It’s that time of the year again when our thoughts turn to how grateful we are for family, friends and others who bring joy to our lives every day.
Some people enjoy displaying that gratitude by giving money or gifts during the holidays to people who have provided services or other help throughout the year. But how do you know exactly who it is appropriate to tip and how much that gift should be?
Each year, Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert, author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life and founder of The Protocol School of Texas, publishes a holiday tipping guide so you can remember those special people on your “nice” list and thank them appropriately.
Who to Tip Over the Holidays — And How Much
According to Gottsman, here are the people you should consider giving a little something extra during the holiday season:
Home and Apartment
- Doorman: $20-$100 (more if they provide heavily for you during the year) — make an attempt to give each doorman the same amount
- Handyman: $20-$100
- Garage Attendant: $10-$50
- Daily/Weekly Housekeeper: Equivalent to one day’s (or week’s) service
- Newspaper Delivery: $10-$30
- Pool Cleaner and Lawn Maintenance: Equivalent to one week’s service
- Trash Collector: Check local regulations for public service employees. If there are no restrictions, $10-$25 per person. Give it to them personally or drop off the gift at their corporate office
Mail and Package Delivery
- UPS: UPS allows drivers to accept a small gift or nominal gratuity
- FedEx: FedEx Employees can accept a gift valued up to $75, no cash or gift cards
- USPS: Mail carriers may not accept cash gifts or cash equivalents; they may accept a gift valued up to
- Teacher: Avoid cash. Instead, contribute to a class gift, or gift certificate.
- Babysitter: A cash equivalent to one night’s pay or a gift card
- Nanny: One week’s (to one month’s) pay and a gift from your child
- Hair Stylist, Manicurist, Personal Trainer, & Massage Therapist: A tip or gift card equivalent to one visit
- Shampoo Attendant: $5-$10
- Pet Groomer: A cash gift equivalent to one service
- Dog Walker: A cash gift equivalent to one day (or one week’s) service
- Home Health Care: Check the corporate gift giving policy; if no restrictions, a gift or gift certificate
- Barista: $20
- After school dance instructor, tutor, little league coach: $25 or gift certificate to favorite coffee shop
Who You Can Skip (No Tip, but Maybe a Tray of Baked Goods if You Are In for a Visit)
Ultimately, tipping is a very personal decision. Use the above as a guide but feel free to adapt it to your personal circumstances.
“Your budget is first priority when deciding who and how much you should tip this holiday season,” says Gottsman. “Next, think about the service the person provides throughout the year and the frequency of your visits.”
However, “the final decision is up to you,” she says. “Your tip may vary, depending on your own, personal relationship with the person.”
How do you decide who and how much to tip? Let us know in the comments below!