North and South
When it comes to holiday gift-giving, a lot depends on where you are located, says Sherry Thomas, founder of Palm Beach Etiquette in Florida. "Cash in one area of the country may be king, but in another it's more personalized," Thomas says.
"A person in the South will see a lot of homemade gifts where people take pride in baking something and needlepointing." This is perfectly fine for co-workers or service people in these areas, Thomas says, but in metropolitan meccas like New York City, homey gifts aren't as appreciated.
"Doormen really appreciate cash," says Thomas, emphasizing to remember to give something to all the doormen in your building. She says doormen are known to keep ledgers of who gave them tips and for how much. But don't feel shy to give a little extra to a doorman who goes out of his way throughout the year for you by carrying up packages or hailing cabs. And forget the building supervisor at your peril.
"There is no mistake: If you have something that goes out, like your heat or air conditioning, and you are on the right side of the superintendent, you will get better service," she says.