Making Memories: Saying farewell to a devoted housekeeper

Q: Our long-term housekeeper is moving back to Spain. She has known my husband for more than 40 years, comes once a week, and will also watch our children when needed. What would be an appropriate tribute/appreciation for her years of service and devotion to our family? Some sort of keepsake? Tea and cakes for her and her daughter? A cash gift? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

A: It would be thoughtful to give her a picture of your family, in a pretty frame, with hopes that she will remember you expressed in a note, along with a money gift in an amount that is comfortable for you. Usually the same as a holiday gift or the equivalent of a week’s or month’s pay is appropriate, depending on your wishes.


  1. Anonymous

    If she is retiring, I have read in an etiquette book that it is appropriate to give at least six months’ pay as a retirement gift. When I have had to let housekeepers go for poor performance, I’ve given then a month’s pay, so I would assume that a greater amount would be appropriate in this case.

  2. Guess a meaningful and happy family photo will always be appreciated. Since she moves back to Spain, of course a cash gift is the very best for her to take home. You can do that in a special way too, folding it in a special way and putting it in a frame or box. There are many ideas for doing this. It is a warm and sentimental farewell…
    Wishing you good luck and strength!

  3. Chocobo

    I would guess that after 40 years of her acquaintance, the employer would know what would please her the best, much better than any of us. Cash is nice, but I hope it would be accompanied by something personal and sentimental that shows how well the family knows her and will miss her as a person, not just as a housekeeper.

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