With the upcoming holidays in mind, we conducted a survey to determine if Americans change their habits and extend more hospitality to their neighbors, building staff and community during the holiday season. Here’s what we found: Sixty-one percent of renters who live in apartment buildings don’t tip their superintendent, doorman or building staff during the holidays, and more than half don’t do anything special for their community or neighbors.
Where is the holiday hospitality? Why do Americans seem to have such a Grinch-like mentality during the most joyous time of the year? One factor may be the financial stress of holiday shopping. This year the average consumer is expected to spend over $680 on holiday expenses, putting a sizeable dent in the monthly budget. Although your spending money may go mostly toward loved ones, you may be considering holiday tipping as a token of appreciation for your building staff.
If you are planning to tip in cash, here is what we learned about how much people usually tip their building staff. The majority, 71 percent give $25 or less, 21 percent give $26-$50 and 7 percent give more than $50. The amount varies depending on where you live and the type of building and service staff provided. If you want to tip but aren’t sure how much, talk to friends and neighbors in your area to get a better sense of what’s typical and use that as a base to determine what feels right for your situation.
If you can’t afford a cash-tip, don’t fret; it’s perfectly understandable, especially in this economy. Bake up a batch of cookies for the maintenance man or bring your doorman a hot cup of coffee on your next Starbucks run. A small gesture or a little homemade something is all it takes to warm the hearts (and bellies) of those who’ve taken their time to help you all year long. A little generosity, in any form, goes a long way.
In the season of giving, the majority of Americans (52 percent) seem to be holding back on philanthropy, telling us they don’t do anything special to help their community. We whole-heartedly congratulate the 48 percent who do make an effort to get involved in their communities during the holidays from volunteering at local charities to donating items to needy families and inviting those who are alone over for the big meal. If you’re looking to get involved this season, check out DoSomething.org and find a local soup kitchen that serves homeless families warm holiday meals. If you are crunched for time, find your nearest Toys for Tots drop-off and donate toys for needy children in the community.
Although it’s great to treat those around you with generosity all year round, the holidays are an especially important time to do so. Not only will it help your neighbors and community, but it will make you and your family feel good, too!
Do you and your family participate in any giving programs or traditions during the holidays? Tell us about the fun ways you make a difference in your community.