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16 People You Should Tip for the Holidays

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The holiday season is prime time to give back to the people who make your life easier throughout the year. But be sure not to bust your budget by giving too much or tipping unnecessarily. Scroll through our slide show to find out who might expect a tip and how much green you should tuck into each card — as well as who might be unable, unhappy or unwilling to accept the cash.

Even if tips or gifts don’t fit into your budget, you should write thank-you notes for deserving people. Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute, suggests sending a letter to, say, your cleaning person’s supervisor commending her work. Or you could use your talents and skills as currency, says Mary M. Mitchell, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Etiquette. Mitchell herself once gave a lesson in dining etiquette instead of a tip or gift. “A gift or a tip is not an obligation,” says Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Texas. “It’s a gesture of kindness and cheer during the holidays.”

Being generous can benefit you, too. Your hairdresser would never intentionally botch your dye job if you skip a holiday tip, but she might be more inclined to squeeze you in at the last minute if you treat her well. “We work better when we know someone appreciates us,” says Gottsman.

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