A Real Life Holiday Tipping Guide for the Rest of Us

4. The daycare worker who really seems to get your kid. So, so terrible. Fine. I’m missing seeing my grandparents for this? Getting yelled at because the store you work for is out of Cabbage Patch Dolls/yule logs/wreaths on Christmas Eve? Also on Apartment Therapy: Surviving Holiday Shopping: Lessons From a Shopgirl

(Image credits: Natalie Grasso) No holiday pay? 3. A tiny treat can do the trick. Growing up- and 14 years in customer service- has taught me that it doesn’t have to be so fraught… Cards are incredibly meaningful, and dollar store chocolate can provide exactly the burst of goodwill needed to get through the rest of the day. The friendly, efficient bus driver who drives so smoothly on your morning commute. Good cheer is the greatest gift of all. Cash is great, and always helpful, but a little thoughtful something can make such a difference in someone’s day. 1a. Tip whatever you want, but don’t bow to the perverse pressure to give higher tips to people who make more money/work at fancier places. 2b. When I was a teenager, I was mystified by the holiday tipping guides in magazines: do all grownups have a hairdresser/dogwalker/doorman, and fret annually about how much/whether to tip them? So fun! The hairdresser who comforted you through a breakup. 5. Don’t worry about doing it wrong. 2a. Tip however much you want/can afford… I have had profanities yelled at me because the shop I worked for closed at 3pm on Christmas eve (information that had been readily available for weeks) and those few minutes broke my heart. During insane holiday seasons at a bakery and a candy shop, customers dropped off bottles of wine for us to enjoy once our loooooong shifts were over. That’s okay. The library clerk probably makes minimum wage, and there’s a good chance the barista does, too, while the hairdresser at a swanky salon might make big bucks. Think about who made your life better this year, and tip them. Missing all of the holiday festivities? Knowing that a customer or patron had gone out of their way to sign a card, or bring us a box of candy, or give an extra dollar warmed my heart to no end. Cash helps, too. Tip. The barista who starts making your usual when she sees you cross the street and hands it to you as soon as you walk up to the counter.

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