19 December, 2012

Gift Giving Gesture

OPINION
So, I'm in a panic right now. I've been working for my current family since June. When it comes to the holidays, I always buy gifts for the kids that I care for. And in the past, I've bought gifts for the parents as well--just when it was a family that I'd been working for for quite a long time, or felt especially close to, and it was always a relatively generic couple's gift (a bag of coffee I know they like, a gift card to the movie theaters, etc.). So this year, I did my normal kid-shopping, and decided I wasn't quite to the point where I felt that I should buy my employers a gift as well.

Fast forward to yesterday. My sister is pregnant, and my charge is 5 months old. Mom Boss owns a rather expensive top-of-the-line baby doo-dad which is no longer in use, and was only used for a few months to begin with--it happens to be something that my sister will need when she has her baby. I know that Mom Boss had been wanting to get rid of various baby things that were no longer in use, including this particular item, but it had just been sitting for at least a month. I decided to offer to buy it off of her for my sister. She completely refused to allow me to pay for it, and just gave it to me. I've already instructed my sister to make her a "thank you" note of some sort, but now I feel like it would be nice if I could get a small Christmas gift as well, as a token of my appreciation.

So, my problem is...I have no idea what to get for my employers. They don't drink coffee or tea and very, very rarely drink wine--and I'd have no idea what kind of wine to get them anyway. I have no idea what restaurants they like, and I know that their eating habits are kind of, uhm...unique...so I'd have no idea where to even start with that. I thought about just getting a movie gift card, but there are no local theaters that sell gift cards in their area. There are really no local chain theaters in the first place. Plus, very rarely do I hear them speak of seeing or wanting to see movies, unless it's Mom Boss taking my older charge to see something. So. What do I do? Please help me! - Anonymous

20 comments:

oh well said...

Free babysitting so that mom and dad can have a date night?

workingmom said...

Well, I was going to suggest something like a year's membership to a nice fruit of the month club, like Harry & David, but since your employers have unique eating habits that might not be so successful.

Perhaps they are the type of people who would appreciate a monetary donation made to the charity of their choice in their name, such as a community garden, homeless shelter, or women's shelter? Do they love animals? A donation made to the local animal rescue?

Megan said...

How sweet of you to want to show them your appreciation! It sounds like you are working for a wonderful family.

I actually did not end up getting my MB and DB a gift this year, but did get a few small things for the children. I am not great at gift buying for people when I don't know their likes, but I have been known to just snag a VISA gift card every now and then, so they can use it for whatever they want. Good luck, and have a wonderful Christmas!!

Dr. Juris said...

Maybe you can purchase them tickets to a theatrical production in your area?

Manhattan Nanny said...

Since you are buying gifts for the children, I think small and personal is the way to go with the parents.

Make something. A batch of Christmas cookies, or take a picture of the children and frame it.

NannyTastic said...

Do you scrapbook? Maybe put a small album together with ten 5 x 7 or 4 x 6.

Moniker said...

How about a framed picture of the children? The scrapbook idea is good too. You could have the children make a gift for the parents. Gifts made by children are great.

Nanny2twins said...

I also think a free night of babysitting is a good idea. That is what I gave my bosses last year. I had been working for them for about 3 months. They have yet to use it though, and I went with something a little more personal this year. Donating to a charity would be a good idea as well.

NayTheNanny said...

This was a big hit for me...collage.com. Go on there and make a collage poster with pics of the family or of your charges. Turns out really adorable and isn't expensive either.

ericsmom said...

I wouldn't get the parents anything. If you get things for their children that will make them very happy. Thats how I am if someone gets something for my son it makes me feel happy. I am not just talking about toys. Things you can get are cute pjs for the kids. Or something the child may really like to do an arts and crafts project, puzzles,etc

MissMannah said...

I would advise against giving a night of free babysitting as a gift. For one thing, the parents might be uncomfortable and not want to use it. For another, you are basically offering to work for free. That would be fine if it was a good friend but this is your boss. Offering to work for free makes you look unprofessional.

MileHighNanny said...

I got my bosses a christmas ornament personalized with the family names, and year on it. Inexpensive but sentimental.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Honestly, I don't think you are obligated to give a gift to either the parents or the children. While it was sweet of your boss to give the stroller to your sister, it doesn't mean that she expects you to return the favor.

However, it would be a nice token to give the children a gift. Keep it educational and not too expensive or you may risk embarrassing the parents or looking like you are trying too hard. Even better, if they have tons of toys, why not make them something homemade?

Believe it or not, these days kids have waay too many toys to play with. Some parents even prefer for other people not to buy add'l toys as gifts.
Perhaps tickets to the zoo or aquarium, etc. for the little ones.

old-timer said...

Thank you, Missmannah! As I read through the comments I was hoping to see someone else would disagree with the free night of babysitting as a gift for the Parents. I happen to think it's unprofessional as well and sets a bad example. Most Nannies, career Nannies, want to be taken seriously and this is just a bad idea all the way around.

If you worked as a Secretary would you work a free day for your immediate Boss or Supervisor as a gift? It seems silly.

MissMannah said...

I like Mile High Nanny's suggestion.

CC said...

Maybe she isn't expecting anything in exchange because she was already planning in throwing away. A lot of people procrastinate and she must be one of them.
Free babysitting night should be enough. Don't waste your money on gift that she might throw in the trash.

Candice said...

I agree...free babysitting services only cheapen the nanny profession.

Do maids clean their bosses houses for free every Christmas? Do cashiers get up early, sacrifice time w/their families and go stand for eight hours just to wish their bosses a Merry Christmas??

Absurd.

Glad you agree OP. ~

Chelly said...

I'm OP.

I was super pressed for time, and I ended up just getting a small gift card for a local high-end grocery market, where I know they typically buy their wine (and other foods in the house).

I'd never offer a free night of babysitting. Not only does it seem unprofessional to me, but I just honestly am not willing to work for free--I'm already working nearly 50 hours a week and I have an hour-plus commute in each direction, so it's just more than I'd feel like taking on.

I snapped a really great picture of my younger charge the other day though, and I think I'm going to print that and have it framed for them as a "thank you" for my generous bonus.

Thank you for all of the suggestions!

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

@Chelly:

You sound like one smart woman {and nanny!!} by not offering to work for free. Those that advised this should understand that anytime you offer to do anything for free, the value goes down.

I think giving your family the picture you snapped in a nice frame OP would be a wonderful gift!

Merry Christmas!!!!! ☺

The Pretty Boy said...

I would get them a framed picture of you. That way they can see your face and remember why they pay you so much to babysit the charges.