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Tipping Etiquette-a Guide for Holiday Giving

Updated on November 11, 2017

Holiday Tipping

The Holiday Season is a time of giving! Family and friends always come to mind but what about the people we appreciate for the quality service they have given us throughout the year? How do we show our appreciation? Well, If you ask 10 different people you will probably get 10 different answers!

There aren't any hard and fast rules for Holiday Tipping and this is both a relief and a dilemma! Thankfully there are tipping guidelines and other factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding who should be rewarded and how to show your appreciation in an appropriate manner.

  • Get organized!
  • Make a complete list of the people you will tip this Holiday Season
  • Prioritize the list and divide the money you have budgeted for appropriate "Holiday Giving" among them
  • Bake cookies and prepare other goodies for those a cash gift is not an option for and have Holiday Tins or Plates on hand to package them in

Consider Your Finances

  • Holiday Tipping should not cause you to go into debt or compromise your family Holiday spending budget.
  • If you have had a job loss or budget restraints, home made cookies or other goodies would be a nice yet economical way to show appreciation for a service well done.
  • A personal hand written note briefly explaining your current situation and hopes for the ability to be more generous next year is appropriate for someone you have developed a relationship with.

  • It is most important to recognize those people that care care of you, your family and your home when "Holiday Gifting". The more you see them, the longer you have known them and the greater the quality of service they give you will determine the generosity you bestow upon them.


Mail/Package Delivery

Policies Regarding Tips:

  • Postal Workers are restricted from accepting cash or gifts. Snacks and beverages or a small gift like a travel mug are acceptable.
  • FedEx Workers are not allowed to accept cash but may accept a gift less than $75 of value
  • USPS Workers are discouraged from accepting tips but it's acceptable if the customer insists.


  • It seems that giving cash gifts is a common practice that is often overlooked by management and some Postal Workers depend on tips, so give what you feel is appropriate.
  • $25 to $50 If FedEX or UPS delivers packages frequently. The tip should be larger if you get a large amount of business related deliveries.
  • Another option would be to write a letter to their Supervisor expressing how pleased you are with their service.

If your mail and/or packages are often delivered by different people a tip is not necessary.


Newspaper Carrier

  • If you have a newspaper delivered daily tip $20-25
  • For weekend only delivery tip $10
  • Find a happy medium for 3 or 4 day deliveries
  • If your paper is not delivered promptly or consistently, it arrives damaged or is tossed in the bushes or if it is not double bagged when it's raining you may not feel a tip is in order.

Trash/Recycling Collector

  • $10-20 for each person on the truck
  • I've been told that Trash Collectors may also appreciate a case of beer or a good bottle of alcohol as a gift (This is assuming they drink alcohol which may not be the case)
  • If your Trash Collector stays in the truck and works a mechanical arm a tip is not necessary.
  • If you often put out extra stuff that needs to be hauled away or items that are not allowed and they take them anyway, you should tip despite the mechanical arm.

Coaches, Tutors, Dance and Music Instructors

A small gift from your child is appropriate


Do not give cash. A gift from your child is appropriate.

  • Gift Certificate for a Coffee Shop or a Bookstore
  • Gift from a Craft Fair
  • House Plant
  • Take up a collection and give a Group Gift/Certificate (A little tricky because some parents may not be able to afford a contribution)

School Bus Driver

  • $15 to $25
  • A cash gift is not expected in many communities and may be a delightful but unnecessary surprise.
  • If cash is not appropriate, give a card and small gift from your child
  • A letter written to the Supervisor expressing your gratitude for safe and prompt delivery of your child to school would also be a nice gesture. After all, they are precious cargo.


  • Full Time: 1 week's pay or a Gift Card if you know his/her favorite interests
  • Part Time Babysitter should be gifted what you would pay for one night/day
  • A Hand made gift from your child/children is fun to give and receive:)


  • $25 to $70 for each person that takes care of your child/children
  • Include a small gift from each child

Nursing Staff

  • For staff in a Long Term Care or Assisted Living facility a large food basket to share (Remember all three shifts for a 24 hr. care facility) or Flowers
  • Home Health/Private Duty: A Gift or Gift Card worth $50 for each Nurse
  • A Donation to the Agency if their policy does not allow the Staff to accept gifts/cash



  • Cost of 1 visit for 1 worker
  • If a team is working for you give $10 to $20 to each person
  • Many Landscapers put up Christmas Lights to create income in their off season. It's a nice way to reward your Landscaper and give yourself some extra time during this Holiday Season!


Personal Trainer, Massage Therapist, Regular Manicurist

The cost of 1 session either in cash or as a gift


Barber/Hair Stylist

  • If you have been skimping all year give a cash tip equal to one session
  • If you have been tipping generously throughout the year you don't need to give additional Holiday cash
  • Box of Chocolates or other goodies are also appreciated


$65 to $70 or the equivalent of what you would pay for a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning

Live-In Help

Your Cook, Butler, Housekeeper or Live-In Nanny should receive 1 week to 1 month's worth of pay and a personal Gift.


Country Club Staff

  • $50 for a Regular Server, Locker Room Personnel, Front Desk Employee and Golf Professional
  • $100 for Head Servers or those who provide special services
  • $10 to $20 for Parking Attendant
  • $20 to $50 for Driver/Limo service. A Regular Driver should receive 20% of the month's bill
  • More tips for "Holiday Giving" at your Country Club

  • Super/Resident Manager: $100 to $175
  • Doorman: $50 to $100
  • Concierge: Generally tipped when a service is provided
  • Elevator Operator: $20 to $50
  • Porter/Handyman: $50 to $100, depending on how much you need their services
  • Parking Attendants: $10 to $35 for each attendant or half of a month's pay for the group

City Dwellers

Tipping is more common for people who live in large city. If you live in the city you may have to attend to more "Holiday Giving" than those in the suburbs

Dog Walker

  • 1 week's pay for daily walks or what would be the equivalent of the cost of 3 walks
  • For less frequent walks gift with the equivalent of what 1 visit would cost
  • Dog Groomers should receive a tip up to the cost of 1 visit

Giving a Cash Tip

When you give someone a gift of cash don't just shove it into their hand!

  • Place it in an envelope with a short (2-3 lines is sufficient) hand written note
  • Use a clean, crisp, new bill as opposed to one that has been crumpled up in your pocket

These are special touches that say "Thanks! I appreciate You"


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    • pedrn44 profile image

      Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      Hi randomcreative and thanks for the nice comment. Tipping is a confusing issue, isn't it? This time of year it can also be taxing but I agree it is important to recognize those you appreciate.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great topic for a hub! It's so important for people to get a little extra recognition, especially around the holidays.

    • pedrn44 profile image

      Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      you are welcome, and thanks for stopping by:) I'm glad you found this informative.

    • profile image 6 years ago

      Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    • pedrn44 profile image

      Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      Thanks, f:) Tipping is a good way to show appreciation. n these tough times it can be difficult to give cash but there are other meaningful gestures one can make. Thanks for taking the time to read this and comment.

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      Good hub, like a development of your previous one. The Christmas season is often a good time to give end of year gifts to the folk who in different ways have served us in the past year.

      Voted up