Tipping Guide for the Holidays
Holiday Tipping is a way to show gratitude to those that provide you with some form of loyal service throughout the year. Here are some tips we've learned from etiquette expert Diane Gottsman. A holiday gift in the form of a monetary "Tip" is always appreciated, especially during the holiday season. Factors such as the relationship you have with the person you are tipping, the frequency of your service, and the quality of care that the person provides you or your family throughout the year determines the value of the tip.
Your budget is the most important deciding factor in giving a holiday tip. Each individual must ultimately decide what is most comfortable and appropriate:
Children's Teacher and Teacher's Aid - Before you give, check the school gift giving policy. A gift or gift card to a favorite store, along with a heartfelt note from your child, is appreciated. Often, the room parent will collect money from each family and give one large gift from the class. For children that have more than one teacher, contact the class representative and inquire as to whether there will be a holiday "tipping or gift pool".
School Secretary and/or School Nurse - Depending on your interactions, a small gift or gift card along with a thoughtful note from your child would be a nice touch.
School Lunch Lady/Man - If they perform a special service, such as monitor your child's lunch for a nut allergy, a small gift would be appropriate as a gesture of appreciation.
Office Assistant - Do not give a "tip" unless it is in the form of a "bonus". A gift card or gift (nothing personal) would be appropriate and welcome.
Hair Stylist, Manicurist, Personal Trainer, and Massage Therapist - A tip or gift equivalent to one visit. Depending on the relationship, a tray of home baked cookies or bread in addition to the tip or gift would also be a nice gift.
Nursing Home Staff (those who take care of your parents, grandparents or beloved family members) - A generous basket of holiday treats.
Housekeeper (once a week) - A holiday card with one day's pay enclosed.
Housekeeper (weekly) - A holiday card with one week's pay enclosed. Depending on the relationship, you may consider also giving her a thoughtful gift.
Kid's Nanny - One to two weeks' pay and a handmade gift from your child.
Friday Night Babysitter - The equivalent of one night's pay, plus a note from your child.
Dog Walker - A cash amount equivalent to one service and a little "puppy kiss" from your pet.
Neighborhood Trash Collector - Check the local regulations for public service employees. If there are no restrictions, and your neighborhood sanitation worker is pleasant, helpful and goes beyond his duty to pick up your rubbish, such as carrying off heavy furniture and putting your waste containers back on your property instead of leaving them in the middle of the street, 10.00 to 15.00 per person would be thoughtful.
Apartment Doorman - Cash in the amount of $50 upwards, depending on his level of service provided throughout the year. Some doormen get upwards of 100.00 because of special services throughout the year. Some doormen received multiple hundreds of dollars, based on their relationship with the tenant and extra duties they provide.
Landlord or Building Manger - Depending on their level of service, $50-100 annually. Some landlords you never see and a tip would not be an issue.
Elevator Operator - Organize a tenant tip pool or give between $20-50 if there is not a tip pool at the apartment or building.
Building Handyman - $20-50 - depending on service rendered throughout the year.
Garage Attendant (Building or Apartment Dwelling) - Duties vary from building to building. Consider the extent of service and tip accordingly, approximately $50-100.
Pool Cleaner and/or Gardener - The equivalent of one week's service.
U S Postal Service - Government regulations do not allow US postal carriers to accept cash gifts of any kind and only a small non-monetary gift that is worth less than $20.
FedEx and UPS - FedEx doesn't restrict gifts or tips, but not more than $75, while UPS does not have an official protocol and the gift should be determined based on the relationship between you and the driver. My neighborhood UPS driver says he wouldn't turn down a cash gift but the company would prefer drivers be given a token gift rather than cash.
Newspaper Delivery -$10-30 (unless he is always late or throws your paper in a mud puddle on a regular basis!) A good rule of thumb is to tip equal to what you pay annually for a subscription.
Learn more about Diane's services by calling (210) 826-7400 or at the Protocol School of Texas
or Diane Gottsman.com.