Give Gentiles Presents During Their Holiday Time

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  • #593236

    frumladygit
    Member

    Do you give the goyim in your life a Xmas present at their holiday time?

    Is this a gesture of good will and being generous or is this just falling into the ways of the goyim?

    I would like to honor a goy who does us good, by giving him and his family a gift for his holiday. (our landlord)

    On one hand I understand its just being nice, but maybe the way he will see it is that “oh in fact the jews do celebrate xmas…see I got a gift”.?

    What do you think?

    #724689

    WIY
    Member

    frumladygit

    First of all its better to call them “non-Jews” than to use the word you used.

    Secondly, theres no problem sending them a gift, just include a handwritten card with a thank you….and sign off enjoy your holiday…

    #724690

    dvorak
    Member

    We don’t buy gifts, but we do tip the super and other maintenance people in the building. I think it’s called a ‘holiday bonus’. Anyway, a little extra something is customary at this time of year to the service people in your life. If you give, they won’t infer that you celebrate xmas, they know full well that you don’t; if you give nothing, they may very well think “see, those Jews are greedy and stingy”. If you give it this week with Chanukah coming up, they will probably view it as you giving them a little something in honor of your holiday, so that may be the way to go about it (that’s what we do with the super).

    #724691

    so right
    Member

    Firstly, it’s perfectly okay to call the goyim, goyim.

    Secondly, I would definitely avoid giving anyone a holiday present on a goyishe holiday, especially an overtly religious one like this one.

    #724692

    at6991
    Participant

    same, i agree its best to write a nice card and a small but meaningful gift (depends to who) and wish them enjoyment of their holiday, therefore making a friendly connection with the card, but showing that it is their holiday and you don’t believe or celebrate it

    i wonder what the halachic point of view is?

    #724693

    kapusta
    Participant

    I remember hearing somewhere that you should not give a non-Jew a gift on his holiday, and instead to give it on ours (as dvorak suggested). That way you’re safe.

    *kapusta*

    #724694

    TheChevra
    Member

    Isn’t there an issue of lo sechanaim the whole year?

    #724695

    aries2756
    Participant

    We usually gift them on OUR holiday or on New Years. So it is perfectly acceptable to Tip them or Gift them on Chanuka which falls around the same holiday time as their holiday.

    #724696

    ronrsr
    Member

    there is never a bad time for a show of gratitude.

    #724697

    anon for this
    Participant

    TheChevra,

    “Lo Seichanem” refers to gifts or flattery bestowed for no reason (from the shoresh chinam). See Rashi on Parshas V’Eschanan where this mitzvah is mentioned for more info.

    Most holiday tips would not seem to fall into this category.

    #724698

    Helpful
    Member

    Anon for this:

    Why do you think it would seem not fall into this category?

    #724699

    anon for this
    Participant

    Helpful,

    Because it seems that the posters here are giving gifts to service people with whom they interact on a regular basis, in order to encourage favorable treatment and/ or because it’s generally expected. Therefore it wouldn’t fall into the category of “lo seichanaim”, since it’s given for a reason.

    #724700

    frumladygit
    Member

    Helpful,

    Doesn’t lo seichanaim also only mean between Yid to Yid? This is not relevant to us giving to non-jews.

    #724701

    cantoresq
    Member

    We give cash gifts to the mailman and paper delivery man. We give a gift card to our babysitter. I buy my secretary (without whom I literally cannot work) a gift.

    #724702

    Agreed. My housekeeper surely anticipates a bonus. And good idea about emphasizing “your” holiday – that works just as well in the work environment in wishing coworkers a pleasent holiday season, ie, tell them “enjoy your holiday”.

    #724703

    myfriend
    Member

    Woman outside Bklyn — You completely missed the boat. You should most certainly NOT be telling them to enjoy your (i.e. their foreign religious) holiday.

    #724704

    BEST IMA
    Participant

    I tip the bus drivers, post man, etc. but I give it to them around New Years to avoid that issue of giving a holiday gift

    #724705

    minyan gal
    Member

    myfriend: Why wouldn’t you tell someone to enjoy their holiday. People whom I come in contact with who know that I am Jewish always wish me a good holiday. I always tell people to enjoy their holiday and wish them and their family good health and happiness for the coming year. In addition, I give something to my hairdresser and the lady who does my nails. My neighbors have been extremely kind to me since I moved into this building. I have had surgery several times and they check up on me and have done some grocery shopping for me. I often give them a little something at this time of the year. Usually it is just some baking and I try to give it to them closer to their holiday when they have more company and could use it. There is certainly nothing wrong with showing appreciation to people at ANY time of the year. It just seems that it has become a North American tradition to do it in December. It also seems that no matter how many times you explain to non-Jews, they believe that Chanukah is the Jewish Xmas because of the time of year and the gifts. It is also now not unusual to see Chanukah decorations and supplies in the stores right alongside the Xmas things. Therefore, if they expect something from you, it would naturally be expected now.

    Anyway, good wishes to another, even if not sincere, are just plain good manners.

    #724706

    myfriend
    Member

    minyan —

    If you had any inklink how much Jewish blood was spilled on Xmas, you would throw up anytime you saw a Xmas tree lit up and would never tell anyone to enjoy such a bloody holiday.

    And all that is even forgetting about the halachic problems of wishing them a good holiday.

    #724707

    frumladygit
    Member

    Minyangal I agree with my friend. Because telling them to “enjoy their holiday” is like a breech in our terms of being connected as a jew to Hashem, since you’re like m’chazak-ing a non jew to go enjoy his idol worshipping festival, with your best wishes.

    Why do we have to say anything? You just hand them a gift and say ” This is a little gift for you…”

    Its self explanatory.

    Also, I just want to say that a few weeks ago there was a thread about do what do we do on Halloween..do you give out candy to your non jewish neighbors.

    One point which was written there was the point that some Rav (whose name I forget) use to have his Rebbetzin hand out candy so that the non jewish kids/families would feel good, caring as good neighbors.

    That was Halloween, a Holiday based on paganism, so therefore it should be the same for xman. I will be giving to our handyman and landlord. im yirtze hashem.

    #724708

    myfriend: Why wouldn’t you tell someone to enjoy their holiday?

    well minyangal perhaps it is an issur, prohibited by the Torah, which you are commanded by the Creator to follow, sometimes to die for. this is called Halachah.

    perhaps it isnt an issur, perhaps it is in some circumstances. it certainly behooves a Jew to investigate these things and not just decide based on what feels good to ones wholly american mind.

    #724709

    Helpful
    Member

    …or Canadian mind. 😉

    #724710

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Try talking about the holiday season (which is not denominational, and includes festivus), vs. “the Holiday”, which is celebration of Avoda Zara that murdered Yiddin just for being Jews for over 1000 years.

    #724711

    tzvideer
    Member

    i am lucky enough to live in Israel, so i dont suffer from this serious problem.

    but as i recall from my parents’ home, they would give a gift for the new year and wish them a happy new year, it is close enough and then you dont have the x-messy problem.

    #724712

    arc
    Participant

    tipping isnt lo sechaneim. if there’s an advantage to you (i.e. receiving better service) then it isnt “chinom” or for nothing.

    Also mentchlechkeit isnt to be confused with lo sechaneim. (generally speaking not refering to tipping)

    #724713

    LAer
    Member

    Am I the only one who got the “festivus” reference?

    GAW, good idea. Let’s just wish everyone happy festivus. I love it!

    #724714

    Obviously, Minyan Gal and I are of the same mindset. Yes, I surely am well aware of how much of our blood has been spilled as a result of that day. But on a purely practical level, if you work among non-Jews, and they wish you a Happy Chanukah (and most do), then it would be quite rude not to respond in kind. If I’m stating “your holiday” I’m making a statement that it is in no way MY holiday, but they walk off happier, and the work environment is not strained.

    #724715

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Buy the landlord a gift before Rosh Hashana and enclose a card wishing him/her well in the coming year.

    #724716

    ronrsr
    Member

    Happy New Secular Tax Year.

    #724717

    mamashtakah
    Member

    My wife did some baking, wrapped it nicely, and that’s what I gave to my boss. Knowing the quality of the baked goods, he was quite appreciative! I think we also gave something to our mail carrier as well; we became friendly with her because she always brought dog biscuits for our dog (and believe me, the dog loved her!).

    #724718

    mom23
    Member

    Whether you give a non Jew a present for” his holiday”- or for the” end of the year”- do what you wish.

    But to me it is a chilul hashem not to give them a gift.

    When my kids went to Yeshiva- we had a non Jewish bus driver. He knew that all of us parents were paying a lot of money to send our kids to “private school” instead of public school. I always gave a gift ( money). Even when the driver was hired by the township…Otherwise he would have thought” those cheap Jews…”

    Many non Jews have limited experience with Jews and to me, to tip, to give a nice holiday, Dec, “whatever” gift, is actually a kidush hashem,because it generates good feelings in this world, without doing something that is against our value system.

    I knew someone who did not want to give a Xmas gift- so they gave it for Thanksgiving instead.

    Call it what you may- but give a gift!!!

    #724719

    Helpful
    Member

    Do NOT give a gift. It is a chillul Hashem to give one in violation of halacha.

    #724720

    WIY
    Member

    Helpful

    Giving a non Jew a gift is NOT in violation of Halacha!

    READ THIS!!!!!

    http://www.kof-k.org/articles/040108110431W-28%20Lo%20Sichaneim.pdf

    #724721

    Helpful
    Member

    I didn’t say it always is.

    But it often is.

    #724722

    mom23
    Member

    Thank you to poster ” WIY”.

    To poster “Helpful”- so when DO YOU give non jews gifts?

    #724723

    WIY
    Member

    Helpful

    Actually, it usually is mutar and rarely is assur. Please read the PDF and then speak….

    #724724

    WIY
    Member

    mom23

    You are welcome!

    #724725

    Helpful
    Member

    Never.

    Unless I will get some benefit from doing so.

    #724726

    mom23
    Member

    “Helpful”,that’s what I thought. Enough said!

    #724727

    myfriend
    Member

    It is ONLY muttar IF you will get a benefit from it. In all other cases it is assur.

    #724728

    mom23
    Member

    Many people are so concerned about what it will look like if they give a holiday, end of Dec etc gift- will the non Jews think we are celebrating their holiday? Well what is it going to look like when Jews get all dressed up to go to shul on Shabbos Dec 24/ 25???

    Will people think we are dressing up to celebrate this other holiday???

    #724729

    jewish girl
    Member

    its mutar to give non jews a present for their holidays but you have to make sure if u buy non kosher chocolates for example tht it is not chalav and basar cuz many emulsifiers can contain animal fats and its asur to derive benefit from chalav and busar which is the main point of giving them a gift.

    #724730

    Homeowner
    Member

    If I give someone a gratuity (e.g. the FedEx driver who comes to my office), I will usually say something like, “Happy Holidays” or “Happy New Year.”

    #724731

    aries2756
    Participant

    I had a dilemma. I got email from Costco and saw all the really well priced holiday packages and I wanted to gift the front desk in my Miami condo. Buying treif goods was so inexpensive but I just couldn’t bring myself to purchasing treifus. I really had a fight with my yetzer hara. I finally decided to spend more and give a frum store the business. I went it to a local chocolate store on Collins Avenue and spent more money but I feel much better about it. I made sure to deliver it on MY HOLIDAY and wrote out the card to read Happy Chanuka!!!! Even though they are all goyim.

    #724732

    bravo!

    you might want to post that over here as well:

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/heter-in-my-back-pocket

    #724733

    Question, on the “holiday” week the person who delivers Mishpacha left an envelope with the magazines, obviously expecting a tip. How much did you give him/her?

    #724734

    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    I don’t like the title of this thread.

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