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Fewer people are tipping service providers around the holidays, survey shows

Posted at 6:06 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 20:06:19-05

The art of “tipping something special" over the holidays appears to be a dying one.

Creditcards.com found fewer people are giving tips to trash collectors, mail carriers, teachers and daycare workers.

Both financial and etiquette experts say it’s something you should consider.

“This is really a great way to show appreciation for these hardworking people,” says Ted Rossman, an industry analyst with creditcards.com. “It’s also a way perhaps to receive better service throughout the year.

“What we're doing is giving them a tangible expression of our thankfulness for what they provide, for our family’s comfort or personal convenience, whatever it might be throughout the year.”

For some, holiday tipping and gifts really have merged into one thing.

You should think about those people who you depend on or interact with regularly.

In some cases, says “Manners Mentor” Maralee McKee, it’s more appropriate to give a gift or gift card.

“It can seem a little bit like a bribe or buttering the person up again, a group gift is wonderful,” McKee says. “Or if you do have a relationship with them — a friendship — a small gift, maybe something for the whole family.”

“A food item or something crafty or homemade. That plus a handshake or a ‘thank you’ note and a heartfelt ‘good wishes’ around the holidays, I think that can be enough to really make somebody feel good,” Rossman says.

McKee says holiday tipping is also a dying tradition because we're more distant from people.

Most people don't even know their trash collector, mail carrier or landscaper.