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Jayme M

Holiday Gift Ideas for Baby’s Caregiver

'Tis the season to say thank you.

It's the holidays! Which means (for me) lots of cookies, time away from work, visiting family and some big meals. It also means making a holiday gift shopping list for the friends and family and neighbors in my life. This year, though, there's someone special that I want to be sure to thank: my son's caregiver!

In many areas of the country, it's customary to give your day care provider a special thank you at the holiday time. After all, this is someone who your child spends significant time with. This is someone who has a big impact in your child's lives.

This holiday season, I'm no exception (even though my sister is the one who watches my son and, as my sister, she'll already be getting a Christmas present from me!). The way I see it, there are several great things you could give someone to say thank you. Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Something just for them Many women have trouble finding time for themself. Why not give baby's caregiver an excuse to pamper herself? Find out what she really likes and let her indulge! Maybe a gift certificate to a spa for a pedicure or manicure? Maybe she'd enjoy tickets to the movies? There could also be a special jewelry item that she'd enjoy. This could be especially meaningful if your day care provider is another mom or a friend that you know well.

Something for the day care If you have an in-home day care provider who's just starting out, maybe she'd really enjoy something that helps her get established. Professional stationery perhaps? Or maybe games and toys that the children would enjoy? Or does she need shelves to help organize the games she has? Listen to see if she's dropped hints or given a clue to what she's considering adding to her space. If you have an in-home daycare provider, it's possible that another family or two would want to join together to get a bigger gift like a zoo or museum pass.

Something to eat Many times, people don't want more stuff! They have all the toys they need. They have their environment all set up. And if you don't know them very well, it might be hard to think of a special outing they'd enjoy. So how about something they can eat? Ideas in this category include: gift certificates to restaurant, a freezer meal from your personal kitchen, or a wonderful treat delivered to her house (from places like Omaha Steaks, Edible Arrangements or Harry and David). This can be a great option for moms that are busy—just a few clicks on the internet and your gift can be on its way! If your child is in a day care center, you might be able to join in with a couple of other families and have breakfast or lunch brought in for the staff. Maybe bagels and cream cheese, pizza or sub sandwiches would be a bright spot in their day.

No matter what you do, it's a good time of year to say thank you! If nothing else, a heartfelt card telling them that you appreciate them (and why!) would be much appreciated!

Updated November 2016

PHOTO: iStock