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Christmas is coming and thoughts are turning to the big day itself: presents under the tree and a turkey with all the trimmings. However, another festive tradition – that of the Christmas box, from which Boxing Day takes its name – is proving less popular than in years gone by.

We did some research* and found that fewer than half of us plan to give a tip – financial or otherwise – to tradespeople like the postman and bin men this year. However, in this time of goodwill to all men, it’s heartening to know that some of us do plan to keep up the tradition in some way.

Of all the trades who do receive a present from grateful customers at Christmas, hairdressers are rewarded the most often. It turns out that more than one fifth of people tip their hairdresser over the festive season (that’s equivalent to over 11 million happy clients).

Who else gets a Christmas treat?

After hairdressers, postmen are the next most likely trade to receive a festive tip, followed by bin men and window cleaners. Milkmen are at the bottom of the list, perhaps because fewer people now have their milk delivered to their door.

And, when it comes to the most generous gift-givers, we discovered that older people are more inclined to give their hairdresser extra cash in December. Almost a third of people aged over 55 said they did this compared to just one in six of those aged between 18 and 24.

Across the country, people living in the West Midlands are most likely to dip their hand in their pocket for the postman at Christmas, while London residents are more likely to tip their bin men during the festive period than people living in other parts of the UK.

How much are we giving?

The amount that we decide to tip tradespeople varies. thinkmoney discovered that, of the people who do opt for the ‘Christmas box’, the majority give up to £10. Only a small percentage give more than a tenner, while some hand over something else, like food or drink.

When it comes to tips of over £10, people living in London are the most likely to dig deep.

Goodwill to all men

It’s good to know that Christmas boxes are a custom many people are keen to uphold. It’s a lovely tradition and a great way to show your appreciation to hard working tradespeople. But if you are struggling to make ends meet this Christmas, consider the thinkmoney Current Account. It can help you and your friends and family members to budget sensibly. Find out how here.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 28th November and 2nd December 2013. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.

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