Christmas tipping

I just heard a list on the radio for "proper" Christmas tipping. Don't people who render a service get paid to do that service? I found it irritating that someone somewhere has determined that if you don't tip your news carrier, postal person, etc. you must be either Scrooge or cheap :evil: It's hard enough to get through the season without doling out cash to everyone, and cash was the suggested gift; $40 to $60 for your postal person alone. This stuff makes me crazy.

This year I have suggested to my employees that we take the money we would spend on each other and donate it to our local animal shelters; I will match what they put in. This seems to me to be a better use of funds than tipping someone I never actually see and since I want to do it rather than feel forced to I would be more generous.
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I really hate feeling forced to tip people. I also don't tip money to people. Cash automatically makes service providers compare one of their customers to the other.
We leave cases of soda or beer for our 'sanitation engineers' and recycling people and we leave snacks for the mailman. The first year we lived in this house we left cases of beer for the garbage and recycling guys. The case for the recycling guys was gone but the case for the garbage guys had a sticker that said they couldn't accept gratuities. I was very confused because they're with the same company! (Maybe the recycling guys just 'recycled' the cans? :wink: )

We also always take about 100 pounds of food to the local humane societies. I like to give to the people who don't expect it, they seem so much more grateful than the people who just figure it comes automatically.
I think the tipping of "service people" (i.e., mailmen, garbage men, newspaper boys) is a holdover from the past. Back in the 60s when I was a kid, everyone knew the mailman, etc. (because Mom was home during the day) and the service people went out of their way for their customers. It's not like that any more--my garbage is collected before I even get up and if it isn't in the bin, it gets left and the mail is delivered while I'm at work. I see no reason to tip these people for doing their jobs.

I like the idea of giving to a local humane shelter. I wonder how the recycle dudes would react if they got a card "your annual tip has been donated to animals in need."
I must be a bad person - I never Christmas tip my mailman or trash collectors! When I lived in a highrise in Chicago I used to tip my doormen because they were so helpful all year round and my postal carrier because she helped manage my mail since I was single and travelled alot. But now that I live in the suburbs, my mail is delivered to a central mail "pod" down the street and I've never laid eyes on the trash guys.

I get confused about Christmas gifts for the ladies I go to at the hair salon. I hate to give money, but everything else is so fraught with danger - Candy? She might be on a diet. Wine? Maybe she doesn't drink. A gift card is sounding better and better...
That's a great idea, Paula! :D I have just been giving the postal workers and garbage men cards the last few years.
I only tip pizza delivery guys and waiters/waitresses at restaurants. I also tip hair stylists, but I don't get my hair done often.
My mail is delivered while I'm at work, and I don't recycle, the garbage guys around here are jerks. LOL
I donate every week to our local food bank, and I donate at least 3 or 4 times a year to the humane society. I also take food into my youngest childs' school for their breakfast club.
This year at work we are buying toys for a toy drive... I would much rather see money go to those things and those who need it rather than service people who have good jobs and make money of their own anyway. (our garbage guys make 17$ an hour to start, and are unionized)
With the postmen making more money than I do (if you work for the post office PLEASE DON'T JUMP ALL OVER ME!!), and what I pay my hairdresser every 5 weeks ALREADY I don't consider a "Christmas tip" appropriate". I'm with Stacey, I donate money to the causes that NEED it!!!

I even ruffled a few feathers at work this year when I chose not to participate in their "secret santa". Every year they draw names and spend as much as $30.00 on a gift. It's a large clinic and you really don't get to know each other. So most of the time you wind up buying someone you don't really know a gift you really don't know if they will like. This year when they came around and asked if I wanted to participate I said that instead of Secret Santa I was going to spend the money on a gift for Toys for Tots. You shoulda seen the LOOKS I GOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Hospital that I work for (the clinic is under) has sesveral thousand employees. Every year they give the employees a "gift" catalog to chose a present out of. I am not sure what the monetary value is but I suspect it's 30 or 40 dollars per employee. In the fall I wrote a letter to our CEO (in our on line forum)and suggested that instead of Christmas gifts this year the hospital donate the money it would have spent to victims of one of the recent disasters. You should have heard the angry responses from my fellow employees!!!! You would have thought I suggested taking away their Christmas pudding. Most years all you hear are complaints about how "cheap" the gifts are!!!
Our Secret Santa at work is actually kinda clever. We draw names, and then you buy a gift with that person in mind, but the gifts go to Toys for Tots! So you can be creative with the gift or card, but you're still donating to a better cause.

That said, I don't participate because I'm a Scrooge.

I don't tip anyone here because I don't know if the regular mailman will get it and I don't know the garbage men and the newspaper guy must think I'm crazy because I leave the newspapers on the front porch most of the time. The neighbors probably love that. :roll:
Our work does a secret santa too, but I've never bothered with it either.
I've never seen my mailman once in the 2 1/2 years I've lived in this house. I do have a policy of not tipping people that I've never had any contact with at all... or for leaving my packages in the snow on the porch when they could easily be tossed under the bench about 6 inches to the left and out of the elements.
I agree with you all. I don't tip our mail"person" (it's a female) because I can't count the number of times during the year that I've trucked mail a block over to people with the same house number as ours but a different street name. And they've done the same with us. Plus, our mail gets delivered to a mailbox across the street from our driveway - she never even comes near the house.

When our local newspaper decided that the carriers were not to drop the paper off at the door, but rather to a "paper box" installed by the mailbox, that's when I stopped Christmas tipping. The paper isn't delivered by a kid on foot or on bike, it's delivered by an adult who drives the route.

Tip the garbage men? Never! Being in the boonies, we don't have a city garbage collector - have to hire a private firm for collection. Most times they just fling the garbage cans back on the yard and the lids go flying in the wind. Not worth a tip in my book.

My works sponsors an Operation Santa Claus, where they connect with area agencies that cater to either the elderly shut-ins or children. We get a name of either a senior or a child along with a "wish list" of their own making. The past two years I've gotten a senior and it makes me so sad to see the things they ask for - canned food, tissues, snacks - basically, food. I do participate in this because I feel we've been blessed enough that it's our honor to give some back.

It saddens me to think of anyone having to consider food as a gift. In a country with so much we offer our elderly nothing. They should be provided with food, housing and quality medical care. Another case of the haves and the havenots.[/quote]
I'd tip our mailman if he ever got our mail right....we've lived in the house for over 2 yrs and youd think that he'd know that anything other than our last name doesnt belong.....sheesh
I hate the tipping stuff! I don't get. I tip all these people (groomers, hairdressers, manicuriest) all year long. Why do I have to tip again. I'm very generous routinely. I sorta feel, I have been paying them all year, at the holidays, they should slip me a little something!!! cleaning woman (who does a fabulous job and does NOT get tipped weekly) and my newspaper person (who is at my house at the crack of dawn, and doesn't get a tip from me during the year, and I know they hardly make anything) I don't mind giving something to them.

But people I pay and tip all year long? Bah- humbug!

Deborah, Pirate (but mama, you do bring the groomers yummy cookies at Christmas!) and Keira
I read something the other day saying the the post office workers are not allowed to accept monetary gifts at all and regular gifts of more than $20 in value (I tried to find the article but couldn't so I may be wrong...)
I'm a scrooge... Everyone is asking for a XMAS tip, but nobody tips me! :( I don't do any special tipping during Christmas season, except for the Garbage guys, beacause here in Mexico you have to be a very poor person if you have to work in the garbage truck.

I'd rather use the tipping money for a good cause, like the animal shelters or a person I know who's in need.
Man, you guys are tough!!

As for me, I tip everybody at Christmas dry cleaners, tellers at my bank, mailman, my old groomer, hair dresser, UPS man, paper carrier. And in turn I know they give me better service. The mail man goes to great lengths to go out of his way for me, UPS man gives my dogs bones, hair dresser squeezes me in when there are no available appointments, etc., etc.

I know you guys may think that they should provide good service anyway and yes that is true, but I feel these people go above & beyond. Since I get so tied up with my workload a lot, the little extra effort really saves me so much time.

p.s. I would love to say I'm giving the tip cash to an animal shelter but I would be lucky if half of these people really liked animals to begin with.
I dont tip. We never see the mailman...mail is delivered to a box at the end of the street. Garbage men here get paid almost better than teachers. actually an adult and the paper is free and it is thrown on the lawn :roll:
Hairdressers....dont use one much.
Instead the kids school has sponsored several unfortunate families thru the Childrens Aid Society. Each class has their own family to buy for. Some of the things on the list are food items. I got the kids each a toy but mainly concentrated on the mom or dad because everyone likes to buy for the kids but no one will think of the mom or dad. My kids are having a great time wrapping all the things we bought. Usually we sponsor a family from the women's shelter as well. Since we are so lucky we feel the need to 'pass it on'
Okay, I saw the article on tipping, so here it is:
(From on the Today show section, by Jean Chatzky

Q: Why is there so much confusion about tipping?
A: People feel they have an obligation to tip around the holidays. In fact, there is no ethical obligation to give cash. There is an ethical obligation to express our gratitude to people who clean our apartments, cut our hair, walk our animals. But we don't have to tip everyone who helps us. If we tipped everyone who helps us, we'd be broke.

Q: So how do you figure out who gets tipped and who doesn't?
A: The hospitality industry — restaurants and hotels — is the only industry that counts on tips as an important part of employee compensation. If you don't tip, they don't make a living wage. In other cases, it's up to you, but you should really consider those people who provide you with a regular service.

Q: For example, housekeepers and babysitters, the parking attendant at your regular garage, your manicurist or massage therapist, the superintendent, doormen and porters in your apartment building, the newspaper delivery person?
A: Right.

Q: Are there people who should not be tipped?
A: It is illegal for postal employees to accept cash. (They are, however, allowed to accept non-cash gifts of up to $20 in value.) Schoolteachers, too, though they aren't often tipped, are sometimes restricted in how expensive a gift they're allowed to accept. Some schools impose rules like this to avoid favoritism in the classroom.

Q: Let's get down to the nitty-gritty. How much should you give them?
A: I always try to adhere to what I call "the rule of one or two," meaning you give the equivalent of one or two visits (if you're talking about a hairdresser or personal trainer) or one or two weeks' pay (if you're talking about a babysitter or housekeeper).

It depends on so many variables, including the going rate in your community. What you'd give a doorman on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is different than what you'd give someone caring for your cat in the Midwest. The more someone has helped you, the more they deserve to be thanked.

Q: What if you're having a tough time financially this year. Should you explain it?
A: No, you don't owe it to your doorman to explain that you just lost your job or filed bankruptcy. Instead, try to say thank you in a way that you can afford. Maybe you can offer to tutor a child in math or chess. Maybe you can offer babysitting services. If the person who went above and beyond to help you works for a company, write a letter to his or her employer explaining detailing their great effort. To some people, tips like these are even more meaningful than money because they show you took some extra care or thought.

Q: Finally, what's your take on regifting?
A: It's the right thing to do.

Q: Really?!?
A: Yes, for two reasons. It covers our ethical obligation to express our gratitude, and our ethical obligation not to be wasteful. If you give me a boxed set CD and I already have it, I should regift it. It's wasteful to stick it in a drawer. The trick is to make sure that the person who gave you the gift doesn't learn of it, because it may hurt their feelings — which taps into a third ethical obligation. Do no harm. If someone gives you a sweater and you don't like it but they expect to see you in it, you might have to take a deep breath and wear it every once in a while, just to avoid hurting their feelings.
Okay. This is what I typically do each year. I give the following individuals a small gift; hairdresser, massage therapist, dog groomer, cleaning woman, mailman (who we think might be Alice Cooper's brother). This year I'll be giving the women a nice block of notepaper with pretty flowers on the cover and I plan to also include some cocoa or candy. Likely candy or cookies for the mailman.

I usually spend about $10 a person. I don't think it's the amount of $$$ you spend, but the thought that counts. If I had to tip my hairdresser twice the amount of a visit, I'd be broke by the end of the year!
Annie's Mom wrote:
If I had to tip my hairdresser twice the amount of a visit, I'd be broke by the end of the year!

It's just saying you should Christmas tip your hairdresser twice the amount of the visit, not the tipping amount for each visit you go to. I don't think anyone could afford to tip twice the amount of the haircut each time!
I'd still be broke! It costs $90 to get a cut and color. Her once a year Xmas bonus would be $180!
Annie's Mom wrote:
mailman (who we think might be Alice Cooper's brother).

Ha Ha, our mailman is a dead ringer for the Amish Dad in the movie Witness. I never knew giving a "cash" gift was illegal for the US post office. Funny when I called the main branch one day to get our mailman's name for a Christmas tip they didn't even mention it... :roll:
They refuse to deliver mail to our house, so no mail carrier to get tipped. I pay $50/year I shouldn't have to spend for a post office box.

The UPS, Fed Ex, etc... come to the house about 2-3 times a year. I haven't had my hair cut in about 4 years and hubby does his own.

I never see our garbage collectors, so I wouldn't even know how to go about tipping them. The truck is out there one second and gone the next every week.

Our kid's pedi, our doctors, our dentists, and our vet will each get a fruit and candy basket so that it can be shared with the staff. We do that every year. We also send one to the NICU at the hospital where our babies stayed since they took such great care of them.

Anything monetary will go towards charties. We have certain ones we donate to every paycheck and we donate to them in honor of our daughter at Christmas.

I adopt a child the age my daughter would have been every Christmas and I spoil her rotten, since I can not do it for my daughter.

My husband has been buying toys off and on while at the coast and donating them for the children down there.

All of that and I still haven't gotten but one thing for my poor kids! lol I need to get on the ball with them.
If I had to tip my hairdresser twice the amount of a visit, I'd be broke by the end of the year!

It's just saying you should Christmas tip your hairdresser twice the amount of the visit, not the tipping amount for each visit you go to. I don't think anyone could afford to tip twice the amount of the haircut each time!

Quick history: I've been going to this stylist since he was just an apprentice, he was a friend of a friend. Since I'm his longest customer, I knew he'd been cutting me a good deal so I'd been tipping between 30 and 40% since I'd rather he pocket the money than give it to the salon.
The last time I went to get my hair done, my guy had a new assistant who wound up writing up my bill that they take up to the reception desk for me to pay rather than him doing it himself. She didn't know he had a "special" price for me. Turns out he's only been charging me 25% of what he would normally. I'd had no idea he discounted me that much! Boy, talk about obligation of a big holiday tip now! I know one thing for sure, I'm not basing it off the original price!
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