5 guidelines for holiday tipping

Holiday tips are a way to thank the people who make your life easier. So why is it so hard to figure out whom to tip and how much?

Guides published by etiquette experts don’t always agree on what’s appropriate. What people actually do is another matter altogether.

Only about half of Americans give any holiday tips, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey, and those who do tip often give less than the amounts recommended by etiquette experts. For example, 56 percent of those who had housekeepers gave them a tip, and the median amount was $50. The manners mavens at the Emily Post Institute suggests the tip equal the cost of one visit, which according to HomeAdvisor averages at $167.

In my latest for the Associated Press, some guidelines that may help you decide whom to tip, and how.

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