Here’s the scoop, per the Emily Post Institute: Holiday tipping exists. It’s a thing, in every region of the country. Who you tip and how much varies by your situation, your budget and where you live (“Tipping averages tend to be higher in big cities,” the Post Institute advises.)
In the Weston household, we tip the people who make our lives easier throughout the year who aren’t regularly tipped at the time of service. That includes newspaper deliverers (yes, we still have those), the mow-and-blow guys (called “gardeners” elsewhere), our house-sitter and our cleaning lady. The tips generally equal the cost of one week’s service, with something extra for the folks who have been with us a long time.
I’d feel pretty weird about not tipping them, to be honest. If I can afford to pay for their services throughout the year, I can certainly come up with a little “thank you” at year’s end.
If your budget really can’t accommodate cash tips, the Post Institute says it’s okay to substitute a handmade gift or (at the very least) a handwritten note of thanks. It’s all about taking a minute to say “I appreciate you.”
But nothing says that quite like cash.