Tipping Etiquette for the Holidays

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When it comes to gifts for friends and family, most of us know when a holiday gift is expected. But what about non-family members like service people, who are often with us year-round? Here are some quick guidelines to help make these decisions easily at your finger tips.

Giving Thanks

Keep in mind that holiday tipping is a way of showing thanks and is never required, though always very appreciated. You should keep in mind your budget and if you find your balance coming up short, consider giving a homemade gift or simply a thoughtful thank you card. If you are able to give some cash, a short hand-written note with your thanks should always accompany the monetary gift.

Who to Tip?

There are many things to consider when deciding who to tip during the holiday season. If you already tip regularly at the time of service, an extra holiday tip may be unnecessary. You should also consider your relationship with the service provider. The more often you come into contact with the person, such as a babysitter or housekeeper, the more likely it is you should tip.

How much?

Here’s a quick guide of whom to consider and how much is typically given as a holiday tip:

  • Babysitter or Nanny, Housekeeper, Gardener – These people provide up-keep for your beautiful household and keep it running beautifully. They typically receive about one week’s pay as tip.

  • Garbage collector, Janitor, Parking Attendant, Newspaper Delivery Person – Their hard work keeps you in top form and informed. They typically receive about $15-$25.

  • Doormen - They are the gatekeeper to your humble abode. Depending on how much you rely on them, they typically receive between $10-$100.

  • Mail Carrier - They trudge through rain, sleet, and snow for you. Although public servants are not allowed to accept cash tips, it is okay to give about $20 in a non-cash gift form, such as a travel mug or hand warmers.