Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

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Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on the kind of worker you’re tipping.  

According to the Consumer Reports 2017 national survey on holiday tipping, only 50 percent of Americans gave tips during the holidays last year, down from around 60 percent five years ago. Among those most likely to receive a tip were housekeepers and hairdressers. Gardeners and garbage collectors were least likely to get a tip. 

Housekeepers were even more fortunate—they also received the largest gratuities. Their median annual tip came to $50 last year. Hairdressers and garbage collectors were on the lower end of the spectrum, each receiving a median tip of $20.

Overall, Americans doled out an average of $40 in total tips during the 2016 holiday season. (When it comes to holiday tipping, find out who gives the most and the least.) 

When considering how much to give, etiquette and tipping experts say a good place to start is to consider an amount equivalent to the cost of one service. If you feel you’ve received exemplary service throughout the year, you can then add to that base amount.

Who to Consider Tipping

Deciding who to tip doesn’t need to be complicated, says Daniel Post Senning, the great-great-grandson of etiquette maven Emily Post and a spokesman for the Emily Post Institute.

“To simplify the process, just consider service providers in key areas of your personal life,” he says.

Such people may include those who take care of your family, such as a nanny or health aide, as well as those who take care of your home, like a housekeeper or handyman. You can also consider giving to those who help you look good and stay healthy, such as a stylist, barber, or personal trainer.

Where you live can also have an impact on who you…

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