19/07/2024

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How much should you spend on holiday tipping? An expert weighs in

2 min read
How much should you spend on holiday tipping? An expert weighs in

NEW YORK — Holiday tipping can feel like a tense, confusing chore, but CBS New York’s Dave Carlin provides a guide with expert advice to help take the stress out of what can be and should be a joyful part of the season.

The task at hand for Maribel Herrera is sending holiday gifts, and coming up fast, it will be tipping time.

“I start in November, and then by the time Christmas comes, I have enough. I don’t go overboard with everything. I just want to show them my appreciation,” Herrera said.

To the people we lean on for services — from the mail carrier to manicurists.

“People have to stop stressing themselves out as far as tipping is concerned,” said lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann.

Swann says take a deep breath and do your math:  Figure out your total spending on family and friends, then add 20%. That’s your tipping total for various workers helping you repeatedly throughout the year.

“If you pay them on a weekly basis, it would be the percentage of that weekly fee that you pay them,” she said.

Next, create a pecking order, she says. At the top are people you count on the most.

When financial realities force you to trim your holiday tipping budget, the experts say there are some other ways to go.

“If you are crafty, you can certainly create some kind of craft, or if you’re not crafty, you can find somebody who is,” Swann said.

She says always include a handwritten note of gratitude.

Carlin talked about tipping with building staff in Manhattan, including doorman and porter Victor Salazar.

“It’s up to them. Whatever they think that we deserve, it’s fine,” he said. “Cookies, whatever. It comes from them, so it’s fine with me.”

“There are the ones to show the extra specialness. Hey, you want a bottle of water? Do you want some candy? You want a coffee?” U.S. Postal Service carrier Taurean White said.

“We’ll take what we can get. We’re grateful for what we have. We just wanna appreciate everybody,” said Johnny Bangiyev, owner of Trimmed barbershop in Hell’s Kitchen.

“You want your holiday to be joyful, so spread joy, but do so in a responsible manner,” Swann said.

Swann says how much you give may not be as important as how you do it — with sincere gratitude and abundant good manners.

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