Tipping of maids, mail carriers (though this is TECHNICALLY illegal), and news carriers is NOT new. I was a newspaper boy for ~11 years, since around 1983, and always received holiday tips, at least; I didn't expect, nor receive weekly tips, though. Same goes for mail carriers: holiday tips only, and only if they're good (no wet letters, no misdeliveries, prompt/convenient service).
Sorry, dude, but this has been going on for a very long time. Maids get $1 per night unless I find they're doing a poor job. I've tipped up to $5 for one maid, who brought me pitchers of orange juice at night while I was out at dinner, for consumption the next morning.
Tipping is a way to motivate for extra services, and these people (mail carriers excluded) can and do get paid less than minimum wage (legal since they, theoretically, get tips).
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