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Holiday tipping made easy

December 2nd, 2006 (07:25 pm)

From: Life magazine
Date: 12-1-06
Subject: Money: Holiday Tipping Made Easy

Q. Now that the holidays are here, whom should I tip, and how much should I give?

A. Between babysitters, your hairdresser, and the paperboy, you have a small staff working for you, many of whom deserve an extra thank-you come year's end. Here's how to show your appreciation.

Gifting Green
Cash, a check, or a gift card are all fine, but emphasize presentation, says Maria Everding, the founder of the Etiquette Institute in St. Louis: Put the gratuity in a nice card or a small gift bag.

The Magic Number
Tip a service professional you see regularly (your cleaning lady, personal trainer, hairstylist, etc.) between half her normal fee and her full fee. For those who offer less personal service--such as a paperboy or the lawn guy--a $5 to $25 thank-you will do.

Skip the Tip
Professionals like your child's piano teacher or your computer tutor are sharing knowledge, not delivering a service, so a small gift (inexpensive wine or a gift certificate) is a classy bet.

--Elisabeth Durkin