During the Holiday Season, it is a nice gesture to give gifts to those that are a part of our lives. As a nanny, you may be wondering what the right type of gift is to give to the family that you work for. With this question, comes to mind both the parents and the children. Should you buy gifts for all? What is expected? The parent/nanny relationship is different from many professional relationships, in that it tends to be more personal. You are working in their homes, caring for their children, sometimes even driving their car. The plus side of this is that you get to know things about them that you may not know about a boss if you worked in an office setting. Keep in mind that they are your employers, so they won’t be expecting lavish or expensive gifts. In fact, as is the case with a boss in any line of work, they may become uncomfortable if you give them expensive gifts.
Let’s take a look at some simple and affordable gift giving options. If your gift giving financial ability is extra difficult this year, consider making something with the children to gift to the parents. Small children love doing arts, crafts, and special projects, but of course require assistance from an adult. You can turn this into a fun afternoon activity for you and them, which results in a thoughtful and personal gift. Hand Print and foot print crafts are easy, fun, fast, and bring smiles to the parents receiving them! These types of crafts freeze the size of the children’s hands and feet in time and can be enjoyed as wall art for years to come. Think of the Mistle Toe’s wall art, search Pinterest for children’s art, or get creative with your own imagination. For an extra personal touch pick up a reasonable frame at a craft store and frame the art. Another simple and free gift is having the children paint a picture with supplies that you already have in the house. Let them create something meaningful to them. Homemade gifts can be some of the most heartwarming! Some other free gift options that you can also include the children in are: washing the family car, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, do some unexpected organizing, or engage the children in cooking a meal for their parents to come home to. These types of gifts not only delight the parents, but they teach the children some life skills, all while making it fun time together.
If you really want to purchase a gift, consider a family gift basket. These are a cost-effective idea, that is not only personal, it brings the family together for some leisure and play time. Here are some great gift basket themes that you can put together:
Movie Night Basket- This can be a bottle of wine, a movie, popcorn, and a treat for the kids.
Game Night Basket – Include a board game for the kids, cards, dice, hot cocoa and marshmallows, or a sundae maker. Give Ice cream separately and in the basket put in bags of little toppings.
Fondue Basket – Cheese or chocolate, with instructions on melting, and treats for dipping. Strawberries, bananas, bread, apples, grapes, raw broccoli, and carrots are great ideas.
Pizza Basket – Everything they need for a fun night of pizza making as a family. Get sauce, pizza crust, cheese, pepperoni, or any creative toppings that you think they may enjoy. You can also do a “Dessert Pizza” option.
Picnic Basket – Include a comfortable blanket, sandwich making ingredients, a ball, frisbee, or simple outdoor family game.
For gifts under ten dollars, why not freeze a memory in time? Get a picture printed out of the kids, this is priced low at Walgreens and CVS. Pick up a frame at Michael’s or The Dollar Tree, and have the kids paint the frame! As a nanny, you likely take many photos of activities that you do on a regular basis with the children. Put together pictures from the year, and have Walgreens or CVS put together a photo book or a 2019 calendar! Often you can even find a coupon code to make such a lovely gift come to only ten dollars. Another sweet, and thoughtful option is an ornament from the seasonal mall kiosks with their name or have the children make homemade ornaments.
Just as you appreciate thoughtful cards, the parents who you nanny for will too! A sentimental Holiday greeting letting them know that you appreciate them as employers, is always a thoughtful gesture.
Now that you have some solid ideas, get creative! This is a great opportunity to teach the children in your care about giving and allowing them to be a part of this special part of the season!
Warm Holiday Greetings!
By, Anne-Marie Ferraro