Welcome to December, the most stressful month of the year. Work deadlines, present shopping, Christmas events, all on top of your normal load.
If you employ a nanny, a Christmas gift is probably somewhere on your to-do list. But what? And are you meant to give a bonus? How much?
We asked some experienced nannies for their advice, and – whilst they’d all love a new car and their mortgage paid off – the good news is that letting them know they’re appreciated at Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank.
Giving a monetary gift
Many families do give their nanny a Christmas bonus. And when we asked nannies what they really wanted for Christmas, ‘a bonus’ was by FAR the most common answer (closely followed by ‘a voucher’!)
For families that give a bonus, a common amount is one week’s net pay. If money isn’t an issue for you, this amount will work nicely. (Of course, any amount is appreciated.)
Many families also give a personal gift, in addition to the bonus. Whether you give an extra gift or not, do at least try to find 15 minutes to write a lovely message in a card, emphasising how much you appreciate all their hard work and how important the nanny is to your family life. You’ll get a massive return on that little investment, and nannies were all in agreement that the card was just as important as the gift or money.
Giving a non-monetary gift
If money is tight and a week’s net pay isn’t an option, don’t worry. Like anyone else, the main thing nannies want is to feel valued and appreciated for all their hard work. Nannies know they’re an expensive luxury, and that you might be already stretching to afford them. Several nannies we asked didn’t expect any gift at all. As one said, “A card would be enough, paired with warm and sincere wishes.” Another suggested something made by the children would be a lovely gesture.
If you want to do something in-between, here are some other ideas.
If you know your nanny’s style, and you have the time, by all means pick up something from her favourite shop. But if you don’t know your nanny that well, most nannies would prefer a voucher. As one said, ‘It’s better to choose ourselves rather than getting the 100th body lotion or cream. Parents don’t seem to know us well enough to really know what we want.’
Do make sure your voucher is for somewhere your nanny wants to shop. One wise nanny told us, “Gift vouchers are really useful but need to be for somewhere that I would actually use. So Westfield, Amazon, Debenhams or John Lewis, not Harrods.” M&S is also a nice option as it’s full of treat-full Christmas ingredients. If your nanny is a bit of a fashionista, a clothes shop voucher could be particularly great given the Christmas sales.
A restaurant or spa gift voucher could also be an excellent gift to make sure your nanny can relax over the holiday, and it doesn’t matter if she’s been given them before. One great thing about spa day vouchers is that you can chose the treatments for your nanny yourself, making it feel little more personal. As an even more thoughtful touch, you could get two vouchers so she can bring a friend. If she’s into cooking, a cooking class voucher could be great too.
If a voucher seems too impersonal, what about a hamper? Here you’ve got two choices: pre-made, or DIY. Pre-made hampers are quick and simple, but can be expensive. You can keep costs down, and personalise it a bit, by making your own. Think wine, prosecco, classic festive food, chocolate, beauty – or a mixture (but do try to avoid giving the 100th body cream!). It doesn’t have to be a major project: pick up a bag in Accessorise while you’re passing through a mainline rail station, put a few extra taps on your Ocado order and you’re done.
Keep her family in mind
If your nanny has children of her own, getting a little something for them is very thoughtful and your nanny will definitely appreciate it. We spoke to the grown-up daughter of a nanny, and she still remembers the little presents she got from her mum’s bosses. A tiny bit of effort here goes a long way.
Worst Christmas presents
- Ferrero Rocher
- Bath cubes
- ‘Tequila, lemons, shot glasses, salt.’
- ‘100 cookie cutters’
- ‘Please no candles, candle holders, lotions, potions, general house clutter, or love heart signs!’
- ‘A friend of mine got 3 cake tins stacked inside each other. Her boss said, ‘There’s an extra special something inside the small one.’ It was a pair of Christmas socks’
And the best
- £1200 :)
- Amazon vouchers
- ‘A wonderful thank you card with £500 inside, plus theatre tickets for me and my husband’
- ‘A nice book and a little extra on payday’
- IOUs made by the children—‘early finish’, ‘late start’, ‘extra day off’, ‘lunch out’
- PJs from Oliver Bonas
- Tickets for the Ripper walking tour
- A holiday to Orlando for two weeks, flying first class, with $1000 spending money[ummmm….. no pressure.]
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