Tipping Guidelines for the Holidays – Day 8

capability mom blog the dog I am always (although I have been doing this for years) unsure how much to tip people at the holidays. Last year I looked to the (always dependable) Emily Post for Tipping Guidelines – Go here for that great resource and this year I found Oprah’s Guide to Tipping – and it’s printable, too.

Here is an excerpt…
Gratuity Advice for the Holidays
Nanny: A week’s salary plus a small gift from your child.
Babysitter: An evening’s pay plus a gift from your child.
Newspaper carrier: $5 to $15.
Mail carrier: Postal workers can accept gifts worth up to $20.
Housekeeper: A week’s salary.
Garbage collectors: $10 to $20 each.
Doorman: $25 to $100.
Super: $30 to $100.
Elevator operator: $20 to $50.
Personal trainer: Price of one session.
Parking-garage attendant: One third of monthly bill.
Dog walker: A week’s salary.
Hairdresser: $25 to $100.
Manicurist: $10 to $50.

From the December 2002 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Remember to add a nice note or holiday card and that this is just a guideline – Feel free to change things up, give your homemade cookies or candies in appreciation.
Afraid you forgot someone you want to thank? Check out Pragmatic Mom, she is always on top of this stuff!

12 Days of Shopping
 Dec 1: Make Your Own Gifts Granola, Pragmatic Mom and  Capability Mom.

 Dec 2: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

 Dec 3: Personalized Gifts (Fancy Address Stampers versus Pretty Papers)

 Dec 4:  Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

 Dec 5: Tutors/Teachers

 Dec 6High Tech/Low Tech

 Dec 7: Hostess/Gifts That Give Back

 Dec 8: Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer, etc. (a.k.a. who else did I forget?) and Emily Post’s Etiquette on this subject.

 Dec 9: Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List); Capability:Mom Husband/Wife

 Dec 10:  Dog/Cat

 Dec 11: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

 Dec 12: ‘Cause I Am So Together,  Last Minute Home Made Gifts:  Pragmatic Mom and Capability : Mom

How to say Thanks at the Holidays from Emily Post – Day 8

You would think I would know by now but every year I have the same conversation with friends about how much to tip so I went to Emily Post for the answer. Here is a link to the post Holiday Tipping is Really Holiday Thanking – No one can say it better than Emily Post so I defer to her excellent judgment.From the website of Emily Post, Holiday Tipping Is Really Holiday Thanking – Please continue to the site for even more great advice.

Holiday Thanking Recommendations

The table below contains our recommendations for holiday thanking, or tipping. These are not rules. Remember that averages and ranges can vary based on the type of establishment, regional customs, and your own budget. You never have to give cash and a gift, except in a few cases, such as when your child may give a gift to a babysitter in addition to your tip or thank-you. We understand that some people aren’t comfortable picking out gifts for those they don’t know well so there are cash amounts listed below, as a suggestion only.

Service Provider Options Suggested Amount or Gift
Au pair or live-in nanny Cash or consider a gift. This person works closely with your family and you probably know them well. One week’s pay and a gift from your child(ren).
Regular babysitter Cash One evening’s pay and a small gift from your child(ren).
Day care provider Cash or a gift for each staff member who works with your child(ren). A gift from you or $25-$70 for each staff member and a small gift from your child(ren).
Live-in help (nanny, cook, butler, housekeeper) Cash and a personal gift One week to one month of pay as a cash tip, plus a gift from you.
Private nurse Gift A thoughtful gift from you.
Home health employees Check with agency first about gifts or tipping policies. If there is a no gifts/tipping policy, consider a donation to the agency. A thoughtful gift from you. (If gift-giving is not against company policy.)
Housekeeper/Cleaner Cash and/or a gift Up to the amount of one week’s pay and/or a small gift.
Nursing home employees A gift (not cash). Check company policy first. A gift that could be shared by the staff (flowers or food items).
Barber Cash or gift Cost of one haircut or a gift.
Beauty salon staff Cash or gift depending on whether you tip well after each service. The cost of one salon visit  divided for each staff member who works with you. Give individual cards or a small gift each for those who work on you.
Personal trainer Cash or gift Up to the cost of one session or a gift.
Massage therapist Cash or gift Up to the cost of one session or a gift.
Pet groomer Cash or gift (if the same person grooms your pet all year). Up to the cost of one session or a gift.
Dog walker Cash or gift Up to one week’s pay or a gift.
Personal caregiver Cash or gift Between one week to one month’s salary or a gift.
Pool cleaner Cash or gift The cost of one cleaning to be split among the crew.
Garage attendants Cash or small gift $10-30 or a small gift
Newspaper delivery person Cash or small gift $10-30 or a small gift
Mail carrier Small gift only Please see below for a detailed description of the United States Postal Service’s gift regulations.*
Package deliverer Small gift only, no cash. (Only if you receive regular deliveries.) Small gift in the $20 range. Most delivery companies discourage or prohibit cash gifts.
Superintendent Cash or gift $20-80 or a gift
Doorman Cash or gift $15-80. $15 or more each for multiple doormen, or a gift.
Elevator operator Cash or gift $15-40 each
Handyman Cash or gift $15 to $40
Trash/Recycling collectors Cash or gift (for private) check city regulations if it is a municipal service. $10-30 each
Yard/Garden worker Cash or gift $20-50 each
Teachers Gift (not cash) A small gift or note from you as well as a small gift from your child.
*United States Postal Service Gift Regulations:Mail carriers working for the United States Postal Service are allowed to accept the following items during the holiday season:

  • Snacks and beverages or perishable gifts that are not part of a meal.
  • Small gifts that have little intrinsic value (travel mugs, hand warmers, etc…) and are clearly no more than $20 in value.
  • Perishable items clearly worth more (large fruit baskets or cookie tins) must be shared with the entire branch.

Mail carriers working for the United States Postal Service may not accept the following:

  • Cash gifts, checks, gift cards, or any other form of currency.


Also from :

Gifts for USPS Mail Carriers

For further information, please contact the U.S. Postal Service® Law Department’s Ethics Helpline at 202-268-6346, or send an email message to .

%d bloggers like this: