tip: Give holiday cash
tips or gratuities using money
cards with envelopes.
Throughout the year, we go about our business sometimes forgetting to let the important people in our lives know just how much we appreciate them.
Sayingthank you only goes so far and, especially during the holidays, it is absolutely not enough. A special holiday tip or gift is
definitely in order.
Find out the proper way to tip or give gifts around the holiday season with this checklist of advice and suggestions for giving just the right amount for those service people you really appreciate.
What is the proper amount for gifting or tipping?
Give a gift that reflects how you feel about the provider of the service you value. Tipping improperly could inadvertently send the wrong message. Impersonal gifts or low tips tend to leave people wondering where they went wrong. Take time to think about what a service is worth and tip accordingly.
Don't give everyone the same amount
Not everyone delivers the same level of service so it is understandabl to give differently to each person on your list. The higher the performance level, the higher quality the gift should be. Another key factor is your personal relationship with each individual. You may become close friends with a service worker after conducting business with them over the years. For example, your hair stylist or barber can know just as much about you as your best friend. These people should get top notch gifts.
Is it OK to give homemade gifts?
Nothing says lovin' like cookies baked in the oven, as they old saying goes. However, this can be quite time consuming. You may also need to ask everyone on your list if they suffer from certain food allergies, are sensitive to sugar, or are diabetic. If you tailor the recipe to their dietetic needs, those who have to watch what they eat (especially around the holiday party season) will surely appreciate your special thoughtfulness.
Eating out at a local restaurant is a great way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. However, again keep in mind the appropriateness of the tip you leave to wait staff. For example, in some higher-priced restaurants a gratuity may already be included in the bill. A simple way to find out is to check the bill, or ask your waiter. If it is included, then only tip if the service was especially good. Keep in mind that most restaurant severs and bartenders earn very little on the books and make their living off of tips. Also note that 20 percent of the total is the now the going rate for leaving a decent tip in most bars or restaurants.
Who else gets a tip?
Mail deliverers, barbers, hairdressers, gardeners, building superintendents, maintenance staff, your cleaning lady, or the kids' teachers or school bus drivers are all probably deserving of special gifts or tips during the holidays. Also think about tipping or gifting anyone you do business with on a regular basis. That might include anyone from local bankers to bartenders.
However, be careful about spreading the wealth to service people who are not allowed to receive tips or gifts and will be disciplined if they accept anything of the sort. UPS, FedEx, and postal workers are allowed to receive gifts but there is a policy that must be followed. Look online to make sure you are following the gifting guidelines before you become responsible for your favorite service or delivery person getting a pink slip for the holidays.
Thanksgiving and Christmas time are the most popular seasons for gift giving, but this is something that needs to be thought of all year long. Throughout the year, keep track of who is most deserving of a tip. This will help you arrive at a more honest assessment of who gets what, or how much, and when.
More about tipping etiquette around the Web:
Tipping Etiquette - Check out an extensive guide to tipping waiters, movers, at the restaurant or wedding hall, along with more advice on miscellaneous tipping etiquette including when to contribute to the counter tip jar...