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Helpers and Christmas

  1. #1
    Sazzy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Hong Kong

    Helpers and Christmas

    Hi All

    What's the deal at Christmas? Do you buy your helper a Christmas gift from your child? Do you give them a pay rise? i also heard that you have to give them an extra month's pay at Christmas - is this true?


  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    we have had the same helper for almost 5 years. we have always given her: $500 in her christmast card, a few small gifts (we once gave her a dvd player from DCS ~$250) and some chocolates in her stocking. we usually give her bath products (it's become a joke in our house!) and she gets enough "luxury" to last the year (bath salts, scrubs, moisturisers, exfoliators etc)...

    we've NEVER given a whole month's pay... we can't afford it.

    we DO always invite her to have new year's eve dinner with us (we go all out on seafood: lobster, king prawns, alaskan king crab etc)

  3. #3
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong


    As she's only been with you for a few months, I think a gift is fine. We normally give cash $500 or a nice gift (last year it was tv for her room). We also give cash for birthdays (D's and her's), CNY, Diwali. In the end it adds up to a month's pay.

  4. #4
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    we never give gifts, only cash. i am definitely sure she would prefer cash. last christmas we gave $1000 HKD, but depending on how long she's been with you and your feelings about her performance, I think anything between $500 - $1000 HKD is more than generous. In addition to Christmas, we give her cash on CHinese New Year's and Mother's Day (random, but my husband started it since she's a mom of two). For her bday, I actually just remembered I made her 7 pairs of shorts in Shenzhen and my son painted her picture which she loved.

  5. #5
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels

    Once our helper had been with us for a year we started one '13th month' at Christmas, prior to that we did half a month.

    I know some people do a cash gift at CNY instead, or spread it over bdays and festivals throughout the year as Rani does.

    We only do small token gifts from the kids for Christmas and bdays etc. as she prefers cash to send home. If she's going home to the Philippines we do small gifts for her kids also.

    As everyone says above, it's what you deem appropriate and what you can afford.

  6. #6
    sherwes is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    We give our helper the "13th month" payment along with a small gift for Christmas (a pair of slippers last year). Other than that we don't give her money for festivals etc.

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    As our helper has only been with us a few months we definitely will only give her a token gift for Christmas--maybe a warm sweater as she's so cold here in HK. The reason for this is that we barely give each other gifts at Christmastime--my son gets one big gift and sometimes, if we remember/have time my husband and I exchange gifts. Same thing with birthdays. So, to us, Christmas (and all holidays) are more about the actual meaning of the holiday than the gifts--more about spending time together and having a good meal or something. I feel more comfortable about keeping business as business and at the end of one-year's employment (next September) we'll give a year-end bonus of an amount we feel is appropriate.

  8. #8
    yonge is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Hong Kong

    We usually give a cash gift for various occasions, but will sometimes include a thoughtful "gift" gift - Hari Raya, Christmas and Chinese New Year as well as her birthday. It's no more/less extravagant that what we would give other members of our family.

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