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Holiday tipping is going to be extra important this year amid a global pandemic and a turbulent jobs market. It is a way of thanking the people who make your life easier. So why is it so hard to figure out who to tip and how much?

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Demand for delivery services skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, but a survey published in July of American adults found that this did not necessarily translate into more or better suggestions for service workers.

More than 2,500 US adults surveyed in June CreditCards.com found that sit-down dining is most likely to elicit a tip – but that figure fell slightly from pre-pandemic times.

related: Americans’ tipping habits didn’t improve during pandemic, survey finds

Roughly 75% of customers said they “always” tip when dining out at a restaurant, while just 5% said they “never” tip in a 2021 survey. That number fell two percentage points from 77% who said they always tip in a survey conducted in 2019.

So will that be a factor for workers who depend on tips this holiday season?

Here are all the etiquette you should know.

Yes, Holiday Tipping Is a Thing

Many people don’t even realize that holiday tipping is a thing. Others want to tip but struggle with a budget already strained by other holiday expenses.

“From an etiquette standpoint, we try not to say, ‘You have to do it exactly like this otherwise it’s wrong,'” says etiquette expert Lizzie Post, co-chair of the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vermont. In interview with The Associated Press. “We have too many different relationships, or our budgets may not be able to accommodate it the way our hearts want.”

Gen Zs give more tips (51%) during the holiday season, while baby boomers give less at 42%. Millennials meet in the middle at 48% and Gen X at 43%.

A massive 87% of adults believe it’s important to shop at local, small businesses during the holidays as the US continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. This includes 90% of women and 84% of men; 93% of Baby Boomers and 80% of Gen Z.

Cash is often best, but not absolutely necessary

If you can only give a few dollars, a small gift or homemade item can be a better way to express appreciation. Post remembers his parents baking cookies and making candy for his mail carriers, garbage collectors and newspaper deliverers. Of course, not everyone is good at—or welcomes—homemade items in the kitchen.

match the tip to the relationship

The amount you pay may reflect the quality and frequency of your interactions. For example, you may occasionally tip a babysitter equal to an evening’s salary, while a live-in nanny may receive a bonus equal to or more than a week’s salary. A small gift other than the tip is a nice touch when the relationship is more personal.

A tip roughly equal to the cost of one trip may be appropriate for:

  • babysitters
  • housekeepers
  • Dog Walkers and Groomers
  • personal trainers
  • pool cleaner
  • snow shovels
  • hair stylist or barber
  • Massage Therapist, Facialist and Manicurist

Tipping employees for the holidays can sometimes feel like a lot of pressure for such an important job but a new one.

CreditCards.com Survey Revealed how much others are giving this season.

The survey found that housekeepers and childcare providers are the most tipped, on average, at $50. According to one, forty-seven percent of adults plan to tip their homeowners and 41% plan to tip their childcare providers. Recent report from FOXBusiness.

Landscapers are tipped an average of $30, while teachers are tipped $25. Trash collectors and mail carriers are tipped an average of $20, but only 19% of adults plan to tip their waste management staff.

  • Yard and Garden Workers ($20 to $50 each)
  • Garbage and Recycling Collector ($10 to $30)
  • Handyman ($15 to $40)
  • Package Deliverer ($20, if permitted, contact company)
  • US Postal Service mail carriers (small gift only; no cash as per USPS regulations)
  • Day care workers ($25 to $75 each for those working with your child; check with convenience)
  • Newspaper ($10 to $30)
  • Building Superintendent ($20 to $80)
  • Doormen ($15 to $80)
  • Parking Attendants ($10 to $30)

Not every assistant should be tipped

If you tip someone regularly throughout the year, a holiday tip may not be necessary. Cash tips are also not suitable for some people, such as professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants) and individuals working for an organization that prohibits them. For government employees, for example, a tip may seem like a bribe. Contact nursing homes, home health care providers, package delivery companies, and day care centers, especially before tipping individual employees. The post suggests that instead of tipping your children’s teachers, offer to buy classroom supplies or visit presents or gift cards with other parents.

make it beautiful

Fresh, crunchy bills in a handwritten note card? classy. Bill imposed on the service provider as you walk out the door? Not so much. Leaving an extra large tip on the credit card receipt. Certainly better than nothing, but being a little careful in your presentation can show that you really appreciate what they do for you.

tip quick

The holidays are stressful. Especially this year while a global pandemic is still rampant. Sending out holiday tips as soon as possible can be ideal for people looking to quickly cross off their holiday shopping lists based on those tips. Tips

This story was reported from Los Angeles. Kelly Hayes, The Associated Press and Businesshala Business contributed.