My nanny’s birthday is next week, and I have no idea what to get her! I want to do something to show my appreciation for the incredible work she’s doing (like potty-training our toddler). What’s the norm in this situation? I don’t want to make her uncomfortable by gifting her something huge, but I want to make sure I’m showing her how much she’s valued.
Gift ideas, please!
Dear Birthday Boss,
We are so happy to have received this question! Showing your nanny that she is appreciated and valued is one of the keys to a successful family-nanny relationship. Remembering and celebrating her birthday is a great way to show her that you care about her as a person, not just as an employee. Here are a few things that you can do.
The Thoughtful Gift
No matter how old we get, everyone gets excited about a gift wrapped in pretty paper. There’s no need to be extravagant — it’s the thought and meaning that counts. If she mentions wanting something in passing at any point during the year, write it down so you can reference it when it’s time to buy a gift. You can buy your nanny a nice bottle of wine, a new handbag, or tickets to a concert you know she would enjoy. The key is to get something personal that you know would make her smile.
The Pampered Gift
If a gift isn’t the right choice for you, you can treat your nanny to an experience instead. Join her for a mani/pedi, take her out to a nice lunch, or get her a gift card for a (much needed) massage. This is a memorable way to show your nanny that you know how hard she works.
The Bonus Gift
If you’re pressed for time, we get it. Not everyone can spend hours looking for the perfect gift or take time off for high tea with their nanny. A birthday bonus, like a holiday bonus, is also a great (and quick) way to show your appreciation. If you go this route, people generally give two weeks of full-time pay, but do whatever is appropriate for your family. Don’t forget to sign a birthday card with the kids!
The Day-Off Gift
Let your nanny have her birthday off, or give her an extra vacation day or two (paid). Your nanny can do whatever she pleases with this time, and she will appreciate the time to relax and spend time with her loved ones.
Whatever you choose, remember that it’s the thought that counts. When you acknowledge your nanny in a personal way, it will mean the world to her. Your nanny deserves to know that she’s valued and appreciated. Her birthday is the perfect time to show it.