How to Handle Holiday Tips When Money Is Tight

(photo: Getty Images)

If money is a little tight this year but you still want to tip your kid's teacher, your mail carrier, dog walker, hairstylist, garbage collector or babysitter, Lifehacker has some advice on how salvage the situation.

Etiquette expert Patricia Rossi says it's still important to tip these essential actors in our lives. "We’re saying thank you to the people who make our lives easy all year long,” she said. “I don’t think [these professionals] expect it, but it boosts their day, and might even make their week, or their Christmas.”

But when money is tight, it's not always possible. Rossi, however, says the answer is a simple one: the written word. “We’re never thanked anymore,” she said. “Written thank you notes are so rare. If you don’t have anything, just give a note of thanks.”

She says you can also provide cookies or a treat if you are able, and adding a ribbon will make it feel more festive.

My wife also did something nice for all package delivery drivers. She left a bucket of snacks (chips, candy, granola bars) out for USPS, FedEx, UPS and Amazon drivers with a note that says "Feel free to take a snack while on your route." You could try that too!

Mick Lee

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