When the winter gift-giving holidays roll around, it’s natural to want to show your appreciation for everything that your nanny does by presenting her with a thoughtful gift to mark the occasion. Determining what the best gift is, however, isn’t always easy. These 10 gift ideas can help simplify the task of choosing a holiday gift for your children’s caregiver, making it easier to show how much you appreciate her dedication to your family.
- Spa Packages – Even if your children are particularly well-behaved, the tasks that come with keeping them safe and healthy every day can be a bit draining. Purchasing a spa package, massage, facial or other pampering gift for your nanny will not only allow her to indulge in a relaxing afternoon so that she can return to her duties recharged and ready to go, but also sends her the message that you’re well aware of just how hard she works and how much she deserves to relax.
- Restaurant Gift Certificates – Presenting your nanny with gift certificates to a favorite restaurant is a great way to ensure that she gets real enjoyment out of your gift, and that it’s something she can use purely for her own enjoyment.
- Plane Tickets – If your nanny lives far away from her own family and loved ones, few gifts are likely to be as treasured and as appreciated as plane tickets to visit them. Because plane fare can be prohibitively expensive on a nanny’s relatively small budget, this token of your appreciation is a powerful way of showing how much you care, and can allow her to spend some much-needed time with those that she loves most during the holidays.
- Collectible Items – The thing about collections is that they’re almost never quite finished. If your nanny actively collects a specific item or variations on a specific theme, she may appreciate a well-chosen addition to that collection more than an impersonal offering.
- Gifts Handmade by the Children – Including a card or two made by your children, or another gift crafted with love and their own little hands, is an effective way of ensuring that holiday gifts are personal and designed to show how much she means to your family.
- Wish List Items – If you listen closely, you may find that your nanny inadvertently drops hints about things that she would like in daily conversation. Pay close attention to the things that she says and you may be able to determine exactly what she’d like best just by gleaning details from your talks.
- “Splurge” Items – An effective “splurge” gift is a somewhat frivolous, self-indulgent item that your nanny would never buy for herself. These gifts can be among the best, as they’re things that provide real enjoyment but may be beyond a nanny’s relatively meager budget and things that she can’t justify incurring such an expense for. If there’s room in your budget for a fairly high-ticket item and you truly want to show your appreciation, this might be the best route.
- Pre-Paid Debit Cards – Some people, nannies included, are simply inscrutable and thus a bit difficult to purchase gifts for. In such occasions, slipping a pre-paid debit card into her stocking or a holiday card might be the only solution. This can seem a bit impersonal, however, so it’s best to choose this option as a last resort.
- Extra Paid Vacation Time – There’s no such thing as too much paid vacation time, so awarding your nanny with a few additional days to herself without worries about budget constraints due to lost wages just may be one of the most treasured gifts you could give her. A bit of unexpected extra vacation time may also compliment a gift of plane tickets to visit her family very, very well.
- Holiday Bonus – The traditional gift of a holiday bonus is one that never goes out of style. If you do choose to award your nanny with a holiday bonus in lieu of a gift, however, be sure that it’s fully tax compliant in order to avoid any nasty surprises from the IRS.
Choosing a gift for your nanny can be more difficult if she hasn’t been under your employ for very long, and can be surprisingly easy if she’s been part of the family for quite some time. For relationships that are still being formed, it may be best to adhere to one simple rule that helps employers avoid purchasing gifts for their employees that are overly personal: if it’s designed to touch her skin, such as clothing or jewelry, it may not be an appropriate gift choice.