The holiday season is a time when we focus on showing gratitude to those who make our lives easier all year long. Think of holiday tipping as holiday thanking. There are a number of ways to show your thankfulness; but for those who make their living in the service industry, the most appreciated is by tipping.
Along with the challenges of what to give your family and friends add the question of whom to tip and how much. When is it appropriate to give money and when should you opt for a gift rather than cash? Simply put, what are the rules of tipping? For that, you need a holiday tipping guide.
Start by making a list of the people to whom you want to express your gratitude. Then follow these guidelines:
- Consider your budget and know how much you can afford to set aside for tips.
- Tip according to the quality and frequency of the service rendered.
- Take into account length of service – the number of years you have used a person’s services.
- Present cash in a holiday card with a short handwritten note of thanks.
- Give your tip in person whenever possible.
- Tip within the week of the holiday or before.
- Do it joyously.
Now that we’ve established the process, let’s consider who and how much.
The following suggestions should eliminate some of the confusion and stress associated with holiday tipping. But remember that there are no hard and fast rules. Tipping varies based on the type of establishment, regional customs, and your own budget
- Housekeeper – Depending on frequency of service: one day or one week’s pay.
- Gardner – $20-$50 or an amount equal to their monthly pay.
- USPS mail carrier – cash gifts are not acceptable so give a small gift not to exceed $20 in value. Food is always good.
- Delivery drivers – again cash gifts are not always acceptable so think about giving food items. Maybe something to munch on during deliveries.
- Newspaper carrier – daily $25; weekend $10
- Teachers, tutors, coaches and trainers for your children – small gift from your child. Cash is usually forbidden by school systems since it can appear to curry favor for your child.
- Baby sitter – an amount equal to pay for a usual visit. Add a small gift from your child.
- Full-time nanny – one week’s or one month’s pay and a small gift from your child.
- Dog groomer – one half the cost of a session.
- Dog walker or sitter – one day to one week’s pay depending on how often you employ them.
- Nail technician- a sum equivalent to one visit.
- Hairdresser – an amount equal to the fee for a typical visit
These are simply guidelines, and certainly not a complete list. The decision is up to you—whom you wish to tip, what you want to give and how much you can afford. Good judgment and an attitude of gratitude should be your guide.
If you would like the complete guide to holiday etiquette, order a copy of my e-book, Business Etiquette for the Holidays. It’s available as a PDF download or for your Kindle through Amazon.com.
Lydia Ramsey is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, keynote speaker, trainer and author. Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her website: LydiaRamsey.com. Find out how her presentations and workshops can help you and your employees add the polish that builds profits. You’d be amazed at how kindness and courtesy can affect your bottom line.