Friday, December 22, 2006

Holiday Tipping - extra, or not?

I've been running around all day, delivering gifts to our adopted families, picking up stuff (including homemade tamales – yum!!) for the Christmas celebrations at my brother's, then my other mother's. Running other errands, as well, I've going non-stop since early this morning. Heading up to the hospital to visit my son's paternal grandmother, who fell early yesterday morning and broke her hip (prayers coveted!).

And I'm wondering…

What are your thoughts on holiday tipping and/or gifts for those that are in the personal service industry? For example, your hairdresser, barber, nail technician, housecleaner, car wash guy, etc.? What if they own their own business?

Do you:

1) Give them a small gift or a cash bonus for the Christmas season?

2) Or do you tip your stylist throughout the year? (BTW, 15-20% tip is still the norm, from the little research I've done)

3) Or do you tip throughout the year, and give a gift at Christmas, as well?

I'm off and running again - but, I'd love to read your comments!


Eric said...

We don't have a lot of folks that do stuff for us that might be "tippable." I know that my wife tips her stylist throughout the year, but my barber is the shop owner and I don't feel the need to tip him (um, although I did the last time I was in there, a week or so ago. [I didn't call it a tip; I just said "keep the change." What can I say? It's Christmas.)

And that last parenthetical sentence is our watch phrase in other situations. We try to be extra generous in tipping wait staff during this time of year. There's nothing like saying to each other in unison, "It's Christmas!" to make a 40% tip feel just right.

So that's a long way to answer, "yes, definitely extra during the holiday season."

Janie said...

We tip our stylist throughout the year, as well as doing a little extra at Christmas. We're probably breaching some major etiquette line, but these people are part of our lives. We always bless the receptionist at the salon with a gift. We tip our waitstaff generously, even when they might be having a bad day.

Most stylists lease their station from the shop owner - therefore, the stylists are in their own business. The question is always raised - and, some salons do not allow tipping at all.

Googling the issue got plenty of mixed responses - plenty of people are confused about it.

I guess it's each to their own.

Gwynne said...

I saw something recently that summarized common practices and in nearly all cases, it seemed people do something extra for Christmas on top of the usual 15-20% tips (I noticed though that the US Postal Service won't allow carriers to accept tips or gifts over a very small dollar amount...sorry Serotoninrain Jim!). Like Eric, we don't have a lot of tippable people on our roster but I do think waiters and waitresses deserve extra. As do the newspaper carriers and the trashmen (and the mail carriers if you can get away with it!).

Janie said...

Sounds like we're all on the same page...except I have no idea who my trashman might be!

beth said...

I begin to think I might be a bad person...I tip my stylist every time I'm there (usually around 18% cause that rounds to a nice round number from the cost so it's easy to remember how much $ to bring with) and I tend to a 20% tip to waitstaff year round but otherwise? Not really a tipper. I try to remember to tip the hotel maids when I checkout, but often forget, but otherwise I don't even really make an effort. Not sure why - I certainly agree that they probably deserve a little something extra now and again. Perhaps a New Year's resolution. :)

Janie said...


I think it's all good. It's hard to know what to do, and how much. I'd never thought about the trashman prior to Gwynne writing it...but I'm never here when they come, so I think I'll let that one lay. Where I kind of get messed up is when someone has their own business...I mean, do you get tipped for doing your work? I don't know.