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Holiday Etiquette: Who To Tip And How Much?

By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s the season for giving so to whom should you give a tip?

People in Center City say holiday tipping can be tricky.

“I usually decide to tip the people that do on a consistent basis work for me or do my hair,” one woman said.

“I give the people that wait on me all the time a holiday gift.  Normally I give them cash.”

But it seems not everyone gets a tip.

“I remember that my mother would always tip the garbage man but I have never tipped the garbage man.  I don’t see them, is what it all boils down to.”

While others get a large percentage.

“For instance the lady that cleans my home I give her an extra full pay as a holiday tip.”

Perhaps there’s so much confusion about holiday tipping because it’s so inconsistent.

“I don’t think I tip anyone special during the holidays season. I probably should tip the mailman though.”

But postal workers aren’t supposed to accept tips.

How Much Should You Tip:

Your Manicurist: If you see the same manicurist/pedicurist regularly, consider a tip between $10-$15. The general rule of thumb is to tip the price of one manicure.

Hairdresser/Stylist: This can vary greatly. Some etiquette experts suggest a $15 tip. Do you see the same hair stylist regularly? If they provide you with a quality cut/style each time, tip them the cost of one typical haircut.

Personal trainer: $25 up to 1 week’s pay (or cost of 1 session)

Massage therapist: $50-$100 or cost of 1 session

Babysitter: If you have a regular babysitter, tip them the amount you would pay them for one evening’s work. A small gift from your child is also a nice touch.

Full-time Nanny or Au Pair: One week’s pay plus a small gift from your child.

Dog Walker/regular dog sitter: One week’s pay. A small gift is optional.

Dog groomer: Small gift + 1/4 to 1/2 the cost of 1 session

Daycare Provider: $20-$70/each and a small gift from child

Teacher: A small gift of about $20 value, given to the teacher by your child.

Coaches, tutors, music teachers, ballet instructors, etc: A small gift from the child

Mail carrier: By law, the Postal Service cannot accept tips or gifts. If you do decide to tip anyway, a tip of about $20 is a safe bet.

Paper carrier: $15-$25 for daily delivery ($5-$15 for weekend delivery)

Cleaning Person: Does the person visit once or twice a week? Tip them one week’s pay. Consider tipping more if they do work more frequently.

Trash collectors: $15-$20 each

Parking attendants: $10-$35 each or up to half a month’s parking bill for the group if they regularly provide extra service

Gardener: $20-$50.

General Tips On Tipping:

Remember cash is king. Choose to give cash over a check, and do your best to make sure it’s a fresh, crisp bill.

If you can’t afford to give a little extra – or at all – a handwritten note to show your gratitude is something you should consider. Be sure to express your appreciation in some way to the folks who make your life easier. Suggestions include a holiday card or a handmade gift or treat like cookies or candy.

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