Domestic helpers make a huge contribution to your family. Are you looking for Christmas gift ideas for a domestic helper in your house? A thoughtful Christmas gift is an important way to thank these amazing women (and men). To get some creative and practical ideas, we turned to Julie Delignon, Country Manager of HelperChoice.com, a social impact start-up eradicating illegal agency placement fees by connecting employers and domestic helpers directly, to tell us more.
Christmas is a period of sharing and happiness for both children and grown-ups. This is also a time to show our gratitude to the special people in our lives, like our domestic helpers.
Christmas gifts for domestic helpers
- Cash bonus. The majority of domestic helpers are working in Hong Kong to support their family back home. This makes a cash bonus very welcome. It might cover a term of school fees for one of their children or even a medical insurance for someone back home.
- Mobile phone or credit. Try a practical gift, like a mobile phone or phone credit to keep in touch with family and friends.
- Airline ticket. Although travel is still a little tricky, you could offer your domestic worker an airline ticket so that she can get together with her family at a future date. As this is an expensive gift, you can rather give her cash with a card explaining to her that this is a contribution to help pay for her next flight.
- Hiking shoes or other hobby equipment. To identify a more personal gift, you need to know what kind of hobbies your helper has. If she likes hiking, you can offer her a new pair of shoes. She may be a fashion addict, so you could choose some nice clothes or accessories.
- Vouchers. If you are not very sure about what your domestic helper is interested in, you can give her restaurant vouchers so she or her family can enjoy a great Christmas dinner, or vouchers for something that she would not have experienced otherwise. Gift cards are also a good option so that she can buy what she prefers: clothes, jewellery, shoes, or make-up.
- Courses. There are many courses available in Hong Kong for learning new skills. This includes courses for financial literacy for helpers, crafts, languages, music, cooking and more.
Cultural differences at Christmas
Sometimes cultural differences can play an important role. Your family may have different traditions and may not celebrate Christmas while your domestic helper does. In this case, you can choose to share this cultural difference and offer her something anyway, like a handmade gift, a nice card or a drawing from your children.
For many helpers, time off at Christmas to attend mass is very important. She may travel to be with friends for a Christmas Eve service at St John’s, where many other women attend. On the contrary, your helper may not celebrate Christmas while your family does. In this other case, you may want to include her in the preparation of the festivities while respecting her own culture and beliefs. Respecting each other’s differences is key to building a healthy and harmonious relationship.
Whatever your choice is, this is always important to show gratitude and acknowledge your domestic helpers’ efforts and willingness. We wish you a merry Christmas!