Tipping During the Holidays: Know The Appropriate Amount
It’s that time of year again when most people are in celebration mode, having made it through the year, and try to present a token of appreciation to those whose help made their everyday life just a bit smoother. As the holiday season approaches, the aroma of gratitude has spread everywhere and people all over the country are practicing the spirit of giving.
To offer their acknowledgement to those who provide services to people all year round, many of us resort to monetary gifts. However, holiday tipping comes with its own set of rules and etiquette as very thoroughly elaborated at Emily Post.
Check Your Budget
The first and foremost thing to see before tipping is how much can you spare to give for holiday tipping to all your service providers. There is nothing wrong or shameful about not being able to manage the sum.
Do not feel guilty as a monetary gift is not the only way to express your appreciation and gratitude to your service providers. Hand made things, home cooked giveaways or a heartfelt thank you note all serve the same purpose. After all it really is the thought that counts.
Duration of the service
While tipping you should definitely take into consideration the duration for which you have been getting the service. The longer you have known the service provider the higher should he/she be on your list of receiving a handsome tip.
While the standard tipping amount/gesture is applicable to all service providers, it might be a good idea to keep in mind if you are friendlier with a few of them. If they go above and beyond to keep your comfort a priority, then you should resort to going an extra mile while tipping them.
Area of Residence
Your location also matters. For example, if you are living in a big city, the norms there would be different, and tips would definitely be higher compared to small towns where a generous warm hug can be considered a good-enough tip (although that’s rarely possible in this day and age).
Similarly, if you are accustomed to giving big tips and are new to a small town make sure that you do not offend anyone by offering money. These matters are very sensitive and need to considered before tipping.
Frequency of Contact and Tipping
If you are frequently in touch with your service provider and, on every interaction, you give them a tip, then a year-end tip might not be necessary. However, it still depends on how frequently you have been getting the service.
Based on these attributes you can prioritize on your tipping list. Following is a list of common service providers and how much is deemed appropriate to give as a year-end tip.
People responsible for your grooming should be tipped the same as the amount of one visit for their services.
If you send your child to a day care, then it would be wise to first confirm with their policy about gift-giving and then proceed to give a gift. If you have a baby sitter who frequently babysits for you then a day’s salary will do. However, for a regular nanny, one or two weeks of salary seems more appropriate.
Domestic Help (cook/butler)
A week or a month’s pay with a gift can be given to the full time help as a token of recognizing their efforts which hold the fort in your absence.
While there is a law that forbids people to tip them more than $20 you can choose your pick from $5 to $20.
Newspaper Delivery Person
Similar to the mail carriers they can be tipped within the same range.
Personal relations as discussed earlier tend to play a role here but normally the payment equivalent to one session is appropriate. A gift can be added if preferred.
Your doorman, your elevator operator, handy man and superintendents can each be given between $10 to $50. They ensure your standard of living by offering their services on a regular basis so tipping generously would be nice.
Since beloved pets are involved, people are usually inclined to give more to their walkers and groomers, but normally the amount of one week’s pay or visit is sufficient.
Without this person’s service your life quite literally would be a mess. So, acknowledging them with a token between $10 to $30 should be fine, while a week’s salary is suitable for a regular cleaner.
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