Tips for You and You and...You?
Many of us feel so overwhelmed by holiday tipping etiquette that we start indiscriminately handing money to anyone and everyone who helps us look and feel better in December. This isn't necessary, says Lizzie Post, co-author of Emily Post's Etiquette, 18th Edition. "Think about holiday tips as thank-yous to the people that help us out all year long," she says. This means that you don't need to give an extra holiday tip (on top of your standard tip) to the woman you've never met before who painted sparkles on your nails. "If you're on a strict budget, ask yourself, 'Who could I really not live without?'" advises Post. That might include your babysitter, your regular stylist who cuts your hair every six to eight weeks, the teen who mows your lawn and shovels your walk. For suggested amounts on what to give them, check out the comprehensive "Holiday Thanking Recommendations" at EmilyPost.com. If you're on a really strict budget, Post advises acknowledging this in a handwritten note that expresses your appreciation and your wish that you could do a little more for them this year. This is especially important if you've given a holiday gratuity in the past. "The last thing you want is to make someone feel like you either didn't notice or didn't appreciate their great service," she says.