The Holiday Tipping Experiment

In years previous, I’ve written about holiday tipping.  If you’re looking for that article, about suggested tipping amounts, check out my recent article called Holiday Tip 2009 . As a preview — your hair stylist might be expecting as much as $20!

The topic was first proposed by my editor and I was a bit baffled — uh I was supposed to tip for the holidays? Why? Well, because it was the generous thing to do for folks who help me(you) all year round.

But, I thought I’d write a more personal take on things this year. After all, this is the first year I earned a salary that let me seriously contribute to my 401K AND have a bit left over to go into a saving account. It’s a holiday miracle if I’ve ever heard one!  So, I’ve been thinking about how I can say thanks to those around me.

Riding home from work yesterday, I thought about who regularly makes my life just that much happier — friendlier.  And, who could use a sign of appreciation. Two people in particular came to mind: My Coffee Cart Guy and the Salad Man from Pax.

I don’t see either everyday, but each time I do — it’s a welcome exchange.  Just knowing that I’m going to see a familiar face after either a turbulent subway ride or a stressful day at work, makes me feel just that much more at home in New York. I’ve had similar ‘friends’ at all my job locations here, and tipped them regularly during the year. But, for whatever reason, Pax doesn’t have a tip jar. And, my coffee guy undercharges me (not entirely sure why…guess he likes me too).

So, I’m planning on getting a nice non-denominational card for both and slipping in some cash. Nothing crazy but $15-20ish as small sign of my appreciation. And, to be honest, I probably should have just sucked it up and done this in years past. $30-40 isn’t going to break anyone’s bank, but after being unemployed last year, I really did feel so stretched between friend/family holiday gifts and the fact that my close friends all have bdays around now.

I’m not sure how they’ll react.  Hopefully, it won’t be weird.  But, I’ll be sure to let ya’ll know.

What about you? Will you be tipping this holiday season?

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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