Holiday Tipping 101: The Ultimate Guide to Showing Your Gratitude

Maressa Brown | Nov 25, 2014 Home & Garden

couple writing christmas cards

The holidays are in full-swing, which means you're probably in the midst of shopping for presents galore. But gifting family and friends is just the beginning. You'll likely also want to tip people whose services you're grateful for throughout the year.

"Sometimes it seems overwhelming to work these tips into your already-stretched holiday budget, but holiday tipping is a way of showing appreciation to those people who make your life easier and more pleasant," says Lydia Ramsey, business etiquette expert and author of Manners That Sell. "Give with a happy heart knowing you could not get along without them."

holiday tipping

Although Ramsey encourages taking your budget into consideration when determining appropriate gift amounts, she shared her general rules of thumb for tipping everyone from your hairdresser to your babysitter.

Check them out below, then tell us: What aspect of holiday tipping has tripped you up in the past?


Images via; Triocean/shutterstock

  • Hairdresser


    For the hairdresser who's making sure your color and cut look presentable not just at all those holiday parties, but throughout all four seasons, you'll want to give a tip equivalent to the cost of one service, advises Ramsey.  

  • Day Care Providers


    "When it comes to day care workers, $20-$70 each [is appropriate]," says Ramsey. "If there is only one day care provider, tip on the high side. These people really earn it!"

  • Mail Carrier


    "Cash gifts are not acceptable for USPS mail carriers, so give a small $15-20 gift," says Ramsey.

  • Babysitter or Nanny


    "For your babysitter, consider one night's pay plus a small gift from your child," says Ramsey. But if you have a full-time nanny, you'll want to tip one week's or one month's pay, depending on their length of employment.

  • Garbage Collectors


    For the men who are kind enough to haul your trash away on a weekly basis, $20-$25 is considered the norm, says Ramsey.

  • Dog Walker or Sitter


    If you have a dog walker or sitter, shoot for one day's or one week's pay, advises Ramsey -- depending on how frequently they help out with your pup!

  • Teacher and/or Tutor


    When it comes to the educators who support your children -- think teachers, tutors, coaches, and trainers -- you're best giving a "small gift from your child," recommends Ramsey.

  • Personal Trainer


    Whether you worked out with them for a few sessions or you meet up with them at the gym all year 'round, the customary tip for a fitness trainer is an amount equal to the cost of one session, notes Ramsey.

  • Landscaper/Gardener


    When it comes to your landscapers or gardeners, $20-$50 is typical, notes Ramsey. Though, of course, it may vary depending on what you spend on these services usually and how frequently you're having hedges trimmed, etc.! If your gardener comes frequently, you'll want to give up to one week's pay.

  • Newspaper Carrier


    If you have a newspaper delivered to your doorstep, your carrier gets $25 if they're daily, $10 if they only come on the weekend, says Ramsey. You could also gauge it by the equivalent of one month of the subscription price, and perhaps even tip when you pay your bill.

  • Housekeeper


    If you employ a housekeeper/cleaning lady, tip "an amount equal to the cost of a visit," suggests Ramsey. A personal gift would be appropriate as well. And remember, they're not just helping you keep things neat around your home. They're saving your time and sanity!

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