In time honoured French tradition, the firemen and public service providers may soon be knocking at your door to offer you their Christmas calendar. Christmas tipping for the postman, (facteur) rubbish collectors ( éboueurs) and firemen ( sapeurs-pompiers) in exchange for a Christmas calendar, is always advisable to ensure smooth post delivery, rubbish collection or house-fire help. A contribution of €5 to €15 euros is much appreciated, and probably a worthwhile investment on your part – but it is not an obligation!
How much should I give?
This is a goodwill donation – not an obligation – and is simply a way to provide you with the possibility of showing your local services that you appreciate them. Give according to your means. Five to fifteen euros is a handsome donation indeed, but a couple of euros from several hundred residents in a village also works out to a splendid sum in the end. Some may give a larger amount to the local fire service – you never know when you may need them, and many of them are volunteers.
What if I don’t buy their calendar?
Personally, I have never had anything but smiles, goodwill and a friendly handshake, (pre-covid) whether I’ve given one euro or ten euros, and just occasionally, when I already have a stack building up on my desk, I have said no thank you, depending on the service. That is your right.
Do remember also that your local bank, insurance, butcher, baker and candlestick maker will probably have a free calendar to give you to remind you that you are a valued customer. Often they will propose a very useful wall or desk agenda – particularly nice if you have already been visited by the local services, and are a bit ‘calendar-bound’. A different format can make a refreshing change. If they don’t ‘propose’ it to you, do ask for one – they might just have forgotten to suggest it – and remember, you have probably already paid for it ten times over in your bank charges!!!