Holiday Tipping can be confusing if you don't know who gets what. Etiquette expert Valerie Sokolosky says there are no hard-and-fast rules, just lead with your heart “Who do we have relationship that we want to say 'thank you' to --- usually cash that they can spend on their own loved ones " Examples may include your hairdresser, baby-sitter or pet groomer "Make the amount more about what can you --- in your budget – give. And if it’s money that you think they might need and you can’t give that amount – give what you can.” If their work involves a child - make sure the child gives a small gift as well.
Sokolosky has a great idea that may fill your own heart during the season: "Carry some small cash (ones and a few fives) with you. It’s really nice to give from your heart to the "forgettables" you see so often.. Like a bus boy or the person who washes your hair when you get it cut. Just slip them a few dollars and say 'thanks for what you do.'"
Sokolosky's last tip: Try to give restaurant tips in cash when you pay with a card. She has found that too many restaurants are not passing on all of the gratuity that is charged to your card to your server. This is true for catering staff as well.