Growing up in New York City, I was vaguely aware that my parents "tipped" the doormen and the superintendent of my apartment building sometime around the end of December. Now as an adult newly living in a city in Texas, in a rental apartment complex, and I have no idea what I should do about holiday tipping… Who are these people we should be tipping? Should we be giving cash or gift cards? If so, how much? Should we be giving cookies? Should we just give a thank you/happy holidays card?
This is Offbeat Home's archive of holidays posts.
We know that many of you are looking for super-awesome holiday greetings — something more than a fantastic family photo that is just going to end up in someone's trash post-holidays. If you're one of those on the search for a kick-ass holiday greeting, you're going to flip (and then more-than-likey cry) over wedding photographer Mike Allebach's Slow Motion Love Notes.
I'm slated to host Christmas Eve at my home again, and last year it was fun… except for one uncle ruined it with snarky comments and flat-out negativity. He bitched about the food, the tackiness of the decorations, and the gifts people gave.
At the time, I was more concerned about hosting duties and making sure my family was having a good time, so I just tried to roll with it. Nobody in the family had the guts to say anything, except to talk about it after he left.
This year though… fuck that, I don't want any of that shit in my house.
How do I keep his horrible attitude in line in my own home?
Now that the holidays are rapidly approaching, ovens will be running on overtime, and kitchens are gonna get messy. To keep that mess in your kitchen and off your fantastic holiday outfit, you're gonna need an apron.
I love everything to do with gifting: giving them, receiving them, scheming them, you name it. Since I have a kid a lot of my non-parent friends and family members will often ask me what kind of fun, kind of weird, somewhat non-traditional gifts they should give their nephews, nieces, family friends (and so on..) and I've decided I should just compile a list to make it easy on everyone.
Halloween is always a big deal in our family, and we put a LOT of thought into our costumes and what we want to be. Last year we themed it — my husband was Han Solo, I was Princess Leia, and our son was Darth Vader. We weren't sure what we would this year until our four-year-old asked if he could be Sirius Black in his Animagus form, and we rapidly realized at least one of us was going all out for Harry Potter. Yes.
This is my first "cold season" in the Northern Hemisphere, and I'm excited and nervous about Halloween. As an Aussie in Canada my experience covers dressing up spooky, but not much else. I would love some advice about the practical things I can do to enjoy it with friends and any visiting kids.