12/7/2012 4:15 PM ET|
The new rules of holiday tipping
For the holiday season, you face a long list of service providers who deserve a token of your appreciation. Here’s how much to tip -- and when not to.
Regular, everyday tipping etiquette apparently wasn't baffling and awkward enough. So holiday tips have been added to the fray.
OK, maybe year-end tipping rules weren't invented just to confuse you. But that can be the result when you're not sure whom to tip and how much.
Holiday tips are cash bonuses or other presents customarily handed out in December. They're a way of saying "thank you" to the people who provide you with services year-round. But the rules for holiday tipping aren't set in stone, and they’re changing as society changes, said Peter Post, the managing director of the Emily Post Institute and the author of "Essential Manners for Men 2nd Edition: What to Do, When to Do It, and Why."
Here's what is important to know this year:
Holiday tips should fit within your budget. "You shouldn't put yourself in debt," cautions Post, the great-grandson of the legendary etiquette expert. If you can't come up with the recommended amount of cash for each person on your list, you can tip less, give a gift instead or, if your budget's really tight, consider something homemade, such as a plate of cookies.
Set your priorities. As you're making a list of people who might deserve a holiday tip, "identify the people who have really done something special for you" above and beyond the usual level of service, Post recommends. Those are the folks who should be at the top of your holiday tip list. Further down the list, add the people you tip generously (20% or more) throughout the year. If you can't scratch up the recommended cash for these service providers, you can leave a larger-than-usual tip in December, or give a card, small present or both. People who needn't be on your holiday tip list at all include schoolteachers (gifts or gift cards are more appropriate) and U.S. Postal Service workers, who are forbidden by USPS ethics rules from accepting cash (although a gift worth less than $20 is OK).
Consider pooling tips. Post especially likes this approach when dealing with holiday tips for building superintendents, doormen and building staff where unequal tips could lead to unequal service. "Is the person who gives $75 going to get faster attention than the person who gives $25?" Post wondered. If that might be the case, then a gift pool would allow each person to give what he or she can afford without fear of reprisal. (Pooling resources also can work well when buying holiday gifts for teachers or tipping daycare workers.)
Ask around. Holiday tipping customs can vary by region and by type of establishment. Bigger tips may be the norm in larger cities or deluxe buildings, for example. Ask other people what they give, or call the establishment to find out what the range of holiday tips generally is.
Don't forget the card. The tip or gift should be accompanied by a card with a handwritten note expressing your gratitude. A couple of sentences is all you need to squeak out.
More from Liz Weston:
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Really a small gift for a teacher or a daycare provider that takes care of your children more than most parents do....and they aren't entitled to a gift, aprreciation for low wages and hard work?
In light of many teachers in CT willing to give up their lives for your child in a disaterous situation and re-think wether they are worthy of a small gift or not.
The problem with tipping is that its considered the primary source of pay for some service people. I was recently in Thailand where waiters are paid liveable wages so a tip wasnt expected but completely bonus to them. Here its so expected many waiters/waitresses consider it owed to them instead of a reward.
Ahh the Republican's chanting their selfish call to arms...singing in their angry voices (it's all they have) "me. me. me". They are not warming their vocal cords when they say "me,me,me" that is actually their song.
Merry Christmas and Happy holidays. Glad to be where people are giving and if they can't they aren't defensive and obnoxious.
I always over tip my waitstaff and bartenders when dining out. That's because they make something like $2.12 / hour. At least that is what it was when I bartended my way through school. I most certainly will not tip my garbageman, mailman, bus driver or the guy paving the street I will be driving my car on. They are working at the job they chose to take and most likely included a solid wage scale and benefits of some sort.
pizza and other deliveries $5.00
All others need to put this much effort in pulling the money out of your bosses.
Hey i have an idea,why dont the people go to there bosses and the owners,the ones who are making all the money, and get more money from them.It must be nice as a owner,to rake in all the profits,and make the people feel guilty in not giving up more money to pay for there employee's.How brainwashed and stupid do people get,to think this is right.I will make a list and rule book for the stupid people who dont know what to do in this situation.
bartender.......$1.00 for each round of drinks for you and a companion.
$2.00 if there is more work,such as bloody mary's and blended drinks.
hair stylist.......$20.00-25.00 simple hair cut(men) 5.00 tip
$30.00 and up for woman styles. dont know never did it,nor do i now whats involved.
pizza guy/girl..$ 5.00 max.
everybody else needs to put this kind of effort in having there bosses and owners cough up the rest.
Did you know the US Postal service have strict rule that forbid mail carriers from excepting tips
Ok fine but perhaps the Scrooge they work for should increase their salary in keeping with the spirit of the season.
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