BOSTON (CBS) – I have gotten some e-mails from listeners about Holiday tipping. How much and to whom?

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Tipping during the holiday season is about showing others who help us out on a regular basis we care about what they do and we are thankful for their help.

Tipping affects us all. Many of us tip on daily basis when we stop to pick up our morning coffee.

Many workers rely on tips to supplement a meager salary. Tipping should be a personal choice; not something that is expected. A tip should be earned for good service. Although I spoke with many people who tip to ensure continued good service.

A little bit of tipping history. There are many that think the word TIPS comes from the acronym To Insure Proper Service or To Insure Promptness. The word tip began as a verb in the 17th century, used in the language of thieves meaning to give, by the 18th century the meaning included to give a gratuity to a servant.

As I continued my research on tipping I found that tipping customs are different in different parts of the country and world. We tip more here in the states than anywhere else. And across our country there are distinct differences; Boston, New York and Las Vegas are all different.

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I interviewed some service providers about what they expect at Christmas. Here again I was surprised at the regional differences. Doormen that work in apartment houses in New York City expect more than the doormen in Boston. My daughter who has lived in both places tipped her Boston doorman the New York City rate and she had outstanding services all year.

Some people balk at tipping, believing that people get paid enough to do their job and in many fields that is true. But in other fields like the food industry, the pay is lousy and most of their income comes from that tip that you add to the bill.

Tipping is a $16 billion a year industry and if you receive over $20 in tips in a month you are required to report it and pay taxes on it. It is not a gift for doing a great job as some have tried to argue.

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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