Holiday Tipping

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mjdaniel
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Holiday Tipping

Post by mjdaniel » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:15 pm

Hello Bogleheads always nice to chat with you. My wife and I were discussing how to tip this holiday season. We have read some articles and wanted to know what the forum thought. We are planning on tipping the following folks and wanted to know how you determine what to tip; newspaper delivery person, gardener, masseuse, nail person, and beautician, thanks.

miamivice
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by miamivice » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:23 pm

mjdaniel wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:15 pm
Hello Bogleheads always nice to chat with you. My wife and I were discussing how to tip this holiday season. We have read some articles and wanted to know what the forum thought. We are planning on tipping the following folks and wanted to know how you determine what to tip; newspaper delivery person, gardener, masseuse, nail person, and beautician, thanks.
We are non-tippers. We do not tip newspaper delivery person or gardener. We do not use masseuse's or nail person. If we did, we would tip them after each visit and not at the end of the year. The hair stylists we tip after each visit.

We do not engage in end of year tipping.

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deanbrew
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by deanbrew » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:33 pm

I would suspect that the masseuse, nail person and beautician are tipped each time service is proffered, so I see no need to provide an extra tip at Christmas. The newspaper delivery person and gardener are a bit different, and I think a holiday tip is a nice gesture, though not required, of course. I tip our newspaper carrier around $20-25 each Christmas, and a similar amount to our trash haulers (we do not have municipal trash service). I guess that works out to about one month's cost, but going to the workers instead of the companies. I don't have a gardener. Really, the amount is entirely up to the giver.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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Sheepdog
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Sheepdog » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:44 pm

I tip the newspaper delivery person $50. (She is pro active as she sends a Christmas card in early December with her address!!)
I don't know how to tip the garbage collectors. I pay the owner by mail. I don't want to send him the tip. If I knew how, I would probably
My wife tips her hairdresser and nail person each time she visits them, but she gives an extra $20 close to Christmas. My daughter in law as a hairdresser often receives $50 to $100, she told us.
I am my own gardener, snow shoveler, cleaner and car washer I tip myself rather liberally.
I am my wife's masseuse. She doesn't give me anything.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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deanbrew
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by deanbrew » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:54 pm

I don't know how to tip the garbage collectors.
I put money in a card, in an envelope with a great big red bow on it, and tape it to the top of my trash bin. It's obvious that it's a Christmas card, not trash. I put an amount in that can be split evenly either two or three ways, because I'm not sure how many guys will be working that day on the truck.

I think I put 12 $2 bills in last year, which can be split either two or three ways. I like using $2 bills, because I think it is more memorable and different. Or perhaps it's a pain, but still memorable.

-- note to self: get $2 bills at the bank this week.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:14 pm

No tipping. With the trash people, there's no guarantee that the usuals will get the money. Near the holidays, the regular employees are often on vacation and fill-ins are working various routes. Not that I would tip them anyway. They do their job.
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

Luckywon
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Luckywon » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:30 pm

I'll tip:

Gardener: 2 weeks pay
Pool guy: 2 weeks pay
Housekeeper: 3 weeks pay
Valet at neighborhood mini-mall as a bribe to please careful with my car: $20
Hair stylist: extra $20. Used to give more at holidays but I found out through this thread I am paying way too much already!! :annoyed :oops:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=233441&p=3644125#p3644125

No plans for any other holiday tipping.

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Watty
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Watty » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:03 pm

Holiday tipping seems to be very regional. My impression is that it is much more common in the northeast than in the rest of the country.

student
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by student » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:35 pm

I do not have anybody who I need to tip during the holidays. No paper subscription, no gardener, no hairstylist, no housekeeper.

However, this article gives good suggestions. http://emilypost.com/advice/holiday-tipping-guide/

marstaton4
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by marstaton4 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:00 am

I was traveling for business this year and left $10 for housekeeping on Thanksgiving day with a thank you note. Typically leave $3 for this. Had a group dinner with work colleagues at a fancy place and I think the bill was $900 for 11 of us and the person paying left a $200 tip. I tossed in an extra $20 and so did another one of my coworkers. I think the person paying on the company card was a little offended and said they tipped generously and also reminded us that we were working on the holidays and away from our families as well. I smiled and reminded that we were on holiday pay and that I'd be glad for the people putting up with us on their Thanksgiving should be as well.

I don't get the paper, mail delivery or really any other service where I see the same people on a regular basis. I do try to go a little overboard if someone is working and away from their families on days that I'm sure they aren't working because they want to.

I personally think the appreciation part of it is just as important and the extra few bucks.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Sheepdog » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:47 am

deanbrew wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:54 pm
I don't know how to tip the garbage collectors.
I put money in a card, in an envelope with a great big red bow on it, and tape it to the top of my trash bin. It's obvious that it's a Christmas card, not trash. I put an amount in that can be split evenly either two or three ways, because I'm not sure how many guys will be working that day on the truck.

I think I put 12 $2 bills in last year, which can be split either two or three ways. I like using $2 bills, because I think it is more memorable and different. Or perhaps it's a pain, but still memorable.

-- note to self: get $2 bills at the bank this week.
Good thought. Thanks for the Idea.
Why would I like to tip them? I often put out more volume, or items, than they are contracted to pick up and these guys do it out of the goodness of their heart.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

tampaite
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by tampaite » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:44 am

mjdaniel wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:15 pm
Hello Bogleheads always nice to chat with you. My wife and I were discussing how to tip this holiday season. We have read some articles and wanted to know what the forum thought. We are planning on tipping the following folks and wanted to know how you determine what to tip; newspaper delivery person, gardener, masseuse, nail person, and beautician, thanks.
No tipping here but if you really have to tip then, suggest something meaningful rather than a token one. Tip them each their 1 month of pay?

engin33r
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by engin33r » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:07 am

We have a nanny who we've really grown to appreciate over the past year, and I think a tip is definitely in order. What would be appropriate?

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deanbrew
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by deanbrew » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:27 am

Sheepdog wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:47 am
Good thought. Thanks for the Idea.
Why would I like to tip them? I often put out more volume, or items, than they are contracted to pick up and these guys do it out of the goodness of their heart.
Of all the people who perform regular services, I think the newspaper carrier and trash haulers probably get paid the least and have the worst jobs. Delivering newspapers requires getting up very early in all kinds of weather, and I appreciate the effort. And I know they don't make much money. Hanging on the back of a trash truck, early in the morning, in all kinds of weather? I should probably give those guys a bigger tip. And, like you, I sometimes put extra or bulky stuff out, and they always take it. Do they do the same for all customers? Probably, but I like the thought that my tip might help with their Christmas buying, or perhaps pay for a 6-pack of beer for them to enjoy.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

winterfan
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by winterfan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:51 am

engin33r wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:07 am
We have a nanny who we've really grown to appreciate over the past year, and I think a tip is definitely in order. What would be appropriate?
For nannies, I've heard a week's pay is appropriate. Maybe that is high? When I had a child in daycare (a corporate type center), I gave her main caregivers a card with a $100 bill and the helpers $50. I got the impression that they didn't receive very many holiday tips though!

I gave my hairstylist a bonus tip at my last appointment for the year end. I have to buy teacher gifts too, but that's about the extent of my tipping this year. I don't tip the mail carrier (we seem to have a different one each week) or the garbage collectors.

Luckywon
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Luckywon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:59 am

engin33r wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:07 am
We have a nanny who we've really grown to appreciate over the past year, and I think a tip is definitely in order. What would be appropriate?
My perception of common practice is that for someone providing personal services like that for your child(ren) two weeks pay is normal. If she has gone beyond expectations, three or four weeks.

tomd37
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by tomd37 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:06 am

I do tip the three workers on the truck of my privately owned trash collection company (as opposed to a municipal collection) usually $25 to $30 each. I am retired so I am available to present the cash personally rather than leaving it on the trash container (for others to come by and take while still dark). When I was working my wife would take it out when they arrived. I personally know their pay scale and it isn't very much in comparison with what some cities pay their similar workers. Several years ago one worker, knowing I was very familiar with tax returns, asked if I could help prepare five years of taxes returns for him that he had failed to file and that the IRS was after him for. I did and he got refunds for the eligible three years but lost the refunds for the late ineligible years.

I do tip my newspaper delivery person $25 (matter of fact the check was prepared last night for today's mailing). These people are usually employed as a contractor and pay a self-employment tax rate of 15.3% (12.4% social security plus 2.9% Medicare). If they were a W-2 employee their employer would pay half on behalf of the employee and the employee the other half.
Tom D.

Luckywon
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Luckywon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:20 am

deanbrew wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:27 am


Of all the people who perform regular services, I think the newspaper carrier and trash haulers probably get paid the least and have the worst jobs. Delivering newspapers requires getting up very early in all kinds of weather, and I appreciate the effort. And I know they don't make much money. Hanging on the back of a trash truck, early in the morning, in all kinds of weather? I should probably give those guys a bigger tip. And, like you, I sometimes put extra or bulky stuff out, and they always take it. Do they do the same for all customers? Probably, but I like the thought that my tip might help with their Christmas buying, or perhaps pay for a 6-pack of beer for them to enjoy.
Per the Los Angeles Times article below, the median base salary for a trash truck driver salaried by the city in 2014 was $73,700. With overtime, they can make much more. They also receive substantial health and retirement benefits. Perhaps good information if you are tipping them on the basis that you believe they are paid inadequately.

Of course, many sanitation workers receive far less than that. The article points out that non unionized private company trash truck drivers in the same area receive significantly less.

http://beta.latimes.com/local/cityhall/ ... story.html

tomd37
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by tomd37 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:23 am

Luckywon - The pay I refer to is $26K annually.
Tom D.

Luckywon
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Luckywon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:26 am

tomd37 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:23 am
Luckywon - The pay I refer to is $26K annually.
Fully agree they deserve a tip! Another good tip for them would be to get a union job!!!

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deanbrew
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by deanbrew » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:39 am

Luckywon wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:26 am
tomd37 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:23 am
Luckywon - The pay I refer to is $26K annually.
Fully agree they deserve a tip! Another good tip for them would be to get a union job!!!
All trash hauling in my county is by private companies, and none are unionized. I doubt most pay more than $10 an hour to the guys hanging off the back of the trucks. The drivers have to have CDL licenses, I believe, so they would make more.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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heartwood
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by heartwood » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:06 am

Anyone in a condo complex or apartment building care to share how holiday tips are handled?

Our experiences come from a major NE city downtown apartment building, 60 units, with a staff that does it all: always a concierge, someone valet's the car in/out, delivers packages, changes light bulbs, unclogs drains and other routine maintenance, carries in groceries and in/out luggage, and anything else you might ask. No tipping allowed during the year. Staffed 24/7. Perhaps 15 F/T hourly employees and some P/T. The building manager sends out a note in December, noting that it's not required, and that the amount is up to us. It reports that 95% contribute through this method, checks to the building association account; the other 5% do it individuality or not at all. They suggest a range of $750 - $1400, in the rough range of $1.50 to $3.80 a day averaged over the year. Sounds like a lot until I did the $1.50 - $3.80/day number for hourly staff that do it all, with a smile. That amount is spread over the 15+ people. Lots of personal service.

Our other experience is at our out of state condo. 200 units in a close suburb of a large city. 24/7 security guards, weekday maintenance, common area housekeeping and grounds staff, all hourly, total 20 people. There is no organized system for holiday tips. We've talked to other owners, most don't tip at all. We tip individually based on what we think staff have done for us, longevity, etc, ranging from $10 to $50 an individual. Total about $250 for the year. It's a real PITA to find each and every one and slip a card with cash in their hand. Most seem surprised to get anything, all seem happy to get enough for at least a Happy Meal or two. No personal service.

clutchied
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by clutchied » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:12 am

mjdaniel wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:15 pm
Hello Bogleheads always nice to chat with you. My wife and I were discussing how to tip this holiday season. We have read some articles and wanted to know what the forum thought. We are planning on tipping the following folks and wanted to know how you determine what to tip; newspaper delivery person, gardener, masseuse, nail person, and beautician, thanks.
It's one of my favorite things to do!

Mostly we do restaurants that we frequent. Lots of fun :)

stoptothink
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by stoptothink » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:37 am

Luckywon wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:20 am
deanbrew wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:27 am


Of all the people who perform regular services, I think the newspaper carrier and trash haulers probably get paid the least and have the worst jobs. Delivering newspapers requires getting up very early in all kinds of weather, and I appreciate the effort. And I know they don't make much money. Hanging on the back of a trash truck, early in the morning, in all kinds of weather? I should probably give those guys a bigger tip. And, like you, I sometimes put extra or bulky stuff out, and they always take it. Do they do the same for all customers? Probably, but I like the thought that my tip might help with their Christmas buying, or perhaps pay for a 6-pack of beer for them to enjoy.
Per the Los Angeles Times article below, the median base salary for a trash truck driver salaried by the city in 2014 was $73,700. With overtime, they can make much more. They also receive substantial health and retirement benefits. Perhaps good information if you are tipping them on the basis that you believe they are paid inadequately.

Of course, many sanitation workers receive far less than that. The article points out that non unionized private company trash truck drivers in the same area receive significantly less.

http://beta.latimes.com/local/cityhall/ ... story.html
Was just going to say that. As it seems that the common justification around here for tipping is the personal feeling that a particular service worker is underpaid, I wondered how many people actually know how much those who pick up their trash make. One of my childhood friends is a trash truck driver in California, he makes more than the large majority of people he is picking up trash from.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:42 am

deanbrew wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:27 am
Of all the people who perform regular services, I think the newspaper carrier and trash haulers probably get paid the least and have the worst jobs. Delivering newspapers requires getting up very early in all kinds of weather, and I appreciate the effort.
Well, I did that job while I was in college in the 70s. It wasn't really that bad. The biggest drag really was the every day nature of it. We didn't solicit for tips nor expect them. A few people that received special service would typically send a bit in on their own.
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

thangngo
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by thangngo » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:55 am

mjdaniel wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:15 pm
Hello Bogleheads always nice to chat with you. My wife and I were discussing how to tip this holiday season. We have read some articles and wanted to know what the forum thought. We are planning on tipping the following folks and wanted to know how you determine what to tip; newspaper delivery person, gardener, masseuse, nail person, and beautician, thanks.
It's a personal preference. I don't tip because they expect me to tip regardless of the level of their service. I only tip when I like the service I'm getting. I don't want to tip for holiday season because I would set an expectation from those folks that they will get the money because it's holiday season. I'm not afraid hurting their feelings. They know me and they earn their tips.

rjbraun
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by rjbraun » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:16 pm

heartwood wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:06 am
Anyone in a condo complex or apartment building care to share how holiday tips are handled?

Our experiences come from a major NE city downtown apartment building, 60 units, with a staff that does it all: always a concierge, someone valet's the car in/out, delivers packages, changes light bulbs, unclogs drains and other routine maintenance, carries in groceries and in/out luggage, and anything else you might ask. No tipping allowed during the year. Staffed 24/7. Perhaps 15 F/T hourly employees and some P/T. The building manager sends out a note in December, noting that it's not required, and that the amount is up to us. It reports that 95% contribute through this method, checks to the building association account; the other 5% do it individuality or not at all. They suggest a range of $750 - $1400, in the rough range of $1.50 to $3.80 a day averaged over the year. Sounds like a lot until I did the $1.50 - $3.80/day number for hourly staff that do it all, with a smile. That amount is spread over the 15+ people. Lots of personal service.

Our other experience is at our out of state condo. 200 units in a close suburb of a large city. 24/7 security guards, weekday maintenance, common area housekeeping and grounds staff, all hourly, total 20 people. There is no organized system for holiday tips. We've talked to other owners, most don't tip at all. We tip individually based on what we think staff have done for us, longevity, etc, ranging from $10 to $50 an individual. Total about $250 for the year. It's a real PITA to find each and every one and slip a card with cash in their hand. Most seem surprised to get anything, all seem happy to get enough for at least a Happy Meal or two. No personal service.
I live in a co-op apartment building (HCOL NE city). Smaller building than yours (under 40 units) and with a more modest staff: 2 doormen (2 shifts, not 24/7 door coverage) who also do some building maintenance chores like collect and haul trash, accept packages and deliveries, mop hallways, a live-in super and a part-time worker to fill in for absent doorman, misc building work, etc.

We also get a list / reminder near the holidays from the management company. This year, the note seemed a bit more deliberately worded than in the past. Rather than just tips are discretionary, etc. it said something about how the staff work hard to make the building a great place to live, etc. The co-op gives a bonus to each staff member, I believe, decided by the board. I don't know the amount, but my sense is that it's modest but not trivial? My impression is that at least some individual owners also tip separately. I have and always hand the card (with cash enclosed) directly to the individual.

Doormen have been on staff for years and good continuity with super (though relatively new). I tip one doorman about $100 (need to check, I write this down but don't have access to the info now) and am thinking of bumping this up a bit this year (to up to $150 or so). I made the tough decision several years ago to stop tipping the other doorman. It may have been a bit awkward initially, but I'm comfortable with the decision. His tip was modest, so it's not as if it had a big effect on his finances. I just found him not so helpful. Pleasant enough, but either because of his attitude or physical limitations (or perhaps a personality mismatch) I felt that I could not rely on him and had to look for my own packages in the mail area, carry them on my own to the elevator, etc. Simple enough tasks that I can easily do myself, but then what purpose does he serve?

This year, I'm struggling a bit with the super's tip. In the past, I gave him $250 (which may have got distorted upwards by the longevity of the prior super). I think I tended to think that you want to "take care of" the super as you want an ally in the event of an emergency repair, etc. A friend who also lives in a co-op (probably nicer one than mine) and was on her board was kind of surprised that I tipped the super. I got the impression that she only tipped her building's doormen, porters, etc. but viewed the super as more like "management" (who got no or only a small tip). The super does a good job with the building overall and is pleasant and well-qualified. I'm just disappointed in that he didn't really follow through with a couple of things we spoke about this year (too much detail for this post, but basically was kind of annoyed that he didn't bother to respond to my concerns / issues -- kind of made me feel as if he blew them off, but I think it could just be that those issues are less of a big deal to him, given his responsibility for the overall building).

So, my question is whether it would be stupid to try to save some money by either reducing or eliminating my super's tip. I can afford the money, so that's not really an issue. Fwiw, I'm not sure that the super is "the type" who would hold it against me in a major way or anything, though, of course, one never knows.

rjbraun
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by rjbraun » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:51 pm

mjdaniel wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:15 pm
Hello Bogleheads always nice to chat with you. My wife and I were discussing how to tip this holiday season. We have read some articles and wanted to know what the forum thought. We are planning on tipping the following folks and wanted to know how you determine what to tip; newspaper delivery person, gardener, masseuse, nail person, and beautician, thanks.
The person who does my hair does a great job. I've known him for many years and give him a holiday card with about $50 cash inside. This is in addition to a $20 tip each visit. He is also the owner of the salon, which is located in my neighborhood (so, a local merchant and store owner). I will give the shampoo person $20 during the holiday season.

I really appreciate the services of both of these people and am happy to be in a position to try to help them have a nice holiday season.

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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by abuss368 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:12 pm

I never really did anything different from any other day of the year.
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runner3081
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by runner3081 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:58 pm

student wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:35 pm
I do not have anybody who I need to tip during the holidays. No paper subscription, no gardener, no hairstylist, no housekeeper.

However, this article gives good suggestions. http://emilypost.com/advice/holiday-tipping-guide/
Same here.

We do have trash guys, but in our city, they don't do anything more than pressing a few buttons. They have arms that pickup and dump the trash. Even if we wanted to tip them, it wouldn't work.

lynneny
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Re: Holiday Tipping

Post by lynneny » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:46 am

Our apartment building in NYC (but not in Manhattan) has about 330 units and 16 employees. I usually tip the super $50, 5 doormen $40 each, 2 handymen $20 each (because I tip them generously throughout the year each time they come to my apartment to do a minor repair) and 8 porters $15 each. So about $400 for building tips.
Then $20 for newspaper carrier, and $100 for massage therapist I go to twice monthly who does wonders for my bad back.

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