12/20/2006 05:12 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Ill Equipped: Who Isn't?

wrapped present for JL.jpg

Jennifer Lehr answers your questions about sex, love, and relationships every week on Fearless Voices. To send her a question, email

Dear Jennifer,

I am a stylist/costumer on an "Entertainment Tonight"-type show. I've worked on the show for over five years now and have a great relationship with the hosts that I dress. That is why I'm writing to tell you I'm shocked by the holiday gift one of the hosts gave me this year. He makes something like two million dollars a year and what does he get me? A chain to hook onto my boots with feathers! I guess it's like a necklace but for my shoes! It is tacky and ugly, without any style and cheap.

Should I be insulted? Because I am!

I'm curious, what are other people getting as gifts from their bosses this year?



Dear, dear Christina!

You work all year long at a job that I knows require tons of schlepping and high maintenance characters who you must do your best to make look their best and get a fucking feather anklette! It's amazing that he could give it to you with a straight face. I can see why you'd be insulted.

But you have to forget it. Completely forget it. You have no idea what is going on in his life. How many gifts he has to give. Where his money goes. It's best not to read anything into his piece-of-crap token of his appreciation.

The best thing to do is to write him a holiday card telling him how much you have enjoyed working with him this past year and to point out specific fun memories. I think it might actually help you focus on what you like about working with him than on his more thoughtless, self-absorbed, bad taste qualities. And there is the possibility that he'd get the hint that some specific thoughtfulness goes a lot longer way than the regift he obviously gave you.

It is better to give than to receive.

Dear Jennifer,

It seems to me that most people I know give their nannies a week's pay for Christmas. Our nanny, however, has only been with us for six months so a full week's pay seems a bit high. What do you think?


Dear Samantha,

I was just thinking about the same thing myself! I have an 8-month old baby and Zulama has also been working for us for six months. However, I'm actually not at all concerned with how long she's been working for us, what I care about is how long she'll continue to. We love her. Jules loves her. We trust her. And she makes our lives run smoothly. I wish I that I was rich so I could shower her with a year's pay.

I think it comes down to what you can afford. And if you can't afford a week's pay, give her what you can and make sure to write a card telling her how much you appreciate what she does. As I said in my response Christina, the more specific the better. People really love to have their contributions recognized.

I think we will give Zulama a week's pay and a personal gift of something she'll enjoy that she'd never buy herself, like a beautiful sweater or robe. I've also bought gifts for her son. In addition, everyday I thank her for all she does and I go out of my way to do little like picking her up from the bus when it's cold or getting her a Starbucks hot chocolate.

With Zulama, I find I can't give enough to thank her for what I receive....peace of mind when I'm away from my baby!

Here's to a peace in 2007.