’Tis the season for being especially kind and cheerful, reflecting on the year gone by, and giving unto others to show your love and appreciation. By now you’ve probably checked off most of your lists for friends and family members (at least I hope so!). If your finances are permitting this year, you might consider gifting certain individuals whose work has made your life easier the past few months. But where to start? Here are some tips from the one and only Emily Post that will ensure your generous gifts are well-placed and on-point without bursting your budget or your holiday stress level.
1. DON’T tip professionals.
Giving a cash tip to a teacher, a nurse, or a government employee (such as a postal worker) is inappropriate and even prohibited in most cases. Instead of an envelope, bake up a batch of cookies for them to share at work and include a small handwritten note to let them know you appreciate what they do.
2. DO keep some extra cash in your wallet this time of year.
Many places of business, such as hair salons, won’t accept credit card tips. Make sure the one who gave you that fabulous cut and color before your big holiday party isn’t neglected because you forgot to make a trip to the ATM.
3. DON’T feel obligated to go beyond your budget.
Helping someone else can bring a smile to your face, but not if it means overspending your hard-earned money and starting off the new year in credit card debt. Make your list and check it twice, comparing against your bank statement to see what is reasonable.
4. DO tip discreetly.
Keep your tipping private. Now’s not the time to either show off as a “big spender” or complain about lack of funds. Stay classy by giving what is reasonable for your wallet and the situation, and keeping quiet about it.
5. DO keep a thankful heart the year through.
Remember that holiday tips don’t take the place of showing kindness and appreciation all year long–a smile and a simple “thank you” can go a long way!
How are you planning to thank the service workers in your life? What’s the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received? Tell us below!