Who and How Much to Tip During the Holidays

With Christmas just around the corner, I though now would be a good time to talk about holiday tipping. To be perfectly honest, our holiday tipping has been somewhat hit or miss over the years, in part because we’re never sure who to tip or how much we should be giving them.

What follows are some tipping recommendations from Emily Post:

  • Nanny: One week’s pay
  • Regular babysitter: One evening’s pay
  • Day care provider: Gift of $25-$70 plus a small gift from child
  • Live-in help: One week to one month pay plus a gift
  • Housekeeper: Up to one week’s pay
  • Barber: Cost of one haircut or a gift
  • Personal trainer: Up to the cost of one session or a gift
  • Massage therapist: Up to the cost of one session or a gift
  • Pet groomer: Up to the cost of one session or a gift
  • Dog walker: Up to one week’s pay or a gift
  • Paperboy: $10-$30 or a small gift
  • Mail carrier: No cash; can’t accept gifts valued over $20
  • Doorman: $15-$80 or a gift
  • Handyman: $15-$40
  • Trash collectors: $10-$30 each
  • Lawn/garden workers: $20-$50 each
  • Teachers: Small gift from you and/or child, no cash

Interestingly, according to Consumer Reports, the service position that is most often tipped during the holidays is a housekeeper, and the least commonly tipped is the trash collector. I guess we’re atypical, because the trash collector is the one person we’ve made a point of consistently tipping.

Some other considerations, again from Emily Post:

  • Don’t feel obligated to tip beyond your budget
  • If you can’t afford a tip, consider a homemade gift
  • If you tip throughout the year, a holiday tip might not be necessary
  • Base your tip on the quality and frequency of service that you receive
  • Always accompany your tip with a short, hand-written note of thanks

What about you?

Do you tip around the holidays? If so, who do you typically tip, and how much do you give them? If not, why not?

53 Responses to “Who and How Much to Tip During the Holidays”

  1. Anonymous

    Wow what an interesting thread. I’d probably be considered as going overboard but I tip the bus driver who takes me home from NYC every evening because I think he does a great job of getting me home safe and quickly every day…I tip the guy at the Subway entrance who gives out the free NYC newspaper just because he has a great attitude and puts a smile on my face every morning…

  2. Anonymous

    Wow, there are a lot of scrooges who replied on this list and some others who said some nice thoughtful things. The scrooges depressed me and I sure hope Karma doesn’t bite them in the [email protected]@ this holiday season! I am lucky that I am able to save up to tip all the service providers who give me good service each year for the holidays. It makes me feel good to be able to show my appreciation to them for doing a good job. My UPS brown guy always has a dog biscuit for the dog, the mail carrier always goes out of his way to leave packages and mail in the safest place, the hair dresser always jumps to be of service whenever I walk into the shop even if I don’t have an appointment, the lsit goes on. These people remember and appreciate the little extra and reward me for my efforts all throughout the year. Karma, she’s a witch or an angel but “all that you do indeed come back to you.”

  3. Anonymous

    I want to give some holiday tip to my son’s Montessori teachers. Here is my dilemma. First, I already get a $15/week discount because I am an only parent on a teacher’s salary. I have dropped by gifts before – flowers and coffee – but I didn’t realize that I was only bringing gifts for 4 people and there are actually 6 care providers working there. So, for Cmas I wanted to give Starbucks giftcards to everyone, but it is going to add up to $60 which is honestly more than I have budgeted to spend on my son for Cmas ($50). If I do $5 per person, isn’t that too little to even give? But, $7.50/person would be weird, right? Or, can I do an odd number like $7.50?

  4. Anonymous

    Please don’t give homemade cookies to teachers, daycare providers, or as a “tip” to anyone who is not your personal friend. The cookies will get thrown in the garbage. They’re not being mean, they just don’t know where/when/how the cookies were made and how much your little one with the runny nose who keeps licking his fingers helped frost the cookies. Most schools and daycare centers have banned homemade cookies for that very reason. If they’re not considered safe for the kids, you know they’re not considered safe for adults either.

  5. Anonymous

    “Someone who makes silly claims that his children can read and write apparently, extensively before kindergarten?”

    Its believable.

    One of my nephews basically taught himself to read before kindergarten just by observing. My wife’s nephew knows all the letters of the alphabet and he *just* turned 2.

  6. Anonymous

    oh, and what I was orginally going to say before I got sucked into the silly comments, is that I think this list is kind of silly. Is there anyone out there who actually tips the hairdresser, lawn boy, trash collector, handyman, etc at year end? I tip most of these people when they provide the service – and I give pretty big tips. It ensures that I get in without a wait everytime at the hair dresser! It also ensures that my lawn is maintained very well. Why should I tip again at year end? Wouldn’t this imply that I haven’t been tipping well enough all year?

  7. Anonymous

    Awww….Confused/Skeptical/Seriously/Jane Doe or whatever her name is….is hatin’ on others who actually take the time to educate their kids.

    I have two kids in the gifted program at school. Like Floridian, my kids have always been way ahead of every other kid in their grade at their school – and this is a good school! My kids have been reading and writing since they were 4. But truth be told, they aren’t doing anything any other kid couldn’t do if their parents actually took the time to teach them. If the childcare provider is willing to work with the parents to teach kids, that’s an awesome childcare provider who deserves recognition!

    Instead of arguing like a moron on the internet, go teach your kids something so they aren’t flipping burgers for the rest of their lives. Although something tells me you don’t have kids, otherwise you would better understand what others are saying on this board.

  8. Anonymous

    “I just got a call telling us we’ve been nominated for WFSU/PBS’ exceptional childcare provider award. ”

    After reading these posts, I can’t believe that to be true? If so, Yikes! Someone who calls people who don’t agree with him idiots and retards? Someone who makes silly claims that his children can read and write apparently, extensively before kindergarten?

    I thought I was reading a Jeff Foxworthy joke…”You might be a redneck if Floridian is your daycare provider of choice! LOL!

  9. Anonymous

    why thank you Provider – I aims to please 😉

    I came here to share some news that I thought would just tickle certain people on this board…I just got a call telling us we’ve been nominated for WFSU/PBS’ exceptional childcare provider award. 🙂

  10. Anonymous

    Confused- Anyone that is entrusted with the care of my precious children is going to be tipped. I understand what a hard job they have and anyone that is giving my child comfort, listening to them and teaching them is going to be the first one on my list to tip. I respect the job they are providing for me and to complain that you have to pay for this service, like doodoodoo, is just disgusting. I am not a child care provider but I agree with everything Floridian is saying. I would also not want my child in a daycare with other parents that act like doodoodoo. Sometimes stupidity is contagious and I don’t want my children to catch it.

  11. Anonymous

    FL, I may not be as blunt as you, but after reading #37, I must say I like the way you think! #39 may have been over the line, but I must admit it made me giggle. (and I hope none of these other bloggers are my clients – some of them are way too uptight!)

  12. Anonymous

    all three kids are gone this week – a nice Christmas bonus 🙂 So I can argue with idiots on the internet all day, all week if I want…but, I won’t continue, b/c like they say….

    “arguing with idiots on the internet is like competing in the special olympics…even if you win, you’re still a retard”


  13. Anonymous

    Floridian, I repeat, I am glad I have no children in your daycare. I wonder how many of your parents you’d keep if they had a dose of your attitude, you must do a good job of hiding it when the parents are around. I would not want any children I know exposed to this extreme level of rudeness.

    “a bit blunt” — not sure I’d want to know what your full-on blunt is.
    I’m done, no point in talking to a brick wall. Those lengthy posts say alot. So, this is what you do when you have children in your care, ignore them and play on the computer?

  14. Anonymous

    OK Confused. I re-read my own posts and see how you might be confused – I can be a bit blunt. So sue me if I don’t have time to be nice to or try to talk some sense into some moron on a message board (doodoodoo). I agree that tipping a childcare provider is not necessary – but don’t blame the contract or try to find fault with the provider when you make the conscious decision not to tip or gift her, especially when you knew the terms going in.

    Provider – you nailed it! Those parents who treat their child’s provider as a servant – don’t need ’em!! Newsflash parents – we do not work FOR you! We’ll work WITH you, but we are NOT your employees. We have a wait list a mile long. We rarely have openings because we only accept 3 kids and most kids we accept stay with us until they go to kindergarten – but when we do have an opening, we can pick anyone we want from the wait list (I bet some parents don’t know that just because they were first on the wait list, doesn’t mean they’ll get the next opening). We had an opening last year when one of the kids was going into kindergarten. We went to the wait list and selected someone who was still pregnant b/c we really liked her in the interview (I bet most parents also don’t realize that WE are interviewing THEM just as much, if not more than, THEY are interviewing US when they come to our home to check out our home daycare). That couple paid for 4 months of care that they didn’t even use just to hold the spot with us – and that wasn’t the first time someone has paid for months they did not use. So what do I care what a couple of people on some message board think of me when I’ve had parents fighting for my openings and clients paying for MONTHS before their kid even starts?! We provide childcare because we enjoy it, not because we need the money (both of us have masters degrees and would certainly make more if we both worked outside of the home). So no, we don’t tolerate the ungrateful parents – and in the 10 years we’ve been open, we’ve gotten awfully good at weeding out those parents during the interview process (and good at spotting them on message boards 😉 lol!). We haven’t had to kick anyone out in over 5 years 🙂 Gratitude IS a two way street and I am soooo thankful that if/when we have parents who don’t realize this, we can just kick them out and select someone else from the wait list 🙂

  15. Anonymous

    I understand your pain Floridian! As a director in a childcare center, I can attest to the fact that even the worst behaved little kid is an ANGEL compared to many of the parents that childcare providers have to deal with. The kids are the easy part of the job! It’s the parents that give me heartburn! It never ceases to amaze me how they will leave their most precious kids with us, yet treat us childcare providers like we are their servants. If they only had a clue! I’ve often considered going back to home daycare just for the flexibility of picking & choosing my clients again. Once I accept a client in my center, it’s a little harder to kick them out than it was when I was providing care out of my home. Good for you for kicking out the ingrateful mom!

    and for the record, I don’t expect any tips from parents. But I and the other providers DO remember who gives them, and we DO go out of our way to make sure those parents’ kids get extra special care and attention throughout the entire year 😉

  16. Anonymous

    Floridian-re-read your comment, still don’t like your attitude. You still expect people to bow down and kiss your feet or you kick them out. Not possible to read it any other way. You need to learn that gratitude is a TWO-way street!

  17. Anonymous

    If you took the time to READ my post….you would understand that I never said we kick them out of they don’t tip. No, we kick them out if they are ungrateful. We never expect a tip, and in fact, don’t really think it necessary. My whole point was doodoodoo’s attitude towards her daycare provider. SHe knew the contract going in – to complain about it something she already knew about is stupid. She sounds ungrateful, just like the client we kicked out.

    I’m glad you don’t bring your kids to us also – since you obviously don’t take the time to read things before going off on someone.

  18. Anonymous

    To Floridian–glad I don’t have to take my kids to you! Your we kick them out if they don’t tip us attitude probably reflects your attitude in general! Tips are never a requirement or an obligation! If the day care provider chooses to take time off and you have agreed to pay her for this time in the contract, yes you are obligated to pay her. But, no, she does not deserve an extra week’s pay on top of that as a tip. The customer has to pay for someone else to care for their child for the week she has off, already doubling their cost, they should triple it?

  19. Anonymous

    I saw a list like this last year on a restaurant placemat. They were trying to convince customers to buy gift certificates for all the “little people” in their lives. I added a few oft-forgotten service providers for my own amusement: bookie, palm reader, dominatrix, funeral director, body piercer, probation officer…you get the jist. I’ll close with some tip advice from a former prostitute: make it portable and pawnable.

  20. Anonymous

    My daughter is a paper carrier and is charged fines all year long from grumpy customers who don’t like where their paper lands, claim their paper is wet (even in the middle of a draught!) complain they don’t get their paper so they can get a free one (to get their monies worth from their subscription!) or want to complain they didn’t get their Monday paper (when they are a Sunday only subscriber). She is fined $2 a complaint!! She gets up at 1 am and works every single day without a day off. She even has to pay for her own plastic bags to put the papers in.

    She has faithfully delivered papers in a flash flood and an Ice storm (in TEXAS!) and even on Christmas morning. She parks and takes the time to get out of her car to carefully place the paper of elderly or disabled people on their front step or mail box hooks if they prefer. She has to deal with the screw ups of the people from the call center who will tell her to stop AND start a vacation pack on the same work order! She is a hard working young lady trying to pay her way through college.

    Very few people realize how difficult it is to keep hundreds of ungrateful customers wants, whims, and preferences straight each day – especially when they change daily. She works with uncaring managers who just want to throw their own routes and go home and don’t want to take care of the carriers when they need bags or want to ask a question.

    I think that people who are willing to work under such circumstances just to make sure that you have your paper in the morning to read while having coffee should be rewarded. You have to be a real hard worker to do that job for sure.

    Same goes for the mail man – I have a regular (though he does have several usual fill ins) and I tip him with gift certificates to McDonalds because he like to stop there on his route to get a quick breakfast.

    These people work under harsh and difficult conditions – whether they are “well paid” by your standards or not. The grass is always greener on the other side – try doing their job one day and you will see just how green the grass is NOT!

    Even if you can’t afford to give cash to everyone – a note to their boss and a thank you card with a lousy $2 McDonalds gift certificate would be more than welcome, If every one of her 250 customers even tipped her just $1 she would have a great holiday tip altogether!

    In this life you get what you give and nothing more – I purposely LOOK for ways to give to people and make their day / lives / jobs easier because I know I will reap the same in kind!

  21. Anonymous

    I give my hairstylist a little gift each year, but I don’t understand why I should tip an extra haircut’s-worth at Christmas when I’ve been tipping 20% all year long. The only time I could see that making sense would be if he or she has been under-charging you all year. With the price I pay for haircuts, I’d be spending more on my hairstylist for Christmas than I spend on my own sister. These “guidelines” remind me of De Beers’ marketing ploy to get hapless men to fork over 2-months-worth of salary on a diamond ring.

  22. Anonymous

    We don’t have to tip. I tip because I appreciate the above & beyond service, and because I am able to do so in a monetary fashion, albeit a modest one at that. My paper carrier gets a tip because without fail the paper is right at the front door. I do not even have to step outside…just open the door & reach down. Every week this is how it is. I really appreciate it the little extra effort & a tip at the holidays is my way of saying so.

  23. Anonymous

    I give a gift to my kids’ teachers because my kids love them and they are a big part of the kids’lives and do a great job.

    Last year I gave a small Starbucks giftcard to the mail carrier and the milkman because they also do a great job, in all kinds of cruddy weather, and without fail – it’s been the same two men for years so we sort of know them, in a way.

    But that’s it.

    I do my job really well all year long, and I don’t get a tip from the people I serve in my company…

    My husband was in the military 22 years, and he didn’t get a tip from everyone…

    Why do we have to tip people just for doing their job?

  24. Anonymous

    I tip our garbage collectors $50 each Christmas. When the weather is icy and snowy they bring my trash bin back to my porch. They have not missed me or been late in years!!

  25. Anonymous

    Lets call some of these tips what it really is, a bribe. Here is a little extra so you dont screw up my service. I think that list is absolutely ridiculous. If you added up all of those tips it would be an entire paycheck for some people. Does that make sense? Me having to work 2 weeks for a gift/tip/bribe for people that I already pay? Why dont they give me a gift because I employ them, especially in this economy.

    That being said, I still plan on giving a gift to some of the people on this list.

  26. Anonymous

    I will tip those with consistently good service. My garbage collectors have constantly left at least one bag in my can for the last 18 months, even when that was the only bag! Hairdressers/stylists I follow the above, but I’m also often very last minute on appointments, so I make sure I tip them a bit extra for fitting me in this even more crazy holiday schedule. It’s almost an insurance against being told they’re too busy in the future.

    You forgot Administrative Assistants! They keep the world going. Each year, everyone in my department pools our money to give each of our AAs a spa treatment and a night out (dinner/movie w spouse). Most of us also bring in a little something extra to personally give to them: chocolates are popular and I’ll bring in a big thing of homemade cookies for each.

    And for teachers, my parents never had much money, but my mother was always sure to make a bags of cookies. The size directly proportional to the amount of time that teacher had me, so second grade teachers who had the same students all day got a significantly larger bag than the eighth grade math teacher or social science or science teacher. She also made cookies for the mail carrier and paperperson.

  27. Anonymous

    “I guess your clients get paid better than I do. If my daycare provider needs more $ to make it through, then she should raise her fees. I do know the arrangement going in. I don’t feel it necessary to tip everyone who provides a service to me THAT I’M ALREADY PAYING FOR.”

    so…Following your logic, I take it you don’t tip when you eat out, either? Those poor waiters & waitresses. And No, I’m guessing our clients don’t get paid better than you do. In fact, I know one of them has trouble making ends meet. We don’t expect a tip from her. We didn’t expect a tip from any of them. But to use your argument for not tipping is lame. Just say it – you can’t afford to tip. That’s OK. I would respect you more if you just told the truth. But don’t say it’s your daycare provider’s fault that you can’t tip her. If you can’t afford to find alternate care for the time she gets off – the time you knew about when you enrolled your kid in her care – then maybe you should have your kid in a center instead.

    We had a woman with an attitude like yours. When I over heard her say “if it weren’t for me they wouldn’t have a J-O-B,” (referring to our daycare), we kicked her out. We don’t need clients like that. We only accept 3 kids in an effort to provide the best service (kids who leave our daycare enter kindergarten reading and writing on AT LEAST a first grade level), so there’s always a wait list for our daycare. But only having 3 kids means we are living on daycare income of not much more than $21K per year, and a government worker salary (so I also don’t buy your “I work in government” excuse). and just an FYI – those working in governemnet in Florida have not gotten a raise in 3 years, and fully expect a pay CUT this year. But it’s not about how much you make…it’s about how much you SAVE. And no matter how little we make, we will not stiff those who provide good & valuable services.

    Sara, you guys sound awesome! Can you come down here and teach our carriers a thing or two? 🙂 We came back from Italy last year with two weeks worth of papers in our driveway. It’s a wonder we weren’t robbed! We wised up and now have our neighbors pick up our papers when we go out of town now, b/c our carrier NEVER follows a vacation stop, and is dim-witted enough to continue delivery despite the pile-up of papers in the driveway!

  28. Anonymous

    My husband and I deliver your paper by 6:30am every morning. We pick up the papers at a depot at 4am and battle snow, wind, rain, freezing rain etc. All of our 125 customers have specific instructions (mailbox,between doors, write my name on it, take out the ads but leave the comics, milkbox etc.) We get up at 3am every morning except Sunday – and since my husband’s day job is at a church he’s up early that day too.
    Most of our customers live in small houses and many are senior citizens. We keep an eye on their homes and if they haven’t picked up the paper from the day before we have them phoned by our head office.
    For this job, we are paid about $500 a month – not a lot when you consider gas prices and we have to pay for those plastic bags that we stuff your papers into. We do this job because we like the exercise and we NEED the money, we have day jobs that we love but they are low paying.
    We don’t expect tips, but sure do appreciate them when they come in. Most people give us $20, but even $5 is a nice treat – and we appreciate that, it is a nice gesture from a senior citizen on a fixed budget.

    Think of it this way – a 15% tip is customary for most services. If you are paying $22 a month for your paper, that’s $3.30 a month, or almost $40 a year. A $20 tip is about 7.5% – not a whole lot but still very much appreciated!

  29. Anonymous

    “LAME! Everyone with daycare knows the arrangement going in – the provider gets (in our case) two paid weeks off per year. It’s part of the contract. To use that as an excuse to not tip/gift is LAME. Thank goodness OUR clients don’t think like this (we kick out the ones who do!)”

    I guess your clients get paid better than I do. If my daycare provider needs more $ to make it through, then she should raise her fees. I do know the arrangement going in. I don’t feel it necessary to tip everyone who provides a service to me THAT I’M ALREADY PAYING FOR.

  30. Anonymous

    “She is taking Christmas week off that I have to pay for so I don’t feel it’s necessary to tip her on top of that while I have to come up with alternative care.”

    LAME! Everyone with daycare knows the arrangement going in – the provider gets (in our case) two paid weeks off per year. It’s part of the contract. To use that as an excuse to not tip/gift is LAME. Thank goodness OUR clients don’t think like this (we kick out the ones who do!)

  31. Anonymous

    I work in government and I don’t get tips or a bonus. I guess if I did, I would feel more like I should tip others and spread it around. I don’t tip the mailperson – I never see them and wouldn’t know if it was my regular person or not; I don’t tip the garbage man; I don’t use hairdressers, lawn service or housekeepers. I do have a child in day care – day care provider will receive a gift. She is taking Christmas week off that I have to pay for so I don’t feel it’s necessary to tip her on top of that while I have to come up with alternative care. The way I see it is I have to save up all year to make it through Christmas – maybe the service worker should too.

  32. Anonymous

    Re: the tipping the trash guys – it can pay off, especially if you come in like 1 or 2 bags over the “limit” one week – they will usually let it slide.

    However, giving a gift to the teacher (when in primary school) is a good thing for sure. Leaving them out is kind of tacky.

  33. Anonymous

    Off topic somewhat but…My mailman carries dog biscuits, too. In fact when we first moved into the house he had to deliver a package and rang the doorbell. My Golden Retriever goes nuts, as usual, I open the door and in one motion the mailman slips the dog a biscuit and he (dog) runs into the living room to eat it. That mailman knows what he’s doing, but I’m left thinking “What if this was someone coming to kill me? They’d just slip the dog a biscuit and polish me off!”

  34. Anonymous

    I think it is also important to remember that you are not required to tip. If you do not have the money, don’t stress yourself out. You could even give out homemade ornaments or baked goods.

  35. Anonymous

    Our mail carrier stinks and I suspect him of stealing our mail, so he gets nothing! Our paper carrier can’t follow an order for a vacation stop – so that loser gets nothing. I never would have thought of tipping the trashman – The City already charges an arm & a leg for only once a week service!

    My brother is our handy man – we usually give him extra – $50 – at Christmas (he also gets paid well for the work he does for us). My other brother runs a lawn service and does our lawn. We always give him an extra $20-30 (even though he doesn’t cut his sister a break on service!)

    We run a home daycare, but given current situations, I doubt we’ll be receiving any decent tips from the parents of the kids in our daycare (especially considering one of them can’t seem to keep enough money in her account to clear her regular checks).

    We pooled funds with other parents for our kids’ elementary teachers. I am also giving their bus driver a $20 gift card. Bus drivers have a very stressful job, yet they are so underappreciated. Such a shame considering what we are trusting them with (our kids!) every day.

  36. Anonymous

    As a former paper carrier, I now see things from the other side of the fence and give a tip to my paper carrier – especially if they work through blowing and drifting snow.

  37. Anonymous

    Those that I tip are special to me & my family. Our hairdresser – the girls & I have been going to for about 8 years. She only charges $10 for the girls until they reach 18 (that’s wash, cut, blow-dry and sometime an extra special style session). Older daughter’s first formal she did her hair for $15.00 while most of daughter’s friend paid $40 and up (and for $15 she got a fabulous look, better than some of the friends!).

    Teachers – when kids were in elementary school I would spend one or two hours during the week helping teacher make copies of work for that week’s assignments. I got to see that a lot of them were going to the store to buy some supplies for their classroom out of their own pocket, so I had no problem giving them a little extra at the holidays.

    Mail carrier – hasn’t been consistently the same as of late, but the first 10 years in our house we had the same one (Kathy). She had a pouch clipped to her belt full of dog biscuits. Never got bit by a dog on her route because she always gave them a treat. She would come to the fence & give our dog a biscuit every day. Even if we had no mail that day, she would leave a biscuit in the mailbox for the dog!

    In general for the trash guys, we have three different trucks, as Caro mentioned. It’s not easy to tip them without chasing them down (unless it’s one that I know personally), but I make sure in the summer on hot days to put a small cooler on the curb with water bottles, Gatorade, etc.

    These people I mention go, or have gone, above & beyond what is called for on their job on a consistent basis. Giving a tip is my small way (because I’m really not giving a large sum of money) to show them that they do an outstanding job and I truly appreciate what they do for me & mine.

  38. Anonymous

    How does one tip the trash man? I’ve never quite understood that. I can see tipping the postal worker by putting something in the mailbox…but since the trash people don’t get out of their trucks (as someone else above said) I can’t imagine how I would practically do that. Plus, here we have 3 different trucks, for trash, recycling, and yard waste.

    I like to tip those people who seem to do an extra good job in areas where doing an OK job would still get the same amount of money. This results in me giving holiday/year end bonuses to our kids daycare teachers (some of them) and our lawn care person.

    Folks who I tip regularly might get a bit more from me at the holidays, but I feel like I tip well in general and don’t need to do anything special for a year end bonus.

    And as a reply to Hank, I personally don’t think it’s relevant that the person in question gets paid a fair wage, as compared to a person who is counting on tips. A small token of appreciation for good work is a kindness that goes beyond the dollar amount given. If you don’t have the means to give a year end bonus, or don’t think the people deserve it, or maybe even think you pay too much for their services already, don’t give a bonus. But if someone went out of their way for you and you want to say thanks, a little something is always appreciated. And, for the record, the list really only covers the most common people who you might interact with professionally. Sometimes there is a librarian who is great with your kids, or a butcher who always gives you the best cut of meat, or really any number of people who you might see regularly.

  39. Anonymous

    Tipping does build goodwill and usually gets you a little more. I always tip where my dog is concerned and he gets good treatment. He sees these people all the time and I want them to treat him well. I used to see a massage therapist regularly. My consistent tipping got me an extra 10 mins of massage everytime – they were happy to see me coming. I’d rather tip a person I deal with regularly than someone who I deal with once (a waiter) and who might give me crappy service anyway.

    And like I said above sometimes a gift is just as good, if not more memorable, than cash.

  40. Anonymous

    I usually tip my dog groomer everytime I take the dog for a bath and trim. Usually the tip is $5 on a $30 job, at Christmas I might slip in another $5 making it $10.

    I tip the newspaper carrier $20 (if its been a good year of service).

    Don’t have a housekeeper or any kids. I might tip the postman this year, but I haven’t in the past. Also I have a yardman for the first time. I may send him a gift instead of cash – he’s a nice guy – and he’s a hard worker, but he isn’t cheap to begin with.

    I live in a smallish (quarter million population) southern city and I’m pretty sure I tip more than most people anyway. But down hear a gift can go a long way. My mother makes wonderful, easy pound cakes. I think she estimates they cost her about $7 per cake – but when she gives one as a gift she gets lots of thank yous. And the best part is a pound cake can serve a big group of people. She made one for the therapists who helped her recover from back surgery. They were very thankful – much more so than they would have been with a gift card. Not everyone is comfortable giving or eating homemade food, but in some cases it can be very appropriate.

  41. Hank: While it’s true that these people already get paid a fair wage, a counter argument would be that tipping builds goodwill and makes it more likely that the service person will go above and beyond the call of duty (or it rewards them if they already have).

  42. Anonymous

    None of these people should get Christmas tips! This list is ridiculous! Do they not get paid enough already? Do they depend on these tips for a majority of their salary like a waiter? No!

  43. Anonymous

    We don’t tip anybody except our children’s teachers who get gift cards.

    The problem these days is that many of the service workers do not work all year round in the same routes.

    So it does not make sense to tip a postal worker if next month he/she doesn’t deliver to us any more.

    The same for garbage workers. In our area there is only the driver with the truck with the mechanical arm and he never gets off the truck. The only way I’d tip him would be to have to wave him down and I suspect he’d ignore me.

    My barber changes too with every visit. The only person I will probably add on is the paper delivery person.

    Maybe I’m a scrooge but to all that do tip and everyone else, happy holidays!

  44. Anonymous

    Hairdresser – cost of haircut for me & girls; paper carrier – $20.00; mail carrier – $10.00 GC to Dunkin Donuts; trash collector – it’s the hubby who drives that truck for the city, so he doesn’t get a tip from me except on the really cold days in winter I’ll bring him coffee or hot soup to warm him up.

    Don’t do teachers anymore because the kids are older and they have too many, but in the past would try to pool $$ with other parents & get a gift card to Staples or B&N.

    Interestingly, I just heard on the radio this morning that in our state (MA) all government and municipal employees are banned from receiving any gift over $50.00 (new ethics law signed in July) and that all of these employees will have to sign a form acknowledging that they were told about this.

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