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Tips on holiday tipping

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Who do you tip and how much? Tipping during the holidays can be confusing and stressful. So for help, we turned to the etiquette masters at the Emily Post Institute.

"It's a very personal choice," Anna Post said. "Your list might look different than mine and that's OK."

Let's start with hair stylists. The Post Institute suggests tipping the cost of one salon visit.

"I just think it's really sweet. You feel like someone appreciates you and the extra work you did," said Rachel Dean Styers, who had just gotten her hair done.

If you're delivering something special to your mail carrier, remember these rules.

"You can give a gift that has a value up to $20-- not cash or a gift card," Post said.

Post says another option to meet government guidelines-- baked goods. But she recommends listing the ingredients in case someone is allergic.

And what about trash collectors? Post suggested between $10 and $30 each.

"Basically put some money in an envelope, tape it to the container and hope it gets to them," said Debra Morin of Colchester.

Instead of taping the tip to your garbage can where it might get missed or stolen, a better option is to send it to the garbage company with your return address on it, that way they can give it to the correct driver.

For your saint of a baby sitter-- an extra one evening's pay and a small gift from the child are suggested.

Day care providers-- an extra $25 to $70 for each staff member and, like the baby sitter, a small present from the kid.

You should give up to the amount of one week's pay to your housekeeper or cleaner.

The cost of one training session for your personal trainer.

For a dog walker, the Emily Post Institute suggests one week's pay or a gift.

And $10 to $30 to your newspaper carrier.

And forget apples for teachers, gift cards might be the way to go.

"I've heard from a lot of teachers no more mugs, but gift cards to an office supply store is nice, so they can buy supplies for the classroom," Post said.

Post says don't get too caught up on the cash. It's not about holiday tipping, but about holiday thanking.

"I go through McDonald's drive-thru every day, so I give them a box of chocolates," Morin said.

"Even a card saying thanks for all you do is a nice gesture, showing acknowledgment and appreciation throughout the holidays," Post suggested.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Should you tip your local newscaster?

Anna Post: I think a nice big thank you is required or check out their Facebook page and like them.

Gina Bullard: You hear that?!

Remembering the people that are there for you year-round with a little extra holiday cheer.

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