'Tis the season to tip the people that make your life a little easier all year—here's a handy holiday tipping etiquette checklist to follow.
Pattern of rows of folded dollar bills with red gift bows
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It always pays to be generous to the helpful people who take care of you, whether it's a housekeeper who goes above and beyond or a hairdresser who's extra-good to your locks. And there's no better time to show your appreciation than during the holidays, in the form of thoughtful tips. A poll on holiday tipping by CreditCards.com found that 45 percent of those polled say they give bigger tips to at least one type of service provider this time of year.

Why This Is the Best Time for Tipping

"Tipping etiquette, during the holiday season, is providing something (usually cash) to those who provide you with services year-round," says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews. Ramhold says that while cash might not be acceptable in every situation, gift cards or baked goods are great alternatives, especially if you don't have the budget for giving a ton of cash tips.

"Remember that holiday tipping is all about saying thank you to those whose services you use all year, as well as even public servants you see on a regular basis (such as your mailperson)," says Ramhold.

So, how much is standard to tip at the holidays, and who should get a gift versus cash? While specific amounts will vary by your location, circumstances, and budget, here's a handy holiday tipping guide to help answer all your etiquette questions.

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