Why Big Bills and Thoughtful Gestures Matter When You’re Tipping

Why Big Bills and Thoughtful Gestures Matter When You’re Tipping

Sarah Landrum
Dec 9, 2016
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The holiday season is in full swing, and it's time to start making those lists of who to buy for and what they might want—including the people in your life who offer their services to you all year round. It's important to show your appreciation and maintain a good rapport for the professionals who support your life, family and home—and that doesn't mean you just stuff some dollar bills in an envelope and slap it on the counter the next time you see them.

There is a proper etiquette to tipping for the holidays, so don't be "that person." Put in a little bit of effort and bring the warm fuzzies to the table instead. Here are a few quick tips to get you moving in the right direction this holiday season.

Avoid Small Bills

This doesn't mean you have to drop the Benjamins for your dry-cleaning lady, but it does mean that there is a time and a place for makin' it rain with singles—and a holiday card isn't one of them.

Leave the dollar bills in your wallet and simply invest in crisp $10 or $20 bills straight from the bank to give. If you're unsure of the amount to tip, here's a list to get you started.

Buy a Nice Card

This doesn't mean you need to buy the most elaborate greeting card or hand make them yourself (though if that is your thing, and you're a regular Martha Stewart, do it), just don't go for the bargain bin card that look like you pulled it out of the garbage from last year. A nice and thoughtful card goes a long way, especially if you don't have that much cash to spend. Personalize it with a ribbon or bow, and you're good to go.

Be Intentional and Thoughtful

This is especially true if you have to be a bit creative, financially. Thoughtful and purposeful gifts go a long way, and they don't always require you to be a crafty genius. Supplement a crisp bill with a bouquet of flowers for your hairdresser. Include a handwritten note with the tip you put in the card for your doorman. Or present your nanny's tip with a new book to read over the holiday break (stuffed with a few drawings from the kiddos) and you're golden.

It's pretty common sense when it comes down to holiday tipping: Know what the appropriate amount is to leave for specific individuals, be thoughtful with your gift and present it in a way that says you didn't slap something together last minute. You absolutely won't be disappointed with the gratitude those individuals will show you.

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