Every year, Consumer Reports polls U.S. residents and finds what people are tipping the people in their lives for the holidays. When I look at the list, I cannot but think how ridiculous this list is. There are very few people in my life that I tip. It actually took me years to start tipping my barber. And, I refuse to tip my mailman. I can’t stand the quality of service I receive from the U.S. Postal Service anyway. I have never hoped for a business to go out of business like I have the USPS (but, that’s a different story altogether). Twenty-nine percent of Americans said that they were going to give a Christmas gift to their mail carrier.
I do not agree with Consumer Reports’ survey findings at all, and I do not think that people should receive a tip or a Christmas gift just because I do business with them. One of the biggest holiday gift requirements that drives me crazy is giving a gift to my children’s teachers. Why should a preschool teacher get a gift certificate to Best Buy during the holiday season? What happened to a good old fashion apple?
Consumer Reports polled 1,900 U.S. residents, and here is where the average gifts that the respondents were planning on giving.
Who gets tipped during the holidays:
Person Average Gift Amount
Cleaning person $50
Child’s teacher $20
Child care provider $38
Newspaper carrier $20
Building superintendent $25
Pet care provider $25
Mail carrier $20
Lawn care worker $25
School bus driver $15
Fitness instructor $25
Garbage Person $20
Etiquette experts say that holiday tipping can depend on a number of factors such as: the quality of the service, frequency of the service, how long you’ve used the service, regional custom, and your budget. But, for me, there are very few people who receive tips or gift cards just because I use their services. If it is customary to give a tip at the time of service, that is fine with me. But, I draw the line at give extra during the holidays.
What do you think? Am I out to lunch? Do you give a gift to your garbage person or mail man?
Note: Government workers do not usually accept cash gifts. Many are allowed to accept small in kind gifts such as gift certificates, etc.