During the holidays, people often ask me if they must give “something” to their daughter’s teachers, the doorman or the garbageman. If so, how much is appropriate is always the next question.
To me, as a teacher, fresh of the boat, back in 2011, I was appreciative of all the “help” I got during the holidays. Scarves, I didn’t have to buy, made me warm and feel cared for, handmade gifts be it a ceramic mug, a art piece or a ceramic mug ( I had very talented parents around the school I worked at) were special and added character to whatever else I owned and food gifts were perfect so I could try all the goodies of the holidays without going out for them myself. Gifts cards were really nice and helped me buy things like a shoe stand and more for when I just began in the United States.
Just being the person I am, I always felt like teaching was my job and parents did not really have to give me gifts. I was getting paid and that was enough. I enjoyed my job and knew that the parents appreciated the time I spent with the kids. I was told by the senior management that it would not be polite to refuse.
Some of my gift cards were way more than I would have liked to accept, cause it felt like it was too much. But I did accept them and did enjoy them.
I would write my Thank you cards and give gifts to people who helped me out, in return. It would get a little stressful. Yet, i knew it had to be done. I understood the frenzy around the holidays. It’s a little overwhelming. I guess, ‘It Is What It Is.’
My take on gift giving in the New York City Metro is–
- Definitely give and share. It is greatly appreciated.
- If it is for a large building a nice big gift basket is a great gift. So everyone has something to share.
- If you are giving a gift card, $25 is the minimum. ( I know people in New York who think $75 or $100 is what you should give the doorman of a building.)
- A peronal, unique, thoughtful gift is always appreciated.
( Sometimes I give a gift basket to the entire staff and a personal gift to some of the staff that have made a difference to my year.)
- And always try to write a nice thoughtful card. I know anyone who gets it will enjoy the gesture.
If you haven’t already given a holiday gift, it’s never too late.
Happy 2017 y’all.
P.S– If you are receiving gifts, definitely give out Thank you cards after the holidays.