Holidays are my favorite time of year, as so many of you too! We all get in the holiday spirit this time of year with the cute little snowmen, Santa's and elves watching. And with that spirit comes generosity and wanting to give to all of those people who help us through out the year. But sometimes we don't know when it's appropriate to tip or when it's only okay for hand written thank you's and a small gift. I've come up with a who to tip and who not to list to make this holiday season go a little more smoothly. But by all means, don't go out and spend more then your holiday budget will allow. And now that you're learning more about tipping and gift giving during the holiday season you can prepare sooner for years to come. So if it's too close to Christmas this year to tip accordingly, consider doing something handmade!
Tips are okay for the following people:
Christmas Tree Carrier. Whether the attendant helps you chop down your tree, carry it to your car or anything in between they are working their butts off all season, in the cold and rain so that we can have pretty tree's in our home. I think a $5 tip is appropriate.
Massage Therapist. My massage therapist is my saving grace, not just during the holidays but she's always making me feel better mentally and physically. The rule for massage therapist's is to tip the same amount as your massage cost. I.E. your massage was $60, tip $60. Might seem a little much, but I was talking with someone this morning and she was saying that those tips are their bonus and they really end up relying on them!
Gift Wrapper. This noble person is doing the work you're not good at or just don't have time to do. They take away a lot of stress from your season and no one really gives them the credit they deserve! Tipping $1-$2 is standard.
Landscaper or Gardner. They keep our yards nice! They do it in the rain, they do it in the heat. Tipping, $20-$50 is recommended if they come a few times a year. But if they come more frequently, or a few times a week tip them a weeks salary (or a full day if they only come one day every week or so)
Newspaper Courier. You might not have a delivery service but if you do you should tip $20. Most of the time adults do this job these day, so they are working pretty early most mornings to get you your paper on time!
Handyman/ Construction worker. Depending on the work that's been done in your home you should tip $10-$30.
Trash and Recycling collectors. My guys always have my back, last week I ran out last minute because I forgot to put my cans out on Thanksgiving. He could have just left because I missed my turn but he came back to me on his way back out of the neighborhood. They deal with this stuff all day long, how exhausting that must be! Tipping $25 is a great way to show appreciation.
Mechanic. Depending on the work you are having done you should tip between $20-$50!
Child Care. Taking care of your babies is very important and it can be hard. You know that! And sometimes they watch more then one child whether they all be your children our other children they work hard and have long days. They get cranky and sick sometimes. But they do love their jobs and love the opportunity that you give them. $30-$60 is a generous holiday gift!
Nanny. Nanny's are a little different then babysitters or day care teachers. They are a member of your family, they cook, clean, run errands, take littles to appointments or sports practices. Their care usually goes beyond the normal work hours. A tip equal to a weeks pay is usually the guideline.
Hair Stylist/ Nail Tech. They make us feel beautiful and less stressed all year long. The guideline is to tip the amount of your bill. I've spoken with both hair stylist and nail techs and they both say that tips are often forgotten.
Cleaning Crew. If you have a house cleaner you should tip them the amount of their weekly cost. (depending on how often they visit you)
Dog walker or pet groomer. The standard tip is $10-$20
Personal trainer or yoga instructor. They work hard all year, when we are crying, sweating and sometimes puking on their floor. They transform us. One sessions fee is a standard tip!
While you can (check with companies policies) get these service providers tips during the holiday season you can also get them a small gift instead. Baked goods, a plant, gloves, mugs and candles are a few ideas!
Who is is not appropriate to tip?
Yes there are professions where it is not okay to throw out money. But a small gift or a gift card is typically okay to give! Remember to keep the gift card under $20 or so!
Mail carriers. They are not allowed to accept cash but they are allowed to accept gift cards under $20. I give my mail carrier gifts all year for her work. Candy, souvenirs from my trips and baked goods! If your weather is colder you could gift some gloves and some hand warmers too!
Health care professionals. They are also not allowed to take cash. Give them a group gift. Something for the office to share, like a plant or a bunch of cookies!
Teachers. If you give a teacher money it might get really weird. Some alternative gift ideas can be, coffee cups, homemade gifts from your kids, wine, gift cards, or personalized items you may think they would like for their classroom.
Dry Cleaner. Bring them a small gift if you regularly use them.
Assistant or Boss. Give them a gift card or a small gift. In addition to any end of year bonus they have received. Avoid anything too personal.
School bus/ or public bus driver. Whether your child takes the bus to school or you take the bus to work your driver does have a hard job. They have people or children screaming and being hyper every day, they deal with traffic and crazy weather all the time and still people are unhappy when buses run late. A small gift basket or a gift card is acceptable but call and find out the companies policies first.
Neighbors. I would not give my neighbors cash, unless they house sat or babysat for me. But I would get a little gift basket together for them, my neighbors are always there to help me out. And I always appreciate their hospitality. I love giving them goodies for taking care of me.
But the holidays should not be about spending so much cash, it's more about showing gratitude and appreciation. I don't want you to go broke giving $20-$60 to everyone that's helped you throughout the year. There are a few things that you can do in lieu of money, Hand written notes, donations to charities, something DIY that has a personal touch, or even give them some positive online reviews or call their boss and tell them how much you appreciate their service. Get to know the people who make your lives easier throughout the year. Do they have kids? Are they going on vacation? We often forget to connect with people because of the digital age.
Also this list is not limited to who deserves your gratitude most or anything like that. You and only you know your life and who's important to you. Show them with love and kind words this holiday season. And as my mom would always say, treat people the way you would want to be treated. The more love you give the more love you will receive.
I'm usually a pretty good tipper in general, not just during November and December. If I have good service I want to accommodate that, if I have a good experience I want people to know how much I love a product or a company or even one individual. Reach out to people who've done outstanding work or service for you and let them know it's meant a lot to you. Not just now but all year long. A lot of the time people who work in the service industry work long hours, sometimes they don't get to see their family as often as they'd like. They make less per hour then they should and they really rely on tips. However, we have all been somewhere where we have had poor service and left an establishment unhappy or unsatisfied and it happens. Sometimes people are having an off day and we unfortunately got in the way of that. If it was one bad day on their side, don't let that change how you feel if you've had outstanding service every other time. If you've never had good service there, find a new place for your business!
Spread the joy, and love this year. Do whatever you can to show people your appreciation, the more you show gratitude and appreciation the better service you will have all year! Not to say that people will only be nice to you and give you the best service if you tip and give them presents. And appreciation doesn't always mean spending money. Just go in every time with a smile on your face and get to know them, ask about their families and take an interest in them!
I hope you found this informative!