The Twelve Sins of Christmas
What are the etiquette dos and don’ts of the Christmas season and what about regifting-rituals and tipping, how much and to whom?
Dos and Don'ts of The Christmas Season Unexpected gift 1. What do you do when someone gives you a gift and you're not prepared to give them one in return? DF, Providence A. Send the person a real Christmas card with a warm few lines to say how much you liked their thoughtful, funny, useful, or delicious gift. An e-card is also appropriate (see jacquielawson.com). Either will most certainly get you off the hook. Next time you see her in person, mention again how much you liked the gift. You may want to include that you focus your gift giving on 'family members.' If the gifter is a family member, be more specific and say 'immediate family.' The sin would be to say nothing. Unwanted gift 2. When someone gives you a gift you don't want and there is no gift receipt, can you ask for a copy of the receipt? Allison, Newport A. Simply say that your present toaster oven is more than adequate and ask if there is a receipt you could use to exchange their gift from you for a juicer. When there is no receipt, ask where it was purchased and a good store should honor the exchange as long as it is in its original box. The sin would be to ask the giver to exchange it for you. Holiday tipping 3. Will our dog walker be expecting a holiday tip? If so, how much do we tip him? Also, who else do we tip and how much? Elizabeth, NYC A. If your dog walker has been working for a year, then tip the cost of his service for one week. If you have more than one dog, add the half-a-week cost for each additional dog. Tip everyone. It is the right thing to do. If you can't give cash in an envelope, give a holiday card. Do it before Christmas. Put yourself in the position of the person who services you in recognition of their loyalty. Give people what they want, it is probably money. You can't go wrong by tipping the following the very least:
- Mail carrier and newspaper deliverer: $20; hairdresser or barber: cost of normal treatment; sanitation worker: $20; daycare and teachers: follow the school rules; housekeeper, caretaker, babysitter, nanny: one week's salary; doorman and janitor: $100. The sin would be not to tip those who make your life easier.