Holiday tipping can leave people wondering who to give to and how much to spend. Start by shifting gears and think of holiday tipping as holiday thanking instead. Then consider the people you might like to thank in your life—the ones who help you and your family throughout the year, such as letter carriers, teachers, hair stylists, and babysitters, to name a few. Each person’s list will be different, as will his or her budget. And while the phrase “holiday tipping” suggests cash, the reality is that a gift is always appropriate in lieu of cash—and sometimes, it’s the only appropriate option.
When it comes to your child’s teacher, think beyond the proverbial mug. Gift cards to Staples are one of the very best choices, as many teachers buy extra supplies for their classrooms throughout the year. Something fun, like a smartphone case, from Belkin or OtterBox which offer a variety of colors and styles, could make another great gift. Whatever you choose, be sure your child is part of the decision and signs the card.
For hairstylists and babysitters, cash is okay to give. The typical amount is up to the cost of one trip to the salon or evening of babysitting. But gifts can be a great alternative, especially if you know their style or interests. Think a tablet case (like this Belkin one for the chef) or some cool earbuds, both available at Staples.
Mail carriers are restricted by the United State Postal Service from receiving cash or gift cards, but may receive small gifts of less than $20 in value. Hand warmers, hot cocoa packets, chocolates, and other little treats are all good options.
With any gift, give an accompanying card with a handwritten message such as, “Thanks for all you do throughout the year.”
Anna Post is a nationally known etiquette expert, co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition and a member of the Staples Holiday Council.
*This post is sponsored by Staples.