Holiday tipping: Who to include and how much to give

Did you get a holiday card from your newspaper delivery guy? Did your building manager send out a staff list of all the people you “might want to thank” this year? Yep, it’s holiday tipping season in New York City.

Cynicism aside, the truth is we’re happy to show the people whose services we use how grateful we are — it’s just figuring out the proper etiquette that can be grating on our sensibility at a time of year when we’re already stressed. “People always worry about doing the wrong thing,” said Lizzie Post, co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette 18th edition and great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post. “They get nervous that someone will think of them as the cheapskate or the thoughtless person.”

Holiday tipping (or gift giving) is more about your personal budget and showing appreciation in whichever way you feel comfortable.

In fact, in tough economic times, even just a heartfelt thank you note will do the trick, Post said. (Yes, even in one of the most expensive cities in the world — we asked.)

To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions from the Emily Post Institute on who gets a tip and how much.

And here’s a bonus: Post said to take caution when giving gift cards. “Cash or a gift is a better way to go,” she said.