For Some The Most Expensive Time Of The Year

It's the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year
It’s the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year

One of the horrors realities of being an adult during the holiday season, especially one with kids, is that it is no longer a purely magical and exciting time the way it was when you were a child or even in college, waiting to open gifts on Christmas morning and looking to see if Santa ate your cookies and drank the milk you left out (don’t act like I’m the only one who still did this even in college??).  But rather the holidays have slowly but steadily morphed into a stressful festival of making sure you ordered your holiday cards on time (and ordered enough), to making sure you purchased and/or made a gift for everyone on your list within a budget from your kids’ teachers/caregivers and classmates, friends, families, extended family, white elephant gift exchanges, co-workers and so forth, and don’t forget to add on hosting duties.  Not to mention all the charities that hit you up around this time.  My sponsored child needs a Christmas gift too and so does about 100 other kids in her village that might not have a sponsor.  Ahhh yes welcome to the holidays in your mid-30’s married with kids.  Don’t get me wrong though, I still love the holiday season but it’s definitely not as carefree as it was the first two decades of my life and has relentlessly become more and more stressful each year.  Then for the cherry on top of this wonderful sundae of stress is *dun dun dun* Holiday Tips!  I came across this article today on Business Insider, A Holiday Tipping Guide and I’m thinking OMG?  If I followed their tipping guide in its entirety, I’d for sure be broke by the end of the year, every year.  Let’s take a look shall we?

I live in a high-rise building in a condo we own.  We have like 5 security guards/doormans? (though no parking garage attendant or elevator operator), a building manager, a HOA manager, HOA secretary and not to mention the cleaning crew who I see more than any of the managers but aren’t mentioned in this guide.  Even if I tipped on the lower end of their suggestion, I’m already out at least $550.

So I got a part-time nanny, 2 preschool teachers/care providers and a cleaning lady.  Total Holiday Tips for Household/Childcare: At least $425.

Thank goodness as a working mom I really don’t have time to go to a salon or get my nails done, nor do I have the time to get a massage or meet with a personal trainer.  Still I do occasionally have to get my hair cut at least twice a year to look somewhat presentable.  Total tips: $75.

I’ve never seen, let alone met my trash collector or mail and package delivery people, but I do get a ton of deliveries from UPS, Fedex, OnTrac and USPS as I do 99% of all my shopping online and we generate tons of trash what with 2 kids.  Newspaper deliverer too?  Does this mean I have to tip my Sparkletts delivery guy too?  Total Holiday Tips for Misc. Services Provided: $75.

So my grand total in holiday tips according to Business Insider’s guide is at a minimum $1125.  This not including all the other gifts I still have to get remaining on my list.  While $1125 might not seem like that much to some, it definitely puts a huge strain on our holiday budget.  Is it just me or does this seem really steep for the average middle class/upper middle class family to be doling out in tips?  Do people really tip this much for the holidays?  Hmmm, so at the bottom of the pictures it says the source is from some ettiquette school in New York, so I’m going to venture a guess and say that this is a guide for rich people, since if you live in New York with a doorman, elevator operator and are getting personal training sessions, you’re probably pretty rich.  =D  Still, I’d be interested to hear other people’s experiences/opinions about holiday tipping, so share with us in the comments below!

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