Tipping during the season of giving

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Emily Luxen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The holiday season is also tipping season, but many people are still unclear on who deserves a tip and how much.

The President of The Birmingham School of Etiquette Kathie Martin said a general rule of thumb is to tip anyone who has provided a service for you in the last year. She said tipping is a polite way to show gratitude for a past service.

"It's all about showing respect for people," said Martin. "You can show respect by giving money, writing a note, or giving a gift you picked out yourself or baked yourself.  All are wonderful gestures."

Martin said tipping should never add to the stress of the holiday season and shouldn't break your budget, but there are guidelines you can follow.  

She recommends tipping a babysitter the cost of one average babysitting job at your home, a teacher can receive a small gift from your child, a housekeeper gets the cost of one week's pay, a hair stylist gets the cost of one regular visit, and a pet groomer gets the cost of one grooming.

Some Birmingham area residents said they follow these guidelines and believe tipping is a nice gesture during the holiday season.

"I think it's just a common courtesy to tip someone if they provide some kind of service," said Yasim Peaks.

"They do a good service for us, and they help us," said Gail Sheehan. "I'm thankful for them."

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