Holiday tipping

The holiday season at the end of the year is commonly the time we choose to show appreciation to those who provide us with year-round service.

But in tough economic times, how do you thank everyone on your list without breaking your budget? Experts at the Emily Post Institute offer the following guidelines:

  • Your budget: First and foremost, you shouldn’t feel obligated to go beyond your personal budget.
  • If your budget does not allow for tips, consider homemade gifts; and if you’re not good with crafts or in the kitchen, remember that words are always a great way to express your thanks for a year of good service.
  • Any gift or tip should always be accompanied by a short handwritten note of appreciation.
  • If you tip at the time of service, you may forego an end-of-the-year tip, or give a more modest holiday thank you. You may also choose to give a small gift instead.

Also consider:

  • The quality and frequency of the service you receive.
  • Your relationship with the service provider.
  • Location: Tipping averages tend to be higher in larger cities.
  • Length of service: The number of years you’ve been using the service.
  • Regional customs.

When in doubt, ask: Call the front desk and ask what is 1) accepted by the company, and 2) typical for what they see from other customers.

Common sense, specific circumstances and holiday spirit should always be your guide.

Also, don’t buy into the thought that if you don’t tip you won’t get good service for the coming year. If you think you've had bad service for this reason, you might want to consider changing companies or speaking directly with a manager.

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