Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Holiday Etiquette

A little review for people who currently have agents:

(1) Holiday card/gifts are by no means expected. They are simply what we like to call in the business "nice." If you are cutting back on things, by all means, skip the agent holiday card.

(2) If you do send a card and are wondering what denomination your agent is, go for a generic "holiday card." If you can't find one, Christmas is fine, unless your agent's name is Hebrewburg and she only represents Jewish fiction. Then Channukah is a pretty good guess. Or their name is Fatima al-Islam, in which case I wonder if they make "You don't have any holidays coming up that I know about because your lunar calender is on a different cycle this year but have a good time!" cards. (Is the Haj over? Does it apply to people not on the Haj itself or just make them feel guilty about not going on it?)

(2) If you are sending a gift, do not send perishables. Your agent may be out of the office and the fruit will rot. It's better not to send food at all, in case your agent is kosher/vegan/halal/Jain.

(3) If your agent has done a lot for you in the past year and/or you have a lot of upcoming projects they will be working hard on and you feel compelled to treat them to a gift, a Barnes & Noble or Amazon gift card is what I go with as a gift-giver myself, as I know my agent will definitely come up with a reason to use that.


Unknown said...

Great advice. Now I need an agent to send a card to. *notes self*

I recently have found your blog and I must say it's proven very helpful!

Bernard said...

I've never actually met someone, including Muslims, that is offended by receiving Christmas cards. Is that an American thing?

Anonymous said...

I usually just ironically send Hannukah card to people I know are Christian.

Thomas said...

There is a feasting day called Shabe Yaldā celebrated in much of the middle east that falls in the latter half of December.

I'm not certain if it's religious or secular in nature.

Voidwalker said...

LOL... We should definitely recommend Hallmark start making "You don't have any holidays coming up that I know about because your lunar calender is on a different cycle this year but have a good time!" cards

Colleen said...

Eid would be the Muslim celebration, I believe.

Anonymous said...

I think you misspelled Hebrewburg. Shouldn't it be Hebrewberg

_*rachel*_ said...

Ramadan has been in about August and September recently. And Hajj isn't quite a holiday; it's a pilgrimage. I think it's especially busy during Ramadan, but it's more of a once-in-a-lifetime thing, mostly, depending on what you can do/pay.

Bernard--I sometimes think everybody's heard so much about cultural/gender/whatever discrimination and insensitivity that we edit ruthlessly something that wouldn't have been offensive in the first place. It's a pet peeve, but I still do it.

Bernard said...

Rachel, I think you might be right. When so much offence is caused by ignorance, it is sad when people try to *not* cause offence, but continue to base their efforts on ignorance. This also creates a situation where people start to become offended on other people's behalf, based on what they incorrectly think the others would (or should) be offended by.

Nothing to do with publishing, just a pet peeve.

Merry Christmas.

Mary Witzl said...

The Haj finished a couple of weeks ago -- I think it was 25-30 Nov. And Colleen's right: the holiday celebrated is the Eid, which finishes shortly after the Haj. Like Bernard, I've never met anyone who minded getting a Christmas card. But I'm still not taking any chances.

Anonymous said...

I just felt like clearing the Islamic holidays thing up:
There are 2 (two) Eids in the lunar year: One that falls after Ramadan and the other that is after Hajj.

Hajj is a pilgrimage that takes place once a year and is a once-in-your-lifetime thing. If you know someone who's been on Hajj / just returned, it will make sense to congratulate them on going to Hajj. :)

Umrah, on the other hand, is what Rachel was describing, this can take place whenever you are capable. Again, you can congratulate them on Umrah.

Ramadan can also be seen as a cause for celebration, you could say. :)

Hope that cleared it all up.

Oh, and this year, Ramadan will fall in August, Eid September.
Hajj Late November (I think) and then Eid either late November or early December.