’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!
About Kelsey Bjelland
Kelsey is a professional journalist, web producer, aspiring event stylist and baker extraordinaire. After taking the plunge and moving from rural Montana to downtown Chicago in 2009, she took an internship at a local bridal magazine. Shortly after, she discovered her two loves—the wedding scene and a boy from Alabama. Those experiences inspired her to launch Pearls & Frosting, a dual-function website dedicated to connecting wedding vendors to share business advice and to providing intimate profiles of those vendors to future brides. By day, Kelsey is an assistant editor for several management consulting publications, a freelance magazine writer and a self-professed Pinterest addict. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.