2018 Holiday Tipping Guide: Who do you tip and how much is appropriate?

It’s the most confusing time of year for me — holiday tip time! How much is too little, too much, not needed or not allowed! Check out these considerations and guidelines you can use for tipping/gift giving to your regular service providers.

Remember, with budgets tight like they are, it’s the thought that counts. Stay within your budget and when all else fails, a note of gratitude is often worth more than any gift you could by!

Per etiquette expert Emily Post, here are some things to consider when you’re deciding how to thank people, who you will spend money on, and how much you will spend:

  • Your budget: First and foremost, you shouldn’t feel obligated to go beyond your personal budget.
  • If your budget does not allow for tips, consider homemade gifts; and if you’re not good with crafts or in the kitchen, remember that words are always a great way to express your thanks for a year of good service.
  • Do you already tip regularly? If you tip at the time of service, you may forgo an end of the year tip, or give a more modest holiday thank you. You may also choose to give a small gift instead.

Regular Babysitter
Budget:
Up to one nights’ pay

Full Time Nanny
Budget:
Up to one week’s pay (based on tenure)

Day Care Staff
Budget:
Gifts or cash equaling $25-$75 for each staff member

Teacher
Budget:
Gifts or cash equaling $25-$100 (State MA teachers cannot accept gifts valued $50 or higher from individual students)

House Cleaner
Budget: Up to the amount of one week’s pay and/or a small gift.

USPS Mail Carrier
Budget:
Non-cash gifts with value up to $20 — civil servants are “not allowed” to receive cash tips or gift cards (see regulations below). Wink, wink.

Dog Walker/Pet Sitter
Budget:
Cost of one visit

Pet Day Care Staff
Budget: $10 to $20 for each staff member or food for the group

Pet Day Care Staff
Budget: Cash or gift equaling up to one visit (if the same person grooms your pet all year).

Garbage Collector
Budget:
$15-$30

Hairstylist
Budget:
Cost of one haircut

Newspaper Carrier
Budget: Gifts or cash equaling $10-$30

Package Delivery (UPS/FedEx)
Budget:
Small gift in the $20 range. Most delivery companies discourage or prohibit cash gifts.

*United States Postal Service Gift Regulations:
All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Exec­utive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period.

 

    Leave a Reply