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Tipping For The Holidays: Who To Gift And How Much?
by: Daniel Karpelman

The holidays are the time of year to share your love and appreciation to the most important people in your life. For many, that includes those people who provide support and services throughout the year. From your favorite babysitter, housekeeper or the hair stylist who always gets your cut just the way you like it, a tip -- enclosed in an envelope with a handwritten note -- is sure to be appreciated.

But how do you know how much to tip?

Holiday tips will vary according to your means, the city in which you live and the type of relationship that you have with the person being tipped. That being said, here are some general guidelines for a few of the outstanding individuals who might be on your list:

- Newspaper person: $15-$25 for daily, $5-$15 for weekend
- Doorman: $25-$100
- Building Custodian: $20-$30
- Building Superintendent: $30-$100 depending on building
- Housekeeper: A week's pay or more
- Babysitter: Two nights pay, or a small gift
- Hair stylist: The cost of a session, plus a small gift
- Personal Trainer: $50
- Parking Attendants: A half-month's garage rate divided among attendants; or $10-$20 per person

If giving cash doesn't feel quite right, is too formal, or policy prohibits it, why not give a small gift? Of course, the challenge of finding a gift for someone you might just know professionally or see only occasionally is you might not know what one item they would appreciate most.

Gift certificates are a versatile and personal way to show your thanks. And while the USPS does have a policy against monetary gifts to postal carriers, nobody said that you can't put a gift certificate in the mailbox.

People who might enjoy gift certificates include:

- Teachers
- School Crossing Guard
- Mail carrier (USPS Policy: "Cash equivalent can't exceed $20")
- Co-workers
- Your Administrative Assistant

By giving the gift of choice, you can make the holidays shine bright for someone special with your goodwill. Those who work so hard all year to make you smile are sure to appreciate and remember your generosity.




 



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