I'm totally fine with re-gifting. It's economical, it's eco-friendly. But this wasn't so much re-gifting as it was decluttering a shelf in the back of a closet somewhere. Gee, thanks. If you're going to give your childcare provider a gift basket, take a moment to make sure it's filled with things she might like, not just things you want to get rid of.
2.) Home-made cookies. WHAT? I'm dissing the crafted-with-love kitchen gift???? No, not really. You make a couple dozen cookies, you wrap them in foil or plastic or wax paper, and you put them in a pretty tin or bag or box, and you've created a perfectly lovely gift. B+, at least. More, if the cookies are particularly fancy and/or the wrapping especially lovely.
But... You take six un-iced sugar cookies, stuff them into crumpled wax paper, and deliver them, paper torn and cookies broken into crumbs and falling out of the unfolding paper? D-. You don't fail, because a gift is a gift. But marks for effort and presentation, which speak of the value you have for the recipient? A clear F.
3.) Craft Supplies. This was one received by a caregiver friend of mine: A set of knitting needles, a pattern book and several balls of beautiful yarn, all in a very nice tote. It seems a lovely gift: personal, thoughtful, and practical, too.
The only thing was, my friend didn't knit! The parent knew this. Moreover, she hadn't the slightest interest in learning to knit. The parent was an enthusiastic knitter, and couldn't imagine anyone wouldn't be thrilled to learn how. She was going to teach my friend to knit! She honestly thought she was giving the gift of hours of pleasure. My friend saw it as hours of boredom, but couldn't say so without hurting her client's feelings. A well-intentioned gift gone badly wrong. Make sure your gift reflects the caregiver's interests, not your own.
So, what's the bottom line?
The best gifts show that you value and respect your caregiver. Hand-made or store-bought, cash or gift-boxed, small or large... they are all "best" if they express value, respect, and appreciation.