Gifts From a Nanny


Nannies and their employers have a range of ideas about gift giving, but most seem to agree it's appropriate for nannies to give thoughtful, inexpensive presents at Christmas and for birthdays. As caregivers for children, gifts from nannies can communicate comfort, fun and enrichment. Handcrafted or home-cooked gifts are less expensive and more personal, but purchased items are equally appreciated.

For the Mom

  • A precious commodity for mothers is finding a bit of personal time to relax, reflect or involve themselves in a creative project. Possible gifts for moms include a hand-knit or purchased tea cozy, a sampler of gourmet teas, a wall calendar with a photo you took of her children, needles and yarn, a craft or needlepoint kit from the craft store, an herbal neck warmer (she heats it up in the microwave), a book by her favorite author, a flowering orchid, vellum stationery or a pair of hand-knit leg warmers.

For the Dad

  • You might ask for helpful hints from his wife or kids about what the dad might appreciate for a gift. You can also try a current bestselling book, a pair of hand-knit or purchased woolen socks, a framed photo of his children, a coffee mug decorated with the same photo, a chiropractic travel pillow, a Rubik's Cube or other puzzle, a pair of driving gloves, an old-fashioned boars hair shaving brush and the soap that goes with it or a home-baked apple pie (or his favorite baked treat).

For a Girl

  • If you are simpatico with your girl charge, you probably already have some ideas about what would brighten her eyes when the wrapping falls to the floor. If you're stumped, consider a music box, a realistic stuffed animal, a set of jacks or box of pick-up-sticks, a box of scented herbal soaps, a sampler set of lotions and lip balm, a blank diary or journal, the first book in an age-appropriate fantasy or adventure series, a friendship bracelet, flower seeds and a watering can, a jump rope, her own tea cup, a crochet needle and some pretty yarn or stickers for her school binders.

For a Boy

  • You've no doubt looked around his room and have an idea of his current interests. Consider buying him a model car or fantasy character to assemble, a soccer ball, a carnivorous plant and small packets of food (from the pet store), a new tropical fish, a magic kit, a personalized tee-shirt with his own image, or the image of his favorite rock star or hero, a set of marbles or juggling balls, puzzles, or the first book in a series of adventure or fantasy tales.

For Both Boys and Girls

  • Gifts suitable for both sexes include a nicely finished wooden box with a lock for precious things, a harmonica, face paint, non-slip slippers, mittens with clips or DVDs of their favorite movies. You can knit or sew a soft animal cozy to zip up over a hot water bottle, turning it into a cuddly sleeping companion for chilly nights.

For Babies

  • Among the many wonderful qualities of babies is that they appreciate everything you give them. Try a crib music box or player, a stuffed animal, a colorful mobile to hang over the crib or changing table, a framed picture of you and the baby for the wall or bureau, colorful teething rings to hold and munch, new booties or sleepers, or a personalized dish and sippy cup.

For the Entire Family

  • Instead of getting gifts for each individual person in the family, you can opt to buy or make one gift for everyone. The family will appreciate something they can gather around, such as delicious home-baked treats, a family game or a tin of high quality chocolate.

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