For generations, people have spread holiday cheer during the winter months by giving a little extra, and some Southern Illinois locals believe that tradition still rings true.
Luci Pickens is a hairdresser at Great Clips in Carbondale. She has been in the profession for six years and has experienced an increase in her tips from her regular customers.
“I guess just more people are giving and so, yeah, it’s a lot better,” Pickens said. “A normal tip from a regular customer is usually about $5. So, around Christmas, it’s usually about $10, if not maybe a little more. It just depends.”
Rachael Bonner, founder and owner of Salon Euphoria in Carbondale, said she even gets presents from her clients during the winter months.
“During the holiday season, not only are the tips bigger, but they bring us gifts and cookies and candy,” Bonner said. “You grow to love your clients. So, that’s just them saying ‘thank you so much for doing a great job all year long,’ so they kind of spoil us.”
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Bonner said she has a Christmas tree at home for all the ornaments she gets from clients each year.
Neither Bonner nor Pickens said they have a special person they tip during the holiday season, but they both tip a little extra to their waiters.
“Because I work for tips, so any time, like the pizza guy or the restaurant we’re at, I always try to tip very generously,” Bonner said.
Pickens said it's a busier time, which calls for a more generous tip.
“If we’re out at a restaurant, I’ll leave a bigger tip during Christmas time, because I know they’re probably a lot busier and stuff. So, I feel like they kind of deserve it.”
Mail delivery, a profession not dependent on tips, is included in the sharing holiday, too.
Marilyn Verschueren has been a mail carrier for 28 years; the last nine have been on the same route in Carbondale.
She said people on her route, usually older, do leave her gifts.
“A lot of people at Christmas, like if they are baking cookies and stuff, they try to give me some, and candy and chocolates and stuff like that. They leave it out in the mailboxes,” Verschueren said. “You know, I don’t like to take anything, but people like to give stuff at Christmas.”
But not everyone in Carbondale sees the extra holiday generosity.
Lily Furlow works at Tonic Headquarters, a salon in Carbondale. She said she has not noticed an increase in tips during the holiday season. However, Furlow is relatively new to the cosmetology industry with only two years experience.
As for her extra holiday tipping, she tips well all year.
“Being in this industry, I feel like I always try to tip pretty well, no matter what. But I wouldn’t say I tip more around the holidays.”
For mail carriers like Verschueren, who have a salary, tips are not customary. However, leaving a little something extra, like a freshly baked cookie, shows appreciation for their dedication, especially during dismal weather.