How Much Should You Tip During the Holidays?

November 13, 2012 No Comments »
How Much Should You Tip During the Holidays?

The holiday season is the perfect time for you to remember your service providers who do so much for you throughout the year. However, tipping rules and amounts can confuse people who are trying to decide how much to give a service provider. Tipping guidelines help clarify some of that confusion. Remember that the following guidelines are just that: guidelines that give you inspiration and a place to start. Flexibility in tipping during the holidays allows you to adjust that amount and add your personal touch to any gift you give.


Gifts at the office can sometimes cause extra conflict since you want to be appropriate yet personal. You can strike a balance between the two by finding out their interests or giving a gift card. A common amount is $50 but consider your position in the organization and how long you have worked with your assistant.


Your babysitter cares for your most precious charges – your children. You trust them to watch you’re your young ones in many situations. For a regular provider, a typical amount is between one and two times a normal outing. Many teens love gift cards to big-box retailers or entertainment gift cards. A handmade gift from your young one shows your sitter the special place they have in your child’s heart.


Teachers work hard to pour into the life of your child all year long. They appreciate a small gift from both you and your child. Younger children can make something a little more personal while parents can give a gift card to a coffee shop or book store. A specialty gift card also works well if you are sure the recipient will appreciate it. A suggested amount of $20 is typical. A second option is to organize a class gift through contributions from whoever would like to participate. This allows a larger gift, and the teacher will remember the class as a whole when she sees the gift.

Personal Care Professionals

Several types of personal care professionals, such as hair dressers, barbers or manicurists, provide beauty services throughout the year. Many people chose to give a gift card to a specialty location they know that person will love. If you are unsure of their tastes, a gift card to a retail store or even a big-box store works well. Another suggestion for your hair stylist is to double the normal tip that you give at your last yearly visit, adding holiday well wishes as you put the gratuity in his/her hand. For your manicurist, many people average a gift of $15, $20 for a hair stylist and $10 for a barber.

Mail Carrier

While government workers are prohibited from receiving cash as gifts, you can still bestow a nice holiday present that expresses your appreciation. They should typically not exceed $20 in value, so a gift card to a nearby restaurant or coffee shop can brighten their day. During frosty winter weather, a cup of coffee on the route can be just the motivation your mail carrier needs.

When reviewing tipping guidelines, you can consider additional factors, such as how often you receive service, how long your provider has served you, the depth of your friendship, and your financial circumstances. Remember that in some situations, the combination of cash or a gift card with a thoughtful presentation is just the right gift for that hard-to-buy person on your list. Following the listed guidelines will help you do a great job of tipping those who have served you throughout the year and add to the merriment of their holiday celebration.

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