What Holiday Gifts Do Nannies Give?

Nanny Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

Finding the right holiday gift to give to your boss can be tough. We have been discussing that the sentiment is more important than the cost of the gift you choose.
For those who haven’t decided what to give to their employers and their children yet this holiday season, we hope you find inspiration from the results of the Be the Best Nanny Newsletter holiday gift-giving survey below.

What gifts are you planning to give to your employers’ kids, the parents, or entire family this holiday season?

Heather Spooner, a nanny in Atlanta, GA explains, “I like to buy books and games for the children. For the parents I usually give gift certificates to their favorite restaurant or store.”

Meghan H., an au pair working in Boulder, CO says, “I have a big list after discussing what I’m getting with Santa. For the youngest I am giving an inexpensive lap harp. I’m giving a parent-approved computer game to the eight-year old. I bought a skate board for the ten-year old (Santa is providing a helmet) and roller blades for the 14-year old (and Santa is providing the protective gear).”
Karen Morgan, a nanny in Atlanta, GA says, I usually give something I make. I like to sew and knit, so I give things like handmade pillows, small blankets, and hats.”
Farrah P., a nanny from Austin, TX shares, “I am getting matching pajamas for all the kids. I’m giving a gift certificate for free babysitting for the parents.”

Debbie T. an au pair from Germany working in the United States answers, “The 11-year old is really starting to like music so I’m giving him a CD, the four-year old is getting puppets, and the baby some sorting blocks.”

Samantha Leclaire, a nanny in Wakefield, MA says, “I got the baby a bunch of toys, clothes, and books. I bought the parents a gift card for a restaurant they love. I also made a scrapbook of all the pictures from the baby’s first year as well as a slide show DVD of the pictures that has Japanese lullabies (the mother is Japanese) playing in the background.”

Deborah Lucas, a nanny in Decatur, GA is giving a handmade scarf.

Denise Blackford, a nanny in Bridgewater, NJ shares, “My charges are really into Barbie’s lately, including the little boy. They are always fighting over the Ken dolls, so everyone is getting Ken! For the parents, I always take a picture of each child in a Santa hat and put it in an ornament frame that has the year on it. I also buy the Dad a four-pack of his favorite holiday beer and a bottle of wine for the Mom.”

Imani O., a nanny in New York says, “I am making a scrapbook of the children and baking some of their favorite Christmas desserts.”

Sarah Klink, a nanny from Atlanta, GA explains, “The twins I take care of will be nine-months old at Christmas time and I plan on buying them some more challenging developmentally appropriate gifts than what they have now, i.e. Stacking rings, stacking blocks, simple puzzles with the big knobs, a shape sorter, etc.”

Lauren, a nanny in Pittsburgh, PA shares, “I am going to get some pictures of the girls this week to frame them and give them to their Mom and Dad.”

An anonymous from Seattle, WA says, “Each year I make something from shutterfly.com. I am on a mission each year taking pictures of the kids. You can make calendars, scrapbooks, memory books, you name it. It means a lot to the family.”

What are you giving to your employers this holiday season?


  1. Definitely ask the parents if it is okay to give the children you care for a gift for Christmas and go by them if they approve. For two reasons based on my experience: you may give them something that the parents would never give them like a loud toy or a not parent approved video game. Second reason, you do not want to upstage any gifts that the parents will give their children.

  2. Sorry "Confessions" but I really think you don't have to ask before giving kids you work with full time a gift at anytime, for any reason. I couldn't upstage the parents if I wanted to, I only spend about $30 per gift anyway.I give the kids little gifts even if they had a great week doing homework and the parents are thrilled.If you plan to give a potentially controversial gift, then I would agree. Ask parents before giving an electric scooter, bike, trampoline, guitar, drum set; something of that nature. Meghan H is the only nanny in the survey that gave some big ticket items and clearly she asked the parents because she said Santa is providing the safety equipment.Did you read what the other nannies are giving quoted in this survey? They are all appropriate! Do you really think any parent would mind getting a handmade scarf or blanket from their nanny??? Why should I have to ask if I can give their kid knitted hats and gloves, scrapbook, age appropriate books, board games, age appropriate DVD or CD, puppets…. ?But you don't have to ask to give a kid a board game, or book, or doll, or age appropriate toy like sorting blocks!!Nannies and au pairs who work 20 to 60 hrs per week for a family in their home def can figure out what would be a small gift appropriate to give to the kids, without asking the parents' permission. I did tell my employer's what I'm giving simply because I didn't want to re-gift anything. All my toys are on their Santa lists. I told the parents as a courtesy to them so we don't each buy the same gift.Typically I don't ask permission to give a small gift.

  3. I'm giving my family a personalized ornament. I gave them one 3 years ago and they loved it. You can get it online, (or in a few stores) and they are pretty inexpensive. I'm also adding a card and some type of food item to complete the gift.

  4. Actually I am 1 of 2 nannies and we consult so we don't outdo the other. We tend to give gifts together to the kids. Never asked parents because it's fun for them to see our surprises too. Been nanny since 1986 never asked parents permission before giving a gift.

  5. I disagree with confessions of west upper side nanny too. It's no fun telling parents what you are gift the kids.

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