I recently came home from a beach vacation with my family. We had a great time, in part because of the service provided by those who hauled our luggage, served us in restaurants, and cleaned the house we were renting. Of course, we did our best to provide appropriate tips, even though we weren’t always sure when tips were appropriate.
You’ve probably been in similar situations. You know you should tip your restaurant server. But what about the cashier at a quick-service restaurant? (There’s a tip jar by the cash register, after all.) What about tour guides? What about tram drivers? What about valet parking attendants (assuming they don’t dent your car!)? There are plenty of gray areas where most people struggle with knowing how to apply the rules of etiquette.
The same is true for gift-giving. Everybody (hopefully) knows to bring a gift to a wedding. But what about an anniversary party?
And what about an Eagle court of honor?
Gifts are nice but certainly not required. But do the people you’re inviting to your next court of honor know that? Will someone be embarrassed because she’s the only person to bring a gift or–perhaps worse–will someone skip the ceremony because he isn’t sure what’s appropriate?
I think the best way to resolve this dilemma is to address it up front. Simply include language like this with the invitation:
- No gifts, please. Your presence is a gift.
- Bobby requests any gifts go to the Metropolitan Food Bank, the beneficiary of his Eagle Scout project.
People coming to courts of honor have plenty of questions to consider–what to wear, where to park, how long the ceremony will last. Don’t make them also wonder and worry about the question of gifts.
For more ideas, check out my ebook, Showtime: 45 Top Tips from EagleBook.com and The Eagle Court of Honor Book; it costs just $2.99 and is available for immediate download.