Holiday Tipping Etiquette

Tipping around the Holiday Season

Posted by Liz Taylor Dec 16, 2012

My client wrote me an email this morning asking:

"Where do I draw the gift line?  School teacher, piano teacher, mail carrier, garbage guys, hairdresser, boss, personal trainer… yikes!"

Here is the rule of thumb:

  • Mailman: No more than $20 (it's against their policy to accept more) or a plate of freshly baked cookies with a note of appreciation.
  • Hairdresser: Give a tip equal to one service. So, if a haircut is $50, give a $50 tip at year end.
  • Teacher, Day Care or Nanny: Have your child paint or make something special and give a gift worth a day's pay (if you pay your nanny $150 per day to watch your child, a $150 gift is a good target). 
  • Trash and Recycling Collector: $20 or a plate of freshly baked cookies with a note of appreciation.
  • Dog Walker: The cost of one week’s pay.
  • Building Staff: $25
  • House Cleaner: The cost of one service.
  • Lawn Crew: $20-$50
  • Personal Trainer: The cost of one session.
  • Boss: Something small or a group gift is always a safe bet. You don’t want to come across as the employee that is trying to climb your way up the ladder.

As you can see from this information, the typical rule of thumb is to give a tip equal to one unit of service. If you can’t afford to tip, baked goods and a note expressing sincere thanks goes a long way too.

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