Last minute babysitter gifts: canvas bagsI totally am stumped on what to give our favorite sitter in addition to some cash. Any last minute ideas? She’s really wonderful and we want her to know how much we value her but I don’t want to spend a lot because we’re already giving her money too. Thanks! -Alyssa

While cash (generally a week to two week’s pay for a full time nanny or sitter) will be a most-appreciated gift, we like the idea of pairing it with a little something personal for those important caregivers in our children’s lives.

If your child is old enough to create artwork, take a favorite picture—or ask her to draw something especially for the sitter. Scan the picture, print onto iron-on transfer paper (available at your local office-supply store) and then affix it to a plain canvas bag as shown in this Martha Stewart tutorial. Super cute and useful!

Personalized Moleskine notebooks

We love these personalized Moleskine Notebooks enough to feature them in our Today Show personalized gift segment. They can still be ordered in time for the holidays—-the bright, fun red cover would make a great (and affordable) gift, while your nanny’s name embossed on the cover truly makes it special.
monogrammed mugs
Does your nanny like a spot o’ tea while the babe takes an afternoon nap? Grab her a pretty tin of tea like one from The Republic of Tea, available in many shops. Or find some fancy looseleaf tea and a nice strainer, available at any kitchen or housewares shop. Pair it with her own monogrammed mug (here’s a tutorial from Design Mom), or find a pretty tea cup at your favorite local shop.
custom cards
Salt & Paper’s printable paper gifts are so easy to create with your color printer and some card stock. Wrap up a stack of cards in a pretty ribbon for a set of custom stationary you can make without leaving your home.

Of course, you know your sitter or nanny best. Some appreciate jewelry, a gift card for a mani/pedi, or fancy soaps and lotions. But whatever you do, make sure you always include something from the kids, if only a hand-drawn card. That’s probably what she’ll appreciate best of all.

Well, that and the cash. –Christina