The holidays are the time of the year when you want to give to everyone you care about. Beyond your family and friends, it may also mean remembering (and thanking) those who provide various services for you all year long.
“The holidays are the traditional time to show appreciation for the people who make our lives more pleasant throughout the year,” says etiquette expert Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick of The Etiquette School of New York. “Always show your gratitude in some form, whether it’s a monetary gift or a handwritten thank you note.”
This includes postal works, trash collectors, hair dressers … and the list goes on and on. To be honest, it can be overwhelming to know not only everyone you should tip, but also how much to tip. Tipping can also quickly take a toll on your holiday budget— if you go overboard.
Here are a few best practices when it comes to holiday tipping, according to Napier-Fitzpatrick:
- If you’re going to give cash, it’s better to give earlier in the month than later, if possible. The recipients will be using those tips to buy gifts for their own families.
- You don’t want to give less than you did last year, unless you truly can’t afford to.
- If you have a personal relationship with a service provider, such as your regular hairdresser or housekeeper, you might want to give a more personalized gift in addition to a cash tip.
- If you live in an apartment building and are tipping the building staff, the amount you give depends on how long you’ve lived there, whether you rent or own, how large your apartment is, and how much you use their services. For instance, if you work from home and get a lot of deliveries, you might want to tip more.
- If you don’t know how much to tip a specific service provider, a rule of thumb is to tip the cost of one extra service.