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When you don't want to slip your super, hairstylist, or babysitter an envelope of cash, it's appropriate to buy them a present instead, says Lizzie Post, coauthor of Lizzie Post's Etiquette, 18th Edition. Follow these guidelines:
1. Spend roughly the amount you would have given in cash.
2. Don't explain why you wanted to gift instead of tip. Just hand over the gift and thank them for their services.
3. If you know the person pretty well, pick out a gift for them as you would for a friend (in other words, get them something related to one of their hobbies or interests). If you don't know them well, buy a classic gift.