Parents Give Teacher The Wrong Gift Card For A Much Higher Amount & Want To Know How To Ask For It Back

Some suggested they should let the teacher keep the gift, while others supported their decision to address the mix-up honestly.

christmas, gift card, teacher, gift Tetiana Komchatnikh / Shutterstock 

A mix-up involving Christmas gifts resulted in a man’s gift that was intended for his boss being given to his daughter’s teacher. Now, he is seeking advice on how to ask the teacher for the gift back — or if he should even ask at all. 

The man accidentally gave his daughter’s teacher a $100 gift card that was intended for his boss. 

Calling the radio station Hits 96.1, the man shared his dilemma with the station’s host, hoping to get some input from listeners. 


According to the man, every year around the holidays, he and his wife purchase a few gifts for their children to give to their teachers. “This year, we purchased a bunch of gift cards,” the man said. The gift cards were meant for their children’s teachers; however, a few of them would be given to the man and his wife’s bosses at their jobs. 

Their bosses' gift cards were $100 each, while the children’s teachers' gift cards were $20 each. While organizing all of the gift cards, there was an unfortunate mix-up. 



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“I just realized last night that one of the $100 gift cards got mixed in [with the teachers’ gift cards] and now my daughter’s second-grade teacher is gonna be getting one of the $100 gift cards by mistake,” the man revealed. “The rest of the teachers got the $20 gift cards.” 

The man said that he is concerned since all three of their children attend the same school, and the teachers are likely to gossip about the holiday gifts they received from students. They may wonder why only one of them was gifted a $100 gift card while the rest received only $20 gift cards.

“After we found out, my wife and I were talking, and I need to ask, would I be the [expletive] if I contacted the teacher and said, ‘I’m so terribly sorry, we made a mistake, and can I get the $100 back?’” the man asked. He claimed that he would then give her the $20 gift card that was originally intended for her. 

Based on the reaction of the radio show’s hosts, they certainly do not want the man to go about it that way, and others agree with them. 


People online had mixed opinions about whether or not he should ask the teacher for the gift card back. 

Some people believed that despite his mistake, the man should just say nothing and let the teacher keep the gift card. 

“Imagine how the teacher would feel being asked to give it back, then finding another one was only $20 when they already are paid so little,” one TikTok user commented. “Done is done. Better to pony up another $80 for each teacher and admit the mistake which turns into a good deed that will benefit your children,” another user advised. 

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However, others agreed with the man and encouraged him to explain the mix-up to the teacher and get the gift card back. 


“I'm a teacher. I wouldn't mind the call and switch it back. No big deal. It was thought that counts,” one TikTok user shared. “It’s an awkward but honest mistake,” another commenter noted. 

The man eventually followed up with the radio hosts to share his final decision about how he was going to handle the situation. 

“I’m going to be reaching out to the teacher right after I get off with you guys and I’m going to be asking for that back and giving the $20 and doing a little swap-a-roo,” he said. 

The hosts said that they understood the man’s decision, since “times are tough” for many of us right now, given the financial stress of the holidays



The man claimed not to take his children’s teachers for granted, referring to teaching as a “thankless job.” But the truth is that money is tight for many families right now and sometimes generous gifts are just not in the budget


“My kids also need to eat at some point,” the man noted. 

While it is true that teachers do not get paid nearly enough for what they do, and they all deserve $100 gift cards, mistakes happen and sometimes the only option is to own up to it.

The best we can do is have compassion and understanding, especially during this time of year. 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.