Nanny Tip: Christmas Presents for Kids or No?

With Christmas right around the corner, many people are scrambling for those last minute presents. Some nannies may still be wrestling with the quandary of whether or not to buy their charges a Christmas gift. Here’s a little advice: don’t sweat it. Gift-giving is an option, not a requirement; there is no expectation or rule stating you must give the kids or the parents a gift, even if they choose to give you one. Should you decide to give gifts, however, you face another big problem – what do you give? Keep these words in mind: respectful, thoughtful and inexpensive.

Respectful: make sure their family actually celebrates Christmas or gives out presents. The goal here is not to insult their traditions. Also be sure to respect the family’s lifestyle choices – if the parents don’t allow their kids watch TV, a DVD is probably not the greatest gift idea.

Thoughtful: the old adage is still true – it’s the thought that counts. Gifts always mean more when they are meaningful and from the heart.

Inexpensive: As much as you may love the kids, it isn’t your place to be buying the big ticket items from their list to Santa. Let the parents worry about buying that super expensive video game or deluxe bicycle. Your gift doesn’t need to be any more than around $20.

With these thoughts in mind, check out some of these gift ideas:

Books or movies:

A book or movie is something the kids can use while spending time with their parents, or even you! This is also a sneaky way to include some educational gifts! Look for a book or movie on a topic they are interested in, such as animals or trains. Older children might appreciate a chapter book that challenges their reading skills.

Homemade items:

If you have some sewing skills, consider a handmade scarf, pillow or stuffed animal. It doesn’t have to be deluxe, just made with love!

Photo album or scrapbook:

Consider taking some pictures of the kids, or even some with you and the kids. Simple, handmade ones are perfect for kids. If you don’t have the scrapbooking gene, try a website like Shutterfly which can help you create a beautiful photo album.

Family Gifts:

If you work for a larger family or don’t have the time or money to shop for individual gifts, consider a gift for the entire family. Some ideas: board games, movies for the whole family, gift cards to a family restaurant, homemade cookies or sweets (be aware of any dietary restrictions), a family scrapbook, or a free trip to a museum or event.

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