Holiday tipping: To whom and how much?

Expert warn: Bonuses can break budgets if not planned

POSTED: 7:22 PM PST December 4, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

The holidays are all about giving and getting, and fifth-generation etiquette expert Daniel Post warns giving shouldn't stop at what's going underneath the tree.

"I really advise that you keep your tips as one of your budgeted expenses during the holiday season," said Post.

NewsChannel 21 spoke with Post via Skype Tuesday afternoon. Post's great-grandmother, Emily Post, wrote a book on etiquette in the 1920s. Now, their family's website www.emilypost.com is frequently mentioned on the topic, for instance in an article in Kiplinger Money magazine's "Six Things to Know About tipping."

"Good manners and good tipping never go out of style," Post said.

From the mailman who drops off packages at your door to your nail tech who gives your hands a little extra sparkle, Post says there are lots of people who deserve a holiday bonus.

But there's also some who don't.

"It's always a little dangerous to be explicit about who you don't tip, but it's also very important." Post said. "There are a couple of categories of people who we don't tip, and those are salaried employees (such as doctors)."

But Post believes the line gets blurred when it comes to teachers.

"It really might not be appropriate, if they're the one grading your child," said Post. "It might not be appropriate to give them a cash gift - in fact, it probably isn't."

Cash bonuses of up to what you usually pay for a service like a haircut are appropriate and, Post says, even expected.

"If you can afford the service, you can probably afford to tip for it," said Post.

The owner of the Hair Gallery in Bend, Linda Bradley, says holiday bonuses are just a really big thank you. But she adds, that thank you can come in any form,, as she recounted a fond memory of the time a client brought her a batch of homemade rolls.

"It's things like that says that you mean more to the client than just that half-hour in her chair," Bradley said.

Other people to consider when thinking about giving around the holidays are babysitters, nannies, personal trainers, dry cleaner employees if you're a regular, handymen and dog walkers.

If you cant afford to give a holiday bonus, Post suggests writing a nice note. And if you have given a bonus in the past, but can't this year, Post says a short explanation can help ease what could be a very awkward situation.

To read more from the Post etiquette website on tipping visit this address:
http://www.emilypost.com/out-and-about/tipping/92-holiday-tipping-is-really-holiday-thanking

And we asked some of these tipping questions on KTVZ's Facebook page, which prompted quite an interesting discussion as well.