Kiplinger recommends giving the tips early in case the recipient needs them for holiday buying. "The optimum time for end-of-year tipping is the week before Thanksgiving or shortly thereafter."
Kiplinger also says to avoid using PayPal or other electronic payments. Instead hand them face-to-face if possible.
Gifts.com is blunter: "Give them cash! Don't worry about the wrapping paper and pretty bows. For these people you can show your appreciation with cold hard cash."
But if you don't have the money, you don't have the money.
Consumer Reports, however quotes Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert who owns The Protocol School of Texas. She says even if you don't have money for tip, write a note. "It's about what is authentic and genuine."
Emily Post also said that any gift or tip should be accompanied with a short handwritten note — maybe two or three sentences. But if you don't tip, don't worry about bad service. Except for cleaning people, Consumer Reports found that the majority of people tip zip for the holidays.
Whatever you tip and whomever you tip, Emily Post says to keep in mind that the "holiday spirit should always be your guide."
Just remember to leave the holiday spirit a tip. About $10 should do the trick.
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