The Holiday season is upon us and along with it comes the hunt for the perfect gift! You may be wondering what is appropriate to give your nanny. With our Holiday gift guide, we take out the guess work so you know what to give, and what to avoid giving.
Let’s start with the big question; Is it proper to give your nanny a Holiday Bonus? The answer is, quite simply, Yes! In fact this is quite traditional, and has become an industry standard. There are many professionals that are given tips during the holiday season, such as your hair stylist, and regular server or bartender at your favorite restaurant. Your nanny falls into this category, and in fact, should be at the top of your list when thinking of cash gifts. You may be wondering why this is standard, and what is the appropriate amount to give? Your nanny works hard throughout the year, making sure your little ones are active, happy, safe, on their schedule, fed, taken to and from activities, and so much more! She nurtures them in your absence providing you peace of mind. She gives her time, energy, and genuine love to your children. A Holiday Bonus shows your nanny that you value and appreciate her! This goes a long way in keeping the nanny/parent relationship professional and positive.
How much is the right amount to give your nanny? Typically one weeks pay, and if she is your longterm nanny then two to three weeks pay is an appropriate gift. Please keep in mind that this is separate from her paid vacation and guaranteed hours. What this means is, even if your nanny is off for a week or two over the Holiday season, her bonus should be in addition to this.
You may be asking yourself if it is ever appropriate to not give your nanny a bonus? If you are about to let your nanny go due to poor performance, then a bonus should not be given, as this can give the wrong idea. If, however, you are letting her go for any other reason (you no longer need full time help, you are moving) then you should still give her a bonus, especially if you have done so in the past, so that she knows you genuinely appreciate her. If you truly cannot afford to give your nanny a bonus this year, please explain this to her so that there are no hard feelings, especially if you have given her bonuses in the past. Good communication goes a long way! If you are unable to give your nanny a bonus this year due to financial struggles, keep in mind that if you are buying expensive gifts for the family, or going on fine dining date nights, she may have hurt feelings. If the struggle is real, she will understand that you want to be honest with her, and that next year if you are able, you will go back to giving her her well deserved end of the year bonus.
Now let’s take a look at some additional gift ideas in case you want to shower your hard working nanny with a little more.
By this time you likely have gotten to know your nanny and some of her personal preferences. When thinking about gift cards, consider the following: Does she love Starbucks or Target? Is there a boutique or shop that she frequents? Perhaps a favorite restaurant? If she loves being pampered a gift card to her favorite spa! Is she a workout junky? Consider renewing or purchasing her gym membership. These are all wonderful gift card ideas!
Does she use her car to drive your little ones around? Chances are the little finger prints on the window, and crumbs on the seats are from the kiddos! Gifting her a detail for her vehicle is a wonderful idea!
Does she love Designer purses? Perhaps having picked up on her style, purchase her a new handbag to start the new year in style.
For the Coffee or Wine lover, consider buying her some festive and fun glasses, or mugs. Some imported coffee beans, a Keurig, or other accessories. There are wonderful wine subscriptions that are perfect for gifting! Does she love to read? Consider the gift of a new kindle, a gift card to her local bookstore, or even giving her a subscription to The Book of the Month club! All of these are personal and thoughtful gifts that are sure to delight her!
Your nanny spends much of her time with your children. A small handmade gift from the little ones, a thoughtful card, or even some token that they chose for her all carry sentiment and will make her feel special this Holiday season.
Finally let’s touch on the list of what not to give! This will save the awkwardness and embarrassment that can come along with gifts that are not quite appropriate for the recipient. Avoid giving lotions, soaps, perfumes, and other bath products. Scents are very personal and many people have unpleasant reactions to different kinds. Unless you know she absolutely LOVES a particular product, it is best to avoid these types of gifts. The same goes for clothing, sizing can be tricky, and can open up the door to her being offended without the intention of doing so of course. Style and personal tastes vary, so it is best to leave that alone. Stick with the list of solid things that you know will brighten her season, give the right message, and won’t end up in her regift pile! Last but not least, absolutely do NOT forget your nanny this Holiday season! Doing nothing will certainly make your nanny feel like she is not valued by, or important to you. This is not a message that you want to send.
The nanny parent relationship is one of the most unique of all professional relationships. Showing your nanny a little extra love this Holiday Season will go a very long way in keeping everyone happy as you move forward into the new year together!
Have a safe and happy Holiday Season.