I’m happy to report that holiday tipping is not a problem for me. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed until I was in my twenties. I’m talking about the outrageous holiday gratuity exercise of bringing holiday cheer to people that play bit parts in your life, $50 at a time.
The doorman, the mailperson, the gardener, parking attendants, trash collectors and so on. People’s hands certainly aren’t extended, and I doubt my subscription to Wired will suddenlty start to disappear if I don’t tip. However, are we really breaking etiquette laws when we decide not to extend a gratuity?
Where I live trash companies are privately run. Since I have no real relationship with my trash collectors, I feel no need to tip them. To my understanding, tip itself is actually T.I.P. and it stands for “To Insure Promptness.” So when the hell did it become such an automatic? Do I really need to kick in more than the monthly fee that the company came up with in order to receive decent service?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not so socially inept that I don’t understand that in the case of the holidays the tip is more of a gift; a way to say thanks for your hard work all season. But I’ve heard of people over-tipping during the holidays as nothing more then a way to ensure that they are treated a little better than the next guy. I’m not sure if that’s true or not but it would be a shame. The motive behind such generosity should certainly stem from something more then a ‘what’s in it for me attitude,’ right?
Fortunately or unfortunately (I’m not sure which) I have no gardener, personal trainer, nanny, or parking attendant to worry about making happy this season. In the event that you do, here are some resources that might help you make sense of the tipping madness this holiday season. Oh, and whatever you do, do NOT tip the blogger!
Holiday Tipping: Who? How Much?