The holidays are expensive and busy. Between ordering gifts for the family, sending out Christmas cards, and attending parties, I’m whooped by December 26.
In the past, the hustle and bustle of having a crazy calendar have caused me to forget to do important things.
RSVP to a get-together. Attend a previously scheduled hair appointment (yikes!). Keep my New Year’s resolution (from January) of staying the heck away from the cheese trays and chocolate desserts at holiday parties. Hello, elastic waist band!
Tipping service providers.
Not again, I say!
People have different opinions about the appropriate amount of a tip. Some say it depends on the number of years of service. Some say it depends on the nature of the service. Some say it depends on the frequency of which the service provider receives tips throughout the year.
I researched the topic on EmilyPost.com, RealSimple.com, and CNN. While these sites were generally on the same page regarding how much or what to tip, I averaged the rules together and came up with this list.
Regular Babysitter: Up to one night’s pay and a small gift from your children.
Full Time Nanny: Up to one week’s pay and a small gift from your children.
Day Care Provider: First confirm whether the day care facility has a policy regarding holiday tipping or gift giving. If there is none, consider giving $25 – $70 and a small gift from your children. The same applies to a regular teacher.
Cleaning Lady: Up to the amount of one week’s pay and/or a comparably priced gift.
Personal Trainer: Up to the cost of one session or a comparably priced gift.
Pet Groomer: Up to the cost of one session or a comparably priced gift.
Dog Walker: Up to one week’s pay or a comparably priced gift.
Parking Garage Attendants: $10- $30 or a small gift. (I think Starbucks gift cards or lottery scratch-off tickets are always a win!)
Mail Carriers: This is tricky, as the United States Postal Service has strict rules about what mail carriers can accept during the holidays: 1) Snacks/ beverages/ perishable gifts that are not part of a meal, 2) Small gifts with little value that do not exceed $20, and 3) Perishable items worth more than $20 (e.g., fancy fruit baskets) must be shared with the entire postal branch.
Mail carriers cannot accept cash, checks, gift cards, or any type of currency.
Gift Wrapper: $1 to $2 per package, not to exceed $10.
Trash and Recycling Collectors: $10- $30 per person for private service providers. If the service is public, check with your local municipality for rules because some areas may not permit tipping.
Landscaping/ Yard Worker: $20- $50 per person. If the person comes regularly, you can give up to one week’s pay.
Swimming Pool Cleaner: Up to the cost of one cleaning to be divided among the cleaning employees. If a different person shows up at each cleaning, a tip is unnecessary.
Newspaper Deliverer: $10- $30, or the equivalent of one month the subscription price.
Hairdresser: $20 to $100, depending on the frequency you see this person. Me: every six months, for shame.
(Looking for tips on how to streamline your morning hair routine? Click here.)
Workplace Assistant: In addition to a year end bonus your company provides, include a gift that values at least $50. Of course, this depends on your position (read: minions pay less than slave drivers) and the length of time the person has been your assistant.
Boss: It’s unnecessary, but a nice gesture. Ask co-workers to see if they’d like to chip in for a restaurant gift certificate.