Holiday Mailers and Tipping Reminders

Originally posted on December 17, 2019 1:48 pm
Updated on January 02, 2020 9:52 am

Yesterday we discussed the mechanics of how to tip your doormen, and answered: Is it better to tip in cash, checks, or gift cards? Our rental guide also mentions how much you should tip your doormen. Today we move from the How to the Who and When.

Do They Expect A Tip?

A ritual among all doormen buildings, private clubs, and even parking garages is to wish all of their customers a happy holiday from the staff. The people “signing” that letter are generally expecting some holiday tips (and they don’t sign by hand, rather they print the letter using some cursive font in Microsoft Word that looks nice).

The holiday mailer should arrive in your email or mailbox in early December or late November. For smaller buildings, you will see the names of all the staff members and tenure. Sometimes the mailer even mentions a special date and time for a mini holiday party (snacks, food, and drinks).



The Harvard Club of New York has a no tipping policy throughout the year.  The holiday fund is the primary ways members can offer financial appreciation for the hard work of the staff.


Do You Need To Tip At The Party?

Tipping is still fully optional, and quite a few people don’t tip at all! But if you decide you should, it does not need to be at the party, nor is tipping required for admission to the party. One advantage of tipping at the party is that many of your cohort of other residents and members are likely tipping that same night. It is typical to isolate your favorite staff members (who are all in attendance), and then perform the ritualistic handoff. But since it is impractical to run around a party chasing everyone, you probably need to drop most of the gifts into the communal box.

Personally, I find the parties nice, but to couple it directly with tipping seems strange to me. I try instead to do my tips individually shortly after the party. There is a big disadvantage – all of the staff clears their calendars to make the holiday tipping party. The staff may have a different holiday schedule as you approach late December, so you need to clarify whether they will take their regular shifts. It would be extra awkward to give the tip in January if that’s the next time you see them!

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