Thursday

What are your Limits?

opinion dec
How Much Are You Spending On your Charge’s Christmas?

In recent years, I’ve sort of set a $50 - $75 limit on what I spend for my charge’s presents, although I admit it’s not written in stone. I have spent as much as $150 for an only-child. I send past charges $25 gift certificates on their birthdays and at Christmas time as well. This is usually what happens to my Christmas bonus. Consequently, what I value more than bonuses is simply being left alone (childless) during holidays.

This year I’m doing something different. My two oldest charges (both girls, ages 3 and 5) share a bedroom and have stated numerous times that they wish it was pink. Their mother purchased new curtains and linens in an attempt to pacify her daughters’ request, but to little avail, because the older child insists on having pink walls too. I figured that since the girls were visiting relatives 3 days prior to Christmas, a room makeover might be in order. I asked the children’s mother if it could be my present to them since they already have so much stuff that buying toys seems more out of obligation than genuine sentiment. Mom agreed. I have a friend who owns a paint store, so the supplies are cheap enough. I expect to spend less than an additional $100 on bric-a-brac. Total cost: $200 plus a day’s labor. In all honesty, the day’s labor really shouldn’t be a factor because I still receive salary whenever the girls are away, so in essence, what I’m actually out of pocket is a day off. I personally don’t consider this too much in light of how well the family provides for me above and beyond what is expected. I might also add that I have considerable experience in building and design. Painting 4 walls and a ceiling is a walk in the park.

Do you have limits on how much to spend on your charge’s Christmas presents?

16 comments:

alex said...

I do. I used to spend way too much but I don't watch them as much now, so they are not really my charges as much as they are just a big part of my life. But I don't have a lot of money so I am definitely having to limit it to $15 this year. They have so much though and I don't need to add to the clutter. They know I love them and spending time with them is more important to them than actually giving them something.

OP said...

"room makeover", not "room maker".

nnnyb said...

I used to go crazy! But they never appreciated it (the parents) and never really got me anything.
I absolutely love my current job but I'm not risking it again. 20 on the kids and 40 on the parents.
I searched craft fairs and etsty...I found someone who made me custom tutus for 15 bucks!
See how they treat u this Christmas

StrawberryShortKakes said...

OP, that is a great present. They are lucky to have a nanny like you!

MissMannah said...

OMG, I think you're insane...or maybe you just have a lot more money than I do. I think it is lovely that you're doing something for the girls that they'll really love but $200 is a ton of money. I have always limited gifts to about $20-$30, that includes *every* gift I buy, except my husband's...I spent a whopping $50 on his.

I don't have a charge right this minute but his birthday was just a couple of months ago. I bought him a board book, 2 puzzles and a set of wooden blocks. His mother cried because she wasn't expecting anything from me.

Former Nanny said...

I once made the family I worked for a gingerbread house (from scratch). They loved it, and I enjoyed surprising them with it on their door one morning. The next year, I made one together with the kids!

OP said...

Insane, MissMannah? Lol. I knew you would say that. Seriously, I'm paid well, and these children that I'm caring for now and several from the past are pretty much all the family I have left. In fact, six of them are mentioned in my will. I very much enjoy my insanity.

Pretty In Pink said...

OP, you sound like a dream nanny! what a beautiful, thoughtful gift! It sounds like the perfect present for these two little girls. If you have the money and time, then by all means go for it . . . the reward will most definitely be the smiles on their happy little faces! :) By the way, if I was your employer I'd be over the moon thrilled with you, and so impressed (and grateful to have you as my nanny)! Way to go "above and beyond" honestly.

Manhattan Nanny said...

What a great surprise. Those little girls will be so excited.

. I have four charges in my nanny family, plus two in a family I sit occasional evenings for so that makes 6 Christmas and 6 birthday presents. I don't really have a limit on what I spend. I tend to get things I can do with them such as craft kits, puzzles, games, and books. Nothing very expensive. I also help them make gifts for their parents and I buy what we need for those projects.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Sorry about the error, OP... it was corrected.

Sfnanny said...

This year I'll probably just do something small, like under $20. I bought him a gingerbread kit and we did that together.
Part of the reason I'm not spending a lot of money is I'm taking a week off to visit my family and I don't get paid vacation time. And than the the last week of December (my charge gets the last two weeks of December off)the child's parent is putting the kid in a winter day camp (so I'll only be working about 2 hours a day) so I'm losing 2 weeks worth of pay :/ Sooo I need to pay my rent and buy presents for my family! Haha :) also I'm sure I won't be receiving a Christmas bonus w this family.

MissMannah said...

:) I didn't mean it literally, but I'm glad you're happy in your madness. I'm sure your bosses are very happy with you!

OP said...

I know you didn't mean it literally. At any rate, I'm not thin skinned.

Lovethethought said...

I think that is a fantastic gift, and the girls will love it soo much more than any toy you could give them. :)
I make gifts for my 3 charges (I am no longer a nanny, but keep in close touch with the fmaily). Always have. I have done everything from painted trinkets to scrapbooks. This year I am sending them hand made bracelets and scarves. They always love the items I give them because they have more sentimental value than a toy or gift card. I don't ususally have to spend much to create a great gift :)

Dakota said...

I spent a little under $20 on each child (I have 3 charges). I found a seller on ebay who does personalized aprons with matching chef hats for $18 including shipping so that's what I did. They have SO MANY TOYS and the house is SO cluttered as it is, so I didn't want to get them more toys with lots of little pieces that get lost. They'll get a kick out of their aprons and chef hats.

Beth said...

Wow, that's a really nice gift for the children. I'm sure they will love it!

I nanny for three children and regularly babysit for two more. I spend no more than $20 on anyone on my Christmas list, parents/ siblings/ etc.