Dear Tia Maria Sue:
The Christmas Season is at hand. I want to know what is typically done in town in the way of gift giving and tipping this time of year. I know that folks paid a salary receive something called an “alguinaldo” from their employers that is sort of a year end bonus. Should I additionally give small gifts to house staff and gardeners What would be appropriate gifts? Should I tip the gas delivery people, the trash collectors, etc?
Don’t want to be a Scrooge
Honey you are no Scrooge, if you were you wouldn’t ask for help on giving the right gift!
You are right that there is an end of year bonus. Some people mistakenly refer to it as a Christmas bonus but it is not…. I think you should give what you can to those who make your life easier and fuller. As for the staff and others that provide services for us, I say give as generously as you can, maybe give a small present and an additional monetary gift as well.
I feel like my housekeeper and gardener are part of my family….they work so hard and are always so kind, so I in turn do something that shows my appreciation for them and will hopefully make their lives better. This year has been especially hard for our fellow San Miguelenses so I will make sure to give a monetary gift to the people that collect the trash and provide any services to my home.
My only note is that you should try to be consistent every year. But whatever you do, do it from the heart and know that these gifts mean so much to everyone.
Have a fabulous Christmas! Or as I like to call it, The Twelve Days of Martini’s…
Ps. I myself prefer that instead of a gift exchange with friends that we give to a charity together or volunteer for a local NGO.