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Christmas gift for helper

  1. #1
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
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    Christmas gift for helper

    Any ideas on what to give your helper this Christmas? Aside from a Christmas bonus, we plan to buy her a gift. Much as we know she would prefer cash, I think it would be nice to hand her a present that she can open on Christmas day. Even my daughter wants to give her a gift.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i always gave my ex-helper (she's now in canada) some nice bath stuff... you know, masks, bath beads, a bath bomb etc.... it became a joke between us. i just knew she wouldn't "waste" her money on herself, so i helped her take care of herself.

    our new helper will be in PH for xmas, so she will be getting her birthday (dec 1) and xmas present before she leaves (we'll give her some cash to spend on her holiday).

    our male helper.... hmmm... have no idea...

    funny, hubby and i haven't exchanged gifts since we had kids (7 years ago)...

  3. #3
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i just remembered, last year we got our male helper a nowtv connection with the philippino channels, which he LOVES!

    we offered our female helper the choice between a landline telephone (we don't get mobile reception where we live) or nowtv... she chose the telephone line.

  4. #4
    bonita is offline Registered User
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    We also gave bath sets/ makeup sets for helper, plus cake coupons or gift vouchers for pizza huts, kfc etc. so they can get food to celebrate with friends on day off.

  5. #5
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    I got our helper a clock radio (about HK 250) for her boarding house, since she likes to listen to music. I'll also wrap up a mug and a box of chocolates. The gifts are not expensive -- mostly so she won't feel left out. She'll be working on XMas Eve, during our big family dinner, and everyone else will have presents to open.
    Also privately -- when my parents aren't looking -- I will give her a Christmas laisee. (HK families are very critical if you're seen as being "soft" with your helper.)
    We were thinking of HK 1000 for Christmas and HK 1000 for CNY. She's been with us half a year. Do you think that's fair?

  6. #6
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Also, our helper doesn't usually eat with us. But I was thinking it would be nice if she had Christmas dinner with us, never mind what the Chinese relatives say.
    She's a devout Christian. It would make me feel awful if she stood around the kitchen watching the rest of us eat, and then had to eat the leftovers by herself later, which is probably what most HK families would do.
    I know she wanted to go home to her child for XMas, but we couldn't let her go. But I know she will miss her own family.

  7. #7
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for your great ideas. I'm thinking of giving her a bathrobe that she could use for winter at our home & at her boarding house OR a hand repair/cream set since she does a lot of manual work. Now for some Christmas shopping!

  8. #8
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Gracey, I think your lai see amount sounds good to me. Helpers really appreciate the cash. We don't really do Christmas gifts so I won't be giving one to my helper but will give her a Christmas lai see - probably just a few hundreds though; we already gave her a bonus for completing one year with us this year and will give her a raise early next year. What's fair really depends on what you can afford. One thing I'd keep in mind is - I'd like to motivate my helper by giving her slightly bigger bonuses every year or a raise every couple of years she's with us. So I keep in mind that I'd like to keep raising the amount, when deciding the amount in the first year.

    About eating with the family at parties, my helper sometimes eats with us, sometimes not. Actually, sometimes she eats before everyone because for our lunch gatherings we tend to eat really late and she gets hungry. If you're the host, there might also be work to be done and you might end up eating last/when everyone's done yourself so it's not necessarily discriminatory to the helper. My husband, helper and I never end up eating at the same time because one of us looks after my son while the others are eating. She might also prefer to eat in the kitchen where she can be comfortable and can take as much as she pleases which might not feel open to doing if she's at the table with you guys. Do what feels right and natural I guess.

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