It's the holiday season, and once again, you may wonder who to tip, and how much. Let's face it, it's too expensive to grease everyone's palms. So here are some tips on tipping from etiquette coach Alexandra Kovach in an interview with CNN.
She recommends managing your list, by keeping it to those you deal with directly. "It is your baby sitter, your child's teacher, your hairdresser, your doorman, people who are taking care of you on a daily basis -- that make a difference to your day, throughout the year," says Kovach.
Some guidelines for good tips from the Emily Post Institute:
Your hair salon -- the cost of one visit divided among those who take care of you.
Your babysitter -- one evening's pay plus a small gift from the kids.
Your newspaper carrier -- ten to thirty dollars in cash or a gift.
Housekeepers -- up to one week's pay and/or a gift.
Etiquette expert Kovach says cash is perceived as a tip for a service, so it's not appropriate for a child's teacher. You can, however, give them a gift card.
And to avoid getting caught empty-handed when someone has a gift for you, keep some small, wrapped items in your office and home. Kovach: " Always good to have a couple of bottles of wine with a bow on it at the house in case someone shows up with something."
Kovach adds no matter what you're giving, include a handwritten note with your gift. It's a nice added gesture -- that won't cost you a thing.