Holiday Survey

Monday, December 10, 2007
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Back on November 24th, we asked-Nannies, What-if anything do you do for your employers for Christmas or Hanukkah? The majority of nannies who responded to our December poll said that they do not purchase gifts for their employers. At least half of those responding stated that they worked with their charges to create something for the parents.

"I give my charges Christmas and birthday gifts, and small things for other occasions such as Valentine's Day, Easter, flowers for a dance recital etc. My employer is always telling me I shouldn't be spending my money on the children, so I think if I gave the parents gifts it would make them uncomfortable. I do help the children make gifts for their parents for Christmas and birthdays, and cards for all their extended family. I hope these mean more to them than anything I could buy them".

I'm making them a little book with pictures of all the fun the kids and I had this year! -Leah

"I always get the parents a high end box of chocolates and I get each of the kids a nice present. My employers treat me well and give me a large bonus at year's end and even though they don't expect me to return lavish gifts I like to let them know I'm pleased to be working for them".

In past years, I've gotten presents for the kids and platters of home-baked cookies for the family. This year, I'm going slightly beyond that. I've ordered little guardian angels for the parents. The angels have stained glass, to represent the birth month of each child, and the angels stand is a penny from the year they were born. I plan on tying the angels to a bottle of wine. But they'll still get their cookies! My families are also great to me. Family 1 has spent more money on me for my birthday and Christmas than my own mother has, and they have given me a nice bonus besides. Family 2 has given me smaller bonuses (I'm at their house less than Family 1), but the presents they have given me are perfect. Opening presents from both families, I can really tell they listen and care about me and what I like. Not that the presents or even the bonuses really matter, because the fact that these families have opened their homes to me, made me feel a part of their family, that is enough.

I'm liking this idea. What DO you get an employer who has everything and deserves nothing?

Last year I gave the parents a gift card to macaroni grill, movie passes, and a free night of babysitting. they are hard to buy for b/c they have so much. And they honestly don't care about getting gifts they enjoy giving them more. Another good idea is to do a scrap book of you and the kids, the moms will really enjoy this.

For Christmas last year, I gave my charge a winter scarf and a Miffy cutlery set(he was about to graduate to feeding himself). For his 2 day old sister, a cute MEXX pink top. For his mum: a LUSH gift and chocolates .For dad: gag gift and a Gordon Ramsey book (he cooks)

I've given calendars with pics of the children for each month, they always love them. This year I'm having some glass ornaments with my charge's pic on it made.My family doesn't expect anything from me but I like to find something affordable and personal for mom and dad and something my charge and I can do together for the little guy. -TX Nanny

Last year I bought the dad an emergency cell phone charger, the mom nice candles and the child 2 gifts she really wanted in addition to a Christmas cookie bouquet. I got a super cheesey bath and body works set with the free bag that came with purchase. No bonus. This year- I saw this tiered box set with teas, chocolates, cocoa and nuts- it looked like a big snowman- was at Walmart- yep costs $10 BUCKS- that's what the parents are getting. The little girl will get one present that she wants. I will probably get some more lotion and body spray I will never use and add it to the collection of such useless crap I have gotten over the years from when I was a pre-k teacher and from other clients. What a bunch of cheap friggen bastards. MEANWHILE, I will have to scrape to buy my kid probably 3 gifts, I have no idea how we will pay $40 for a Christmas tree, my car needs new tires and I owe the electric company $450. Merry f-ing Christmas

Last year I gave the mom and wine re corker and the dad 2 new ties. This year I will probably buy the mom and new shirt/sweater set and the dad a shirt and tie. I also give them a free night of babysitting, then the children and I will make a dinner and cookies, and the children get a few outfits, toys, books, etc. But I really get along with my employers and we are more like friends, we go shopping and hang out even when I am not working. In return I get a holiday bonus, a few presents from them and their parents, as well as gifts for my son and a few nights that they offer to babysit him.

Every gift I gave my boss and her kids seem to magically disappear so i don't give them anything any more ha!

I put together a family activity basket with items for making cookies together and got each little girl a pair of warm mittens, which I know they need.

My first year for my family I made them a scrapbook for their first(and at the time only) child. Since then I have given them something I know they need. Last year it was a workout outfit for the mom and a shirt holder for the dad. I made both sets of grandparents calenders with pictures from the previous year. Not sure what I'm going to do this year, but I'm thinking on it. -Nanny B

I usually make some sort of baked goods for the parents, cookies in a tin or something like that. The kids are easy: I buy them books for pretty much any gift-giving occasion. That way, the gift is something they can enjoy with their parents or with me.

I've been taking pictures of the kids I nanny every now and then. I'm just going to get a small photo album and get some prints made at Walgreens. They can add to it or I can just add more as I take more. That way they can also see what the kids do when they are with me :)

All I know is, buying gifts for your Employer can be about as difficult as buying for your Mother-in-Law, especially if she has money. You don't want to come across as pathetic, but honestly, what DO you buy for somebody who has everything, and needs nothing. The kids are always easier, so that is a moot point, and I am sure most would agree.

Mom and Dad always proved more difficult (but I have trouble with my own parents, friends and husband so it might just be that I find children easier). If they drank wine, I would buy a bottle of wine from a region that I know they hadn't tried before. A coffee table book of a country or place or subject that they are fond of or that they want to travel to has also always been a very well received gift. I've also helped the children make a card or some other project.

I don't think its necessary to do anything, but I'm sure any simple gesture would be appreciated, a card, some cookies, whatever. I'd get something for the kids probably, before the parents. -jmarhar

I love the family I work for but my employers made it clear that they don’t really want me to give them gifts for the holiday season. They have too much “stuff” already. So instead I get the kids gifts (games, books, craft stuff), buy stuff to create an art project with the kids so they can give their parents a gift (last year we made a clock with clay sea creatures as numbers) and I bake a ton of stuff for them. They always have a lot of family over during this time of the year so cookies, fudge, pies, and cakes are always appreciated. I know the kids like everything I bring and the parents seem to appreciate the handmade gifts from the kids as well as having baked goods in the house.

A gift card for a coffee shop. -Tree

I have been with my family for over 13 years and we are super close.So finding the right gifts is not so much a challenge anymore.But,in the past a really well received gift I have given my boss was a professional picture of the children.The kids and I sneaked out of the house in nice clothes and they took a nice photo.We framed it nicely and mommy cried.The picture taken process was actually pretty fun in getting the boys to laugh.As her preteen son did not like to smile b/c of his braces.However,due to my antics she now has a pic of him showing all those beautiful metal spikes.


Anonymous said...

I missed the survey - but I'll answer here...

The kids and I went for professional pictures (which hadn't been done in about 3 years), I framed them and that will be the parents' presents. For the little girl, I bought a Hanna dress, shoes, tights and hair "pretties." The boy, I bought Dragonology, Wizardology and Sorry!. I think altogether I spent $150+ and I will get a $25 giftcard in return... but you know what? They are really the only ones I buy for, so I think it doesn't really bother me that much...

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine any mother wanting a scapbook of nanny and the kids or any photos containing nanny in it. Am I being cynical?

Anonymous said...

9:35, I hope you don't have a nanny because you probably don't appreciate her. My family treats me like one of their own and has lots of pictures where I am included. I'd say you are being more than cynical, I'd call you a...

Quinn said...

I love the professional picture idea. Really nice. It was also fun reading how much most nannies love the children/families they care for.

Anonymous said...

When this survey was going on I wasnt sure what I was going to be doing for the family I work for. But I've since decided so thought I would post here. I got the baby (6 months) a ton of stuff including, clothes, sippy cups, a little touch leap pad, and a book to go with it, and some slippers. For the mom I got her a gift certificate to a spa for a mani, a massage and a facial. For dad (who is a school teacher) I got him a new briefcase (red sox themed like he likes) and a shirt and tie.

ATL Nanny said...

In the past, I've frequently given scrapbooks or photo albums. The photos in the albums are of the children, not of me as I'm the one behind the camera. These gifts have always been appreciated, and often result in tears.

MissDee said...

To the nanny who called her employers cheap bastards:

You are a nanny? I can't believe it. EXACTLY what kind of role model are you for your charges acting like an ungrateful bitch during the holidays? "lots of useless crap that I obtained from being a Pre K teacher"....I, too, taught 3 and 4's and recieved many WONDERFUL gifts, some of which I have in my home office. "I'm getting my employers a $10 gift I saw at Wal Mart because they are cheap...." "I have to scrape to buy my kid 3 gifts this year, I owe the gas company, and I need new tires..." Blah, blah, blah! You sound like a grouch, and really should think of a new career. Christmas is about GIVING, not a dollar, and certainly not bonuses!

So let me ask you, if you recieve a present that doesn't meet your standards are you going to throw a temper tantrum in front of your charge? If you don't recieve your bonus, are you going to whine like a little kid and quit on the family?

I can't believe you are a nanny. You sound like an immature, ungrateful brat...maybe I should set you up with my ex-fiance. He'd be perfect for you!

mm said...

miss dee,
I didnt't make that comment or respond to the survey but I will say this, if I don't get a bonus that reflects what I think I deserve, I will do worse than quit. I certainly cannot leave it up to some haughty and arrogant semi woman who lacks all things maternal to comprehened what an appropriate bonus would be for the person who is the only person who plays mother to her children.

There is no defense for the souless creators of life, none. They should pay through the teeth for their indiscretions and absence of heart.

MissDee said...

MM: I wasn't talking about you sweetie. I was referring to the nanny who bought the father an emergency cell phone charger, her charge two gifts, and all she got in return was a gift bag from Bath and Body Works and no bonus. If I offended you, I'm sorry!

erics mom said...


I agree with your comments. I thought the same thing, with that nanny. That stated she got crappy gifts when she taught pre-k, etc. That really bothered me.
If you can't afford to get a family a present they will understand. Or you can give a present at a different time of year. Why does it always have to be at Christmas or another major holiday? Why can't you pick up something special in March or September.

Otherwise, I love the postings

Housewife said...

When my nanny was dying of cancer my siblings and I were there to wipe her brow and we all chipped in to pay for a 24 hour nurse so her own children wouldn't have to tend to her wounds or change her when she soiled herself.

My mother and I love the pictures we have of her and I have pictures of her celebrating Mother's Day with all us after her own children had grown and moved away.

My children do not have a nanny but if they did a photo book would be the most cherished of all holiday gifts.

I see a lot of parents who hate nannies here and a lot of nannies who resent the parents. Please don't be silly enough to think that the kids don't notice. If you're a nanny who hates the mother you should think about quitting, it's not fair to the kids. If you're a mother who hates the nanny, how dare you leave your children with her.

Anonymous said...

I too missed the survey and will answer here. I usually just give my employers a bottle of wine and a movie gift certificate with free babysitting. It's thoughtful, inexpensive and allows them a night to themselves.

jojo bear said...

before you give your employer a bottle of wine or hooch, make sure he isn't an alkie. My female boss had to wrestle a gift bottle of maker's match out of the trembling hands of her husband. my bad.

Anonymous said...

9:35 AM
"I cannot imagine any mother wanting.......... or any photos containing nanny in it. "

Wow, so you don't know any nice moms with warm relationships with their nannies? My employers include me in pictures they take of the children's birthday parties and other special occasions, to put in their albums. I have been with them for nine years, since the oldest was born. They consider me part of the family. It would be strange if the albums had no pictures of their nanny.

erics mom said...


You sound like a great family. How many people would extend themselves like your family did. You must have raised great children. I felt sad reading your post but made me smile to think in her last days she knew she was cared about, by her family and yours.

Anonymous said...

As an employer, I am afraid my nanny will buy my family holiday gifts. We plan on giving her a nice bonus as well as gifts for her family and children, and I would never insult her by turning her generosity away, but it makes me uncomfortable when my nanny spends her money on my family (as she has on the children's and our birthdays)--it's very sweet and kind, but she needs the money for her family. I hope that if she does give us gifts, she does something like the photo album--and I would DEFINITELY want our nanny's picture in it. She is very much part of my family's and child's lives and the pictures would mean alot to us. Also, a photo album can be done very nicely for less money than some of these other gifts.

Anonymous said...

I am a Nanny and I've recently got into making gifts. This year, my husband and I made holiday soaps for my family in the shape of stars-of-davids and doves, as they celebrate Hanukkah and X-Mas. I also made special soap for the kids, with toys in it and gave the parents a gift certificate for babysitting for a date night.

I'm really into giving non-material items, such as giving my time or giving things that can be used, instead of giving another object.

Midwest Nanny said...

Oops, looked like I missed the survey as well.

Last year, I did a scrapbook of my charge of that past year; including crafts/pictures that she had drawn; lists of things she liked to pretend to be, names she called mommy and daddy...

This year, I got a scrabook album and just filled it up with her artwork throughout the year. Not enough time for the other! lol!!

I'll probably help her make a nice little craft for mommy and daddy too, maybe a family picture that she drew of all three of them and get it framed?

I think the thought behind something goes a long way instead of $ spent. At the same time, the longer you are with someone, I think the more effort you should put into the gift.

tree said...

I was so offended by the lady who once was a Pre-K teacher and she didn't like the lotion gifts she received from the students. My son started Kindergarten this year and we bought her lotion for Christmas. Now I wonder if I made a mistake by getting a "cheap" gift.

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny who constantly hears how appreciated and loved I am. I am NEVER late, never call out sick and am always available to work overtime or extra days. Yet, when the holidays came last year, all I got was a 100.00 bill in a card. I tried to be thankful, and tell myself that they didn't have to give me anything, but it stung. Especilly when I spoke to the other nannies and heard about the generosity of their employers. I know what the parents earn and am certain both got extremely generous bonuses from their employers so I know they could have afforded more.

This year, although it's breaking my heart, I've made up my mind that if I don't get at least one weeks pay as my bonus I am leaving. IF they love and appreciate me as much as they claim wouldn't their holiday gift reflect that? Last year, I spent more on gifts for their kids than the bonus I got. Believe me, I don't begrudge the kids but when all was said and done I got rooked and I knew it.

Parents, if you love your nanny and appreiciate their dedication and hard work PLEASE reflect that in their holiday bonus. Otherwise. they may be like me and strongly contemplate leaving come the new year.

Anonymous said...

AMEN 9:18!!!

I'm a nanny in the same boat as you. Love the kids I am caring for but will split this January after three years in a row of $50.00 bucks in a money card and a cookie tin!!!

Anonymous said...

maybe all you people who are complaining about not getting a bonus or not getting a good enough bonus just don't deserve one? ever thought of that?

marypoppin'pills said...

That's not a very nice thing to say. If these Nannies are important enough to take care of their children, they should be important enough to receive a bonus commensurate of their worth. I'll never understand why these Parents, who obviously have enough money, wouldn't want to show their appreciation for them. They have no problem shelling out $1000.00 on a cocktail dress for a Christmas party ... but not the caregiver of their children? It's actually kind of sad.

Anonymous said...


Imagine being their child. Its too sad I have to look away.

Anonymous said...

12:34 PM
If the parents are entrusting the care and nurturing of their children to a nanny whom they don't think deserves a bonus, shame on them!

Anonymous said...


I never thought of that!

Let's see....

The parents;
Trust me to care for their kids at least 5 hours a day
Trust me to take their kids to the circus, carnivals, theater, parks, museums and play centers.
Trust me to cook the meals when they work late.
Trust me to help with homework.
Trust me to bathe their kids and put them to bed.
Trust me to take them to Doctors and dentist appointments.
Trust me to stay with their kids when they are home sick from school.
Trust me enough to highly recommend me to family and friends (All of whom gave me an equal or better Christmas gift even though I am only an occasional sitter for them!)
But you just might be onto something! Maybe I'm really NOT worth a decent bonus after all!

LittleNan said...

I have mixed feelings on what to think about all of this. I grew up with a nanny taking care of me and I have to say she still is thought of warmly in my heart. There are times even as an adult that I feel I need her, but slowly the feeling fades and I forget about her...except on Christmas. That is when I remember her most. All of the times we decorated together, went holiday shopping, errands, baking, cooking, preparing for my parents guests to come over etc.
I lived a very blessed childhood and my nan who was African'Creole was actually...more than a mother...more than a friend...she made me feel like she was my soulmate. She understood everything there was to know about me...she could smell a lie 10 miles away lol.
So as of this year I have graduated from University and I do not have the urge to head out in to the field. My parents take care of all of my bills and believe me I've tried to walk away from it...but they are HUGE worry worts. So I needed time...something to do. I looked online and found tons of families in my area that NEED nannies.
I took a few coures and I've been working as a full time nanny for 6 months now and I try to practise my nannies works. The way she handled things...and so far I'm getting along with everyone and the kids are just...ahh there amazing!
The parents...hmmm have some things to sort out with eachother. The mother often leaves her creidt cards with me etc to buy things like gifts etc...Im a good shopper and we have the same taste in home decore and fashion.
I've bought her some home deore stuff, I bought the husband a new novel and a novel light for late night readings...the two boys a walkie talkie set...and an indoor tent...the little girl a new tu-tu!

I dont care what they get me...candle, robe...lotion. I just want to see them smile!

Give the gift of laughter, happiness etc.

Anonymous said...

Can I ask why did you choose to nanny? After spending all that money and time on school. Don't you think it was a waste of your parents money? Or are you planning to nanny for a year or two, then get into your field of work. Please, don't throw away that degree you worked hard for.


Anonymous said...

10:19 AM
An education is never a "waste of money"!
As for throwing it away by becoming a nanny, you don't know what her major was. Most of my nanny friends have degrees in ECE, but any liberal arts education would be a valuable preparation for working with children, work that I think is of value to society, although apparently you don't.
A Nanny

commonsense said...

I always have the kids make a homemade craft or something for all the holidays to take home and I give each child a gift for holidays and birthdays. The parents never get me anything. That's ok, their kids are delightful and I love them very much. I do what I do for the children. As long as the parents pay me on time I could care less about a gift or bonus.

Anonymous said...

We are giving our nanny that we've had for the past 10 months a week and a half salary bonus. I hope this is appropriate. If we didn't have her, we would be juggling so many things. She is much appreciated and her gift to us could just be to stay with us!?

Anonymous said...

12:46 & 10:05
Both of you sound like really nice people!!
Good Karma.