The Holiday Tipping Point

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The holidays mean parties, shopping, cooking, decorating, greeting cards and gift-giving. They also mean tipping. And of course, I am not just speaking of the day to day tipping that goes on. I am referring to holiday tipping—the practice of giving an extra amount of money or a special gift to those who provide various services to you throughout the year. Those people might be your newspaper carrier, hairdresser or barber, housekeeper, pet sitter and the list goes. It is challenging to figure out whom to tip and how much.

Holiday tipping is a way of showing appreciation to those people who make your life easier and more pleasant. Start with a list of people you would like to feel your gratitude. Then follow these guidelines for mastering the art of tipping during the holidays.

* Tip according to the quality and frequency of the service rendered.
* Consider your own budget in determining the amount.
* Present a monetary tip in a card or a small gift with the cash inside.
* Give it personally whenever possible.
* Do it within the week of the holiday or shortly before.
* Offer it joyously.

Now that we’ve established the process, let’s consider who and how much. The following suggestions should help eliminate some of the confusion as well as the stress of holiday tipping.

* Housekeeper – an amoount equal to the cost of a visit
* Gardner – $20-$50
* USPS mail carrier – cash gifts are not acceptable so give a small $15-20 gift
* Newspaper carrier – daily $25; weekend $10
* Teachers, tutors, coaches and trainers for your children – small gift from your child
* Baby sitter – one night’s pay plus small gift from your child
* Full-time nanny – one week’s or one month’s pay depending on length of employment
* Dog groomer – the cost of a session
* Dog walker or sitter – one day to one week’s pay
* Nail technician- $15 – $20
* Massage therapist – $15- $20
* Hairdresser – the cost of a visit

The list goes on. If you live in an apartment building, there are legions of people to reward. If you belong to a private club, unless a single amount is collected to be distributed to all, there are servers, receptionists and activities personnel to be considered. Good judgment and an attitude of gratitude should be your guide.

When we think of tipping, we usually think of cash. However, if this is a difficult time and you can’t afford to give cash to all these people, make or bake a holiday gift. In some cases a simple handwritten note of thanks is sufficient. When times are better, you can be more generous.

The most important thing is to let these people know valuable their service and their relationship are to you.

Happy holiday tipping!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website,

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