Favours from neighbours(4 Posts)
DH and I have been debating over this.
We have neighbours we are very friendly with, DC a similar age, odd Sunday lunches or BBQs etc. We do favours for each, as most neighbours do. However, due to circumstances, the favours they do for us tend to be a little bit bigger than what we can do for them. We have no family nearby, both work, and are still learning
actually quite rubbish at practical house stuff, so they have on occasion collected DC at the last minute when our trains have broken, or come to help with a leak in the house etc. They have family nearby, don't both work, and husband is a very practical man, so there is less call for us to help with childcare emergencies or house problems etc. We do have DC at ours for when needed and feed the cat and that sort of thing.
I have to stress I'm not talking about hundreds of favours, or favours every week, or anything that involves hours of commitment!
Debate between DH and I has come up because something in our house has broken, and neighbour has kindly offered to come and fix it. An hour or two's job maybe, and something that a professional would charge £100+ to do. Obviously for something that big we would by a present or something to say thank you as it's bigger than normal.
For smaller favour - say picking up DC at short notice because of an emergency and having them for half an hour - I favour buying a bottle of wine or chocolates to say thanks. DH thinks that this can look overkill, and that smaller favours come out in the wash (not that he's not always grateful, he is). However I worry that they have much less needed for such favours, so it might not come out in the wash.
WIBU? Is anyone being U? Do you always give something as thanks, or just thank people profusely and know with good friends/neighbours it will all even out?
I'd thank them and let it even out over time with small favours, though if there was a bit of an imbalance e.g. they'd done loads of little favours over time and we'd not had the opportunity to reciprocate, then I'd invite them over for a BBQ and insist on pay for all food or something.
If it was something big, like a couple of hours work I'd insist on paying. Though they might not accept cash, they may take beer/wine/food gifts or something?
I think your DH is correct and the littler favours will even themselves out. We do favours with our neighbours too- we (them and us) started by buying wine/ baking cakes to say thanks but DH said to me that he thought we should stop as we wanted it to be an informal arrangement that we all felt casual about rather than a formal thing and gift giving to say thanks felt more formal (like it was a big deal when actually we are happy to do things for them and they seem happy to do things for us) iyswim.
Definitely a gift for the big favour but I would stop for the smaller favours ( it can be a bit annoying to me when people are too grateful too- seems excessive!)
Oh and since we stopped with the gifts for the little favours they did too and now we happily ask each other and it works nicely!
We also have each other around for drinks or kids play dates etc so we do socialise too!
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