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Respectfully Yours: Tips for end-of-year tipping season

Dear Jacquelyn,

The holidays are upon us. I always get confused as to whom I should be tipping who normally does not get tips during the year. Also, how much should I be tipping so that I don’t look like a Scrooge and at the same time not blow my own holiday budget?

Dear Reader,

Good for you. Planning your holiday budget early to include tipping won’t leave you scrounging for money at the very last moment.

As the end-of-year tipping season approaches, figuring out who to tip and how much can be tricky. You will want to include those who provide outstanding, loyal service and help you throughout the year.

It can be easy to think about giving to everyone, but that can also feel overwhelming. When determining who to tip, start with people who help you care for your family, yourself and your home.

Generally speaking, anyone with whom you have regular contact or appointments would probably appreciate a small token of gratitude.

Determining how much to tip depends on several factors, including how long you’ve used someone’s services, how important the service is to your life and where you live. Consider your budget and what service-providers in your life you are really grateful for.

Remember that tipping is personal and discretionary. Don’t feel guilty if you’re not able to give as much as you’d like to. If your holiday budget is too tight this year, there are other ways to show your gratitude. If cash isn’t an option, consider baking a beautiful tray of cookies and include a thoughtful note and card.

It’s important to remember that holiday tipping is truly about saying thank you. With a little creativity you can accommodate everyone on your list this year without blowing your budget.

Common sense, specific circumstances and holiday spirit should always be your guide.

Respectfully Yours,


Have a question? Email: jacquelyn@ptd.net. Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation.

All Rights Reserved &Copy; 2021 Jacquelyn Youst