Treat Your Teacher Right This Christmas

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Nothing says “thanks for putting up with my little monster” like a well-chosen Christmas gift for your kid’s teacher. Unfortunately, the days of home-baked cookies and a red delicious apple are long, long past. That’s why we’ve queried some of our favorite people (who also happen to be teachers) for a handful of easy last-minute gift ideas that promise to put a smile on your teacher’s face. 

Express Ticket to Awake-Town (aka Coffee, Coffee, Coffee)

It may seem like the de facto gift, but according to our sources you can’t go wrong with a gift card to their favorite coffee shop, whether it's Starbucks or regional favorites like Peet's or Caribou Coffee. Pick one up along with a decent mug or thermos, and you won’t have to worry about teacher awareness for the second semester. 

All Vera Bradley Everything

According to one of our sources, “All [female] teachers love Vera Bradley.” These brightly patterned bags and accessories have found quite a market in the last few years, and you can’t go wrong with a well-chosen tote or id card holder. 

Supply Some Supplies

No matter how well-funded the district, the cold truth is that most teachers go out of pocket for simple school supplies like markers and books. Help fill your teacher’s bookshelves with a well-stocked gift card to Barnes and Noble or Amazon, or up their arts and crafts budget with a set of perennially popular supplies like Mr. Sketch Markers. 

Prepare Some Pampering

Teachers work hard. They’re on their feet most of the day, talking, moving and tolerating. Treat your favorite teacher to a few things that’ll make their day-to-day much more comfortable. Suggestions from our experts include stress-reducing aroma creams, Burt's Bees lip balms and patented sleep solutions guaranteed to provide some much-needed sleep, anywhere. 

Nap At Work: A Technique (and gift) Guide

Unless you work for one of the few companies that encourage napping, catching those elusive daytime Z’s while in the workplace can be difficult. But never fear, we’ve taken the time to outline the strategies — and gadgets — necessary to get away with getting some sleep in the office. Consider this a nap-meets-gift-guide for yourself, or the drowsy office drone in your life. 

Situation 1: You Have Your Own Office

If you’re in this boat, you barely need our help. Assuming you’ve got a door, and some blinds on any inward-facing windows, snoozing in your office should be pretty easy. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t take precautions. Considering the following additions to your sleep strategy: 

Make Yourself Sound Busy: There are a variety of solutions — app-based and online — that provide ongoing audio of fake conference calls. Lock your door, dial up some buzz-word-laden meetings about “moving forward” and “implementing synergy”, and get busy getting sleep.

And since you’ve got a chamber all to yourself, don’t skimp on comfort. Pick up a quality sleep pad like this Therm-a-Rest Neo Air, and enwrap your face in some soft dark comfort with one of these genius level sleeping solutions.

Situation 2: Sleeping in Plain Sight

 Sleep Safe Tape - Yes it really exists.

Sleep Safe Tape - Yes it really exists.

Whether you’re a cubicle-resident or a victim of the modern ‘open-concept’ workspace, catching sweet Z’s in plain sight will be no easy task. But with these clever tricks, you may be able to dash off to dreamland undetected.

Obviously, sounding busy will go a long way to allaying suspicious slumbering. That’s where apps like iNap@Work become useful — this app provides a menagerie of work-related noise, including mouseclicks and keystrokes, to maintain the illusion of producivity. If you want to go a step further, strap on a set of these Sleep Safe Tape eyelid covers, which give the illusion of open eyes even while you’re asleep. 

Or you can act like any sane person and toss on a dark pair of shades and a particularly voluminous hoodie. Better yet, you can perfect our favorite techniques in #3. 

Situation 3: The Poor Man's Office (Learning to Love the Bathroom Nap)

Yes, it’s a brightly lit, echoey, often malodorous environment. But for most of us, the closed bathroom stall is the closest we’re going to get to a private office anytime soon, and with the proper strategies, you can turn this metal-walled enclosure into a warm womb of snooze. 

If you’re going to commit to a bathroom napping lifestyle, we recommend comfortable shoes. And preferably, you’ll want to switch out footwear during nap sessions to minimize recognition by others. Sneak those sneakers into your sleep stall with a hidden-compartment backpack, and while you’re at it, toss in a comfy toilet seat cushion. Your coccyx will thank you. 

The final component for bathroom napping is the Wrap-a-Nap - a sleep aid literally designed to maximize snoozability in situations like this. With your head surrounded by ultra-soft pillow, you’ll be whisked away to dreamland on the twin wings of complete darkness and muffled noise, while the pillow keeps your head warm, soft and padded as it leans again the cold metal walls. 

 

Top Five Gifts for Your Drowsiest Pals

Whether you're buying for a nap-lover, or in search of quality sleep yourself, you can't go wrong with these soporific suggestions straight out of Wrap-a-Nap HQ: 

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1. White Noise Generator: The elegantly named Marpac Dohm DS White Noise Generator makes the perfect addition to a nap-chamber for the easily distracted sleeper. While we don't have first-hand experience with it (the soft snores and snorts of our resident Brussels Griffon lull us at right to sleep), the Marpac is the best reviewed of its kind on Amazon, and as a fellow highly-reviewed Amazon sleep-cessory, we think that means something. 

2. Sleep Socks: Cold feet will kill a trip to dreamland quicker than a dump truck reversing two feet from your bedroom window. Here at WAN HQ, we love ourselves some toasty toes come snooze-o'clock, which is why we can vouch for Uniqlo's Heattech socks. Delivering both breathability and warmth, the Japanese import clothier makes some of the best snoozy socks on the market, and we've been using them for years. 

3. Frost Proof Footbags: For those times when socks aren't enough, or those days when you want to make a fashion statement that says, "Hey world, look at me, I'm wearing what equates to mini sleeping bags on my feet and I'm proud of it and no I am not a hoarder," you can't do any better than some of our favorite slippers, the Baffin Insulated Slipper Booty. We in the WAN family have utilized our Baffin Footbags on cross-country camping trips, and in the cozy confines of our home, and we love them. 

 

4. Adult Onesies: Whether you've got a sense of humor about sleep, or just treasure the feeling of polyester fleece embracing and encasing your body, head to heel, do not miss Target's wide array of seasonally rotating union suits. We at WAN HQ have fully embraced the adult-onesie phenomenon, and can vouch wholeheartedly for the sleep-inducing effects of that quantity of fleece. 

5. Head-Hugging Halo of Drowse: Strap on a Wrap-a-Nap and you're hopping an express train to Dreamtown, population: you. Worried about noise? Don't worry, it muffles it. Daylight coming on strong? Don't worry, it blocks all of it. That floor you've got your eye on for a mid-afternoon nap looking awful hard? Don't worry - it turns any surface into a pillow. Will you look good wearing it? Of course! In some circles, you'll be considered quite fetching. But even if you're worried about looking silly, you'll be sleeping too well to care.