Need inspiration for a great gift for your childcare provider? First, take a look at my three all-time favorite gifts given to me by some of my clients. Now, read on to learn about the worst gifts I've ever been given -- and what could have made them great instead.
There are some gifts that have enough meaning and value that I feel guilty about not really appreciating them... but the truth is, they're always sort of disappointing.
1.) Gifts for the daycare. I suppose that if you buy a tricycle for the daycare, you've freed up that much money for me to spend on myself. But really, if I'm going to buy the daycare a trike, I'd prefer to do it myself and have the receipt for income tax. If I'm going to receive a gift, I'd prefer it to be for ME. Other providers might feel differently, but that gift certificate for a children's book store? Much as I'll enjoy the shopping, it doesn't feel like I've received something.
2.) Gifts made by the child. They're sweet as sweet -- and I truly, truly appreciate the fact that you're encouraging your child to value and appreciate me. That's worth a lot. But, you know, your child probably makes me stuff once or twice a week, anyway. The spontaneous, "just-because" child-crafted gift is a wonderful thing, and I'd never want to discourage that! But for those general society gift-giving events (Christmas springs to mind) I'd like something from the parent, too.
And then there are the cringe-worthy gifts, the one that make me wonder what the gift giver was thinking. For example:
1.) A gift basket. No, Mary does not have an irrational loathing of gift baskets. They can be AMAZING gifts. It was this particular basket.
It was very obviously put together by the couple -- and that could be a good thing! The personal touch, the extra effort. But no. The basket was battered and starting to fray, and it was stuffed with... the weirdest assortment of odds and ends you'd ever want to see. A bottle of Louisiana hot sauce plonked beside a packet of bath salts, next to a pair of socks, lying on top of a package of M&Ms, on top of a pair of vice grips. ???
What brought these oddments together? It was the layer of dust on the bottle and the brand name on the cuff of the socks and the bath salts that put it together for me: these were freebies that the husband had received in his line of work. They'd taken that year's freebies, tossed them in a (used) basket, put a bow on the handle, and called it a gift.