Holiday tipping guides come a dime a dozen, and the differing advice can be hugely confusing. How much should you actually tip your hairdresser and gardener and babysitter during the holidays? And what if you don't have enough cash to tip them all?
Enter Daniel Post Senning, great-great grandson of legendary etiquette expert Emily Post. He confirmed that holiday tipping is in fact necessary... and since you can't skip it, embracing the practice makes things easier.
Holiday tipping "is an iron-clad part of the social contract, and it's something you need to budget for," Senning told HuffPost. "The root of the word 'gratuity' is 'gratitude.' So approach this as an opportunity to show appreciation, rather than an obligation."
Senning provided some general guidelines for holiday tipping: People who care for personal matters like hairdressers or personal trainers should get a holiday tip that's the cost of one visit plus service tip. Those who care for your family, like babysitters and housekeepers, should get one to two weeks' pay.
Tips for people who service your home -- such as gardeners or the person who delivers the newspaper -- can vary. Senning says a flat $20 tip could work for each, while Tori Mellott, a senior editor from Traditional Home, recommends somewhere between $50 and $75. Of course, this varies based on your income and living situation. Ask your neighbors how much they plan to tip as a point of reference.
Sound complicated? It's not. Bookmark our holiday tipping breakdown below. See a larger version here.
Wondering what you should do if you don't have enough funds for all these tips?
A thoughtful affirmation will do, Senning says. "Never underestimate the power of your own words," he told HuffPost. "And put forth an effort to make a personal connection."
You could stop and talk with your doorman instead of breezing by, and tell him you're thankful for his work. Or you could give your garbage collector a homemade, personalized gift.
A personalized present is also ideal for teachers. "You want to avoid paying someone who grades your kids," Senning says.
And remember, giving is also is a gift to your health.
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