Metro-East Living

Here’s some advice on Father’s Day gifts, family gatherings

Q: Is it a big breach of etiquette if a wife gives her husband a Father’s Day gift even after their children are grown and married? Our last daughter got married several weeks ago, so it seems rather silly for me to get him a gift.

A: No, it would not be a big breach of etiquette if you were to give your husband a Father’s Day gift in that the gift would be in appreciation of the fact that he has been and is a wonderful father to the children you and he have brought into this world. As to whether it is “silly” or not, it’s only “silly” if you say it is, or give the impression it is.

Q: My father insists on barbecuing every Father’s Day. It’s sort of a family tradition even though he’s a bit up there in age now and we kids can tell it wears him out. How do we tell him we don’t want him to go through all this work anymore; we’d rather take him out to eat.

A: Offer him that option; however, do not be adamant about keeping him from doing something he obviously likes to do. No doubt, he feels it is a labor of love.

Q: How much do you tip the valet who parks your car? Do you tip when the valet takes your car, or when he brings it back, or both? If you are staying at a hotel and the valet service is part of the price for your room, are you still expected to tip the valet?

A: The statistics regarding the tipping amount for the valet who brings your car back to you is said to be from $2 to $5. A key point to remember is valets are like some restaurant waiters and often do not receive a very high hourly wage; therefore, they depend on tips to supplement their efforts. Naturally, tipping on the higher end is most appreciated. In the end, however, the tip is what you feel you want, or can afford to give.

As to whether you tip the person who takes your car from you to park it, you can ask if he will be the same person who will be returning your car to you. If the answer is, “probably not,” then provide a tip to this person as well as the person who returns your car to you.

Even though a hotel tells you tips for valet parking are included in the price of your room, the amount actually provided to that individual is probably on the low side of the tipping scale. Therefore, a tip would no doubt be very much appreciated.

Q: How long after a graduation gift is received should a thank-you note be written?

A: As soon as possible, as in the day after the gift is received or at least within a week to 10 days.

Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Dianne Isbell at Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to