‘Tis the season of merriment, presents, joy, and tipping. Tipping, you say? Yep—you know, tipping your hair stylist, newspaper delivery person, trash collectors, and just about every other service person with whom you come in regular contact throughout the year.
So what is the deal with tipping? Do I have to tip everyone equally? For example, I love my weekend newspaper deliveryman. He must have a strong arm—the paper makes it up the driveway, practically to my front door.
Etiquette deems that there are a number of service people who should receive tips this time of year. From babysitters to cleaning help, massage therapists to gardeners, tipping is a “should do” over the holidays. Personally, I don’t have a butler, cook, or doorman to tip. But I do need to get gifts for my babysitter (a gift or cash equal to one evening’s pay), children’s teachers (small gifts), and hair stylist (either cash or a gift that’s equal in value to one visit).
Here are other service people you may need to thank this year, according to Emily Post:
- Day care provider: cash or gift for each person who works with your children, worth about $25-$75 each
- Housekeeper or cleaning staff: Cash or gift equal to (up to) one week’s pay
- Massage therapist: cash or gift equal in value to one session
- Personal trainer: cash or gift equal to one session
- Pet groomer: cash or gift equal in value to one session
- Newspaper deliverer: cash or small gift equal to between $10 and $30
- Trash or recycling collectors: cash or small gift equal to between $10 and $30
- Mail carriers: are not allowed to accept cash, checks, or gift cards. They can accept, however, snacks or beverages (that are not part of a meal) or small gifts worth less than $20.
All tips should be given with a short note of thanks, according to Ms. Post. If your budget is tight this year, handmade gifts are acceptable. Of course, the quality of work, how long they have helped you, how important the service is to you, and how close you are to your service provider will influence what type of tip you decide to give.