Do you still tip at Christmas?

The Christmas "box" is a long-held tradition in the UK, believed to originate from the Middle Ages when people in service were given gifts by their masters. However, this Boxing Day tradespeople in the UK could find their pockets are a little lighter.

New research by budgeting account provider thinkmoney reveals that fewer than half of us tip our tradespeople at Christmas, suggesting that this long-held festive tradition may be in decline.

According to the research, 23.2 million happy customers (46% of us) still tip either money or a gift to their regular service providers at this time of year. However, this is down slightly on the number who said they would tip last year (50%).

Who we tip

Just under a quarter of people (22%) are most likely to tip their postie and hairdresser, however milkmen and women don’t fair so well (8.9%) - although this may simply be because fewer people get milk delivered. Meanwhile, just 14% of respondents choose to tip their bin men over the festive period, and only 12% tip the window cleaner.

Posties and hairdressers are the service providers we are most likely to tip this Christmas

Over 55s most generous

Another indication that tipping may be dying out is that it is far more prevalent among older generations than younger. And while last year over-55s were the most inclined to tip their service providers (55%), this year the percentage of this age group planning to do so has fallen to 48%. However, this is higher than the percentage of 18 to 24-year-olds who say they tip at Christmas (39%).

What we give

Most people who do uphold the Christmas box tradition give cash. The majority (83%) of those who do plan to tip their tradespeople say they will give up to £10, while just one in 10 (11%) think they will hand out more than this. Just over one in 20 tippers say they will be thanking their service providers with a non-cash gift like food or drink this year.

Ian Williams for thinkmoney, said: “It’s a shame to see that the tradition of tipping people who have provided good service throughout the year seems to be dying out. A few quid left out for the men and women who deliver your Christmas cards and parcels or collect the rubbish and recycling can spread a lot of goodwill and ensure everybody has a Happy New Year.”

  • Which Christmas gift reminds you of home? Find out here! Plus check out our favourite personalised Christmas gifts here.