Babysitter Solutions: Best Holiday Gifts for Your Sitter

Fans of The Nanny Diaries remember when Nan leaves her nanny job furious because the housekeeper received a couture purse and she got a pair of purple earmuffs. For parents, gift giving during the holidays is increasingly tough, especially when you're expected to gift everyone from your pedicurist to your mailman. Relax: There are easy ways to show your babysitter that you care this holiday season, depending on your child care arrangement.

More Bang for the Bonus
When we polled our babysitters at about their favorite holiday gifts, we found, not surprisingly, that the most popular was a monetary bonus. Sitters are often looking for extra cash to go out, buy family gifts or help pay school tuition. If your sitter is part-time, just double her pay for her last job before the new year, or on New Year's Eve itself. If your sitter is sitting for you on a more long-term basis (that is, more than 20 hours a week) consider doubling her weekly salary instead for one week.

If you're worried that slipping your sitter some extra cash will be taken the wrong way, simply include a personal check or cash inside a holiday card and give it to her with her new year. Plus, she'll be more likely to go the extra mile while on the job or to tap into her friend network if she's unavailable during a certain period.

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