s a great way to connect with everyone and spread some holiday cheer.

Some years, each teacher signs up to bring a breakfast treat. Other years, we order food from a local restaurant and pay $5 each. Either way, it’s a fun way to celebrate the last day before break.


The beginning of the school year is always hectic and busy. Meet the Teacher Nights, parent-teacher conferences, and Halloween craziness are just a few of the stresses we’ve overcome so far. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a great time to have some fun and reconnect with your colleagues. Which activity will you choose to spread some holiday cheer at your school?


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Want more from this author? Check out Tara's tips for managing a chatty class and her money-saving ideas for teachers.
Author Bio:

Tara Dusko is a 3rd-grade teacher and mom of two. She blogs about ways to have a fun, low-stress year as a teacher at Teach Without Tears and about time and money-saving tips for moms at Flavors, Fashion, and Fun.

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