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Chaldean Christmas Gift Giving Suggestions
By Huda Metti :: Thursday, December 20, 2007 :: 35621 Views :: Community & Culture

California, USA - Chaldeans in America have been blessed with abundance and are known for their generosity in sharing and helping others.  However, the Christmas customs in America can be rife with uncertainty for Chaldeans, since gift giving are one of the few expenses over which individuals in America have total discretion.  Nonetheless, there are a few time-honored guidelines that can make the decisions a little easier.

Gift giving can be a daunting task.  While any Chaldean would want to give everyone the greatest gift we are all limited by what we have.  We are limited by both time and money.  Having to choose who to give, what to give, how much to give are all difficult questions to answer. 

A guiding light in your gift giving calculations is to consider the deeds and needs of the recipient.   

The deeds represent the work of the recipient.  Do others benefit by their good work?  Have they dedicated themselves to the care and comfort of others?  Are they properly being rewarded for their sacrifice and service?  Will your gift encourage the person to continue doing their good work and as such benefit many others?

The needs represent the current situation of the recipient. What are their current challenges, economically, socially, or spiritually?  Would the gift be used to meet their needs or satisfy their wants?

Chaldeans may want to consider these common service providers that share their expertise and talent in hopes of comforting us. 

Children's caretakers: A small gift from the child is always appropriate. For regular babysitters, consider adding an evening's pay. A week's pay is normal for a nanny or sitter who cares for your children full-time.

If the child is in day care, and the company allows it, a tip of $25 to $70 for each caregiver is likely to be well received, advises the Emily Post Institute.

Personal Services: When it comes to hairstylists, aestheticians and manicurists, cash is king. Consider giving the cost of one service as a bonus.

These workers are usually dependent on tips to make a livable wage, so a holiday bonus is particularly helpful. The median hourly earnings of $12.40 for a hairstylist is 24% tips, for instance, while a manicurist's pay is 19% tips, according to salary site

The cost of one service or a gift is an appropriate tip for personal trainers and massage therapists.

Household Services: A gift of $20 to $50 is customary for garden workers, while the norm for a pool-cleaning service is the cost of one cleaning, to be split among the crew, the Emily Post Institute says. For housekeepers and cooks, one week's pay is appreciated. For regular deliverymen, garbage collectors and newspaper deliverers, a gift of $10 to $30 is customary, PayScale says.

Don't try to give cash to a postal worker, though, since it's against government rules. A gift worth up to $20 is all that's permitted.

Teachers, Clergy, and nursing-home employees: These dedicated professionals have committed their lives to making us better.  Be generous in what you give. These individuals invest in our well being and the gift given is proven to be a wise investment.  Keep in mind your school teachers, tutors, and catechist / communion teachers, they are often undervalued for their service and catechist and communion teachers are volunteers. 

Clergy and home care health providers should be a generous must for any Chaldean.  Contrary to those selfishly justifying their lack of generosity home care providers are not well covered by insurance and clergy do not live in abundance.  Why do you think there is a shortage of nurses and clergy?  These mortal angels struggle daily to inspire and rebuild lives.  Giving a generous gift to these compassionate servants is returned to you ten-fold.

Nurses will often spend their gift in adding to the comfort of those they care.  Same goes for Clergy.  In the Chaldean community those in desperate need are often uncomfortable with expressing their dire situation with the public.  Turning to our clergy is a way to receive support without the perceived burden of shame. When giving to the clergy much of those gifts go towards helping those in the shadows of our community that turn to our community leaders for assistance and discretion. 

Importantly, the encouraging gesture of our gratitude is way to keep these tireless souls tolerant of the hardship they face in healing the bodies and souls of our community.            

Chaldeans should remember that for many of these workers, a year-end bonus "has to come from you" or it won't be paid, says PayScale's director of quantitative analysis, Al Lee.

Obviously what you give must accommodate your budget and working relationships. But try to be thoughtful about the decision and be mindful of the deeds and needs of those you choose to give a gift.

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.