The Do's and Don'ts of Holiday Tipping

"Holiday tipping can feel very stressful, but it shouldn't," says Lizzie Post, the etiquette expert and great-great granddaughter of Emily Post. "It's just about saying thank you." Here, she shares her advice for giving (and getting) graciously.


  • Consider your holiday budget. If you're not able to do more then simply write a note, thanking a person for their help over the last year.
  • Give what you feel comfortable giving. "Some people don't feel comfortable giving cash, and therefore it's okay to give a gift," Post says. "It can be a very nice personal touch."
  • Send a thank-you card when you receive a tip. It lets the giver know that it didn't get lost.

More: 4 Rules for Being a Good Holiday Houseguest


  • Leave a tip somewhere that someone else could accidentally pick it up, such as taped to an outside door.
  • Tip your postal worker. Per postal regulations, they can't accept cash or gift cards. "I suggest giving something that the whole branch can enjoy, such as a box of cookies," she says.
  • Turn your nose up if you receive holiday candy and not cash. Accept gifts with the same generosity with which they were given.
  • Wait too long to cash a check. You don't want to affect the giver's account balancing.
  • Give wine if you're not sure if the person enjoys it or not.

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