Holiday Etiquette: What Are You Doing for the People Who Helped You This Year?

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‘Tis the season for tipping – at least if you don’t want to be written off as a Scrooge.

Etiquette experts say Americans who don’t tip during the holidays are committing a major holiday faux pas.

“Tipping is important because it’s a way of putting your chip down, no matter how big or small it is, and saying that your thoughts and actions are with the person you’re tipping,” advice columnist and relationship expert April Masini told MarketWatch.

So, who are these alleged no-tipping Scrooges? A new survey by reveals that nearly 1 in 3 Americans (30 percent) fall in the no-tipping crowd.

Survey respondents said they skip the tip because they can’t afford it (41 percent), they simply forget about it (29 percent) or they don’t think it’s necessary (34 percent).

Masini said that regardless of why Americans choose to keep their tipping purse strings closed, it’s a bad move to not thank and tip the people who serve you throughout the year.

“The holidays are the moment in time when we pause to let people know we’re grateful for their service during the year,” she explained to MarketWatch. “Tips send the message that we’re thankful, we’re thinking of them, and we appreciate what they do for us.”

“A $5 bill or a check for $500 are both ways of saying you care, and thank you,” Masini said.

Of the 70 percent of Americans who told they plan to tip this holiday season, 1 in 5 said they spend more than $250 on holiday tips, 34 percent said they set aside $101 to $250 for tips and 8 percent said they’re big spenders on tips, giving out more than $400 during the holiday season.

If money is tight this holiday season, but you still want to show your appreciation to people who serve you throughout the year, don’t worry. Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach told MarketWatch that tips don’t have to be monetary.

“If you don’t give cash, give something that will be useful and appreciated like a gift card or handmade goodies,” she said.

Whitmore said you should provide holiday tips to service providers who have made your life easier throughout the year. Your list may include any of these: hairstylist, manicurist, housekeeper, child care workers, mail and newspaper carriers, garbage man, pet groomer, pool cleaner and doorman, just to name a few.

Click here for’s A to Z holiday tipping guide, which provides recommendations on who and how much you should tip this holiday season.

Are you a holiday tipper? Whom and how do you tip? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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