by A. Letkemann
The holiday season brings hordes of tip collectors, many of whom will be descending on our residences to solicit tips, sell calendars or other knick knacks for services they perceive as having been delivered over the previous year. By edict of the Mairie de Paris, door-to-door solicitations of this sort are not permitted.
If you feel that the mailman, garbage collectors, pompiers, etc. have earned a gratuity, then it is recommended that you contact your building concierge to contribute with the other residents.
However, you can give an annual tip to your concierge if you wish. The amount should depend on the level of services provided and your satisfaction with the services (perhaps around 50€ or more). If you feel comfortable doing so, you could ask your French neighbors how much they recommend. It is also customary to tip household help at this time of year, but again this is optional. Around one month’s salary is a common amount.
Heather Stimmler-Hall, who writes the Secrets of Paris blog, has a slightly different take on holiday tipping. Check out what she has to say on this topic. And then do your own calculus about whom to tip and how much.