Christmas is traditionally known as the time we’re expected to give generously. According to social etiquette experts, it’s also the time of year where tipping is customary, whether tradespeople, the postie or the milkman.
Last year, we asked whether you tip the postman at Christmas and many of you said that you always do. Malcolm R told us:
‘If someone just does the job adequately for which they are paid then tipping (like bonuses) is not, in my view, appropriate. However if they do more than their job – exceptional performance or putting themselves out to help their customers for example, then an extra reward is merited.Our post lady always knocks and waits if she has something that won’t go through the letter box or puts a note through if she leaves something in the porch. She will get a large box of chocs.’
Tipping: what does everybody else do?
Roughly one in four of us leave a festive present for our postie, if they’ve delivered good service. That’s far less than times gone past, but still enough for them to earn a half-decent payout. Harris told us:
‘As a former paper boy I provided a service to those I delivered to and this was handsomely repaid to me at Christmas; compared with the other delivery boys I received a fortune! These tradesman provide a service through all winds and weather.’
How about when it comes to exchanging gifts with distant relatives? Every year, I trawl the high streets buying scarves, smellies and chocolates for family members I barely even see – and I receive a whole sack worth of these stocking fillers in return.
Wavechange has shared his concerns over the need to part with presents. He said:
‘I am also concerned about school kids giving presents to teachers. Is it genuine thanks, possible bribery or tipping when items such as bottles of wine change hands? I think gifts should be restricted to cards.’
Perhaps we could use the money saved to buy a surprise gift at a more desirable time? In a guest post from 2010, Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis shared his idea of ‘No-present pacts’ and it struck a chord with many commenters.
So, how far will your generosity extend this Christmas? Will you be tipping the tradespeople who have served you well this year? And do you feel obliged to buy gifts for those you rather wouldn’t?