HOLIDAY TIPPING ADVICE

Holiday Tipping Guidelines
From babysitters to doormen to hairstylists, we've broken down the rules of proper Christmas tipping etiquette to ensure jolly holidays all around. Remember: for some a gift is great, while for others cash is king. Use our chart below for guidance.

Who gets what?

(click on one of these recipients to see our helpful tipping hints)

Give them gifts!

A wrapped gift says that you're not only thankful for all of their hard work, but you've taken the time to get to know them too.
Babysitter
Budget: One or two nights pay
What to Gift: You can get away with a tip, but try a gift card instead — it's like giving cash, yet it's more personal. If you know her favorite interests, you can give a movie lover a Fandango gift certificate, a music lover an iTunes card, or a college-bound sitter a certificate to Target. Still not sure? A girl of any age loves to shop at Sephora. You can also add a special homemade gift from your child, like a drawing or craft project.
Hint: You don't need to give an occasional sitter a holiday tip. But if she's really gone above and beyond the call of duty or if you use the same babysitter often during the year, you should reward her for her hard work.
Full Time Nanny
Budget: One week to one month's pay (based on tenure) for both a personal gift and tip
What to Gift: Buy something your nanny wouldn't get for herself like a designer handbag — it should be something that's a special indulgence.
Hint: Avoid kid-oriented presents like a new baby carrier or diaper bag. You want to reward your nanny for her hard work, not add to it!
Day Care Staff
Budget: $25-$70 for each staff member plus a small gift from your child
What to Gift: Cash and gift cards are the best (and easiest) choices. But you should take the extra time to personalize your present with a card or a holiday token that your child picks out.
Hint: If only one person takes care of your child, you should give more generously, but if there's an entire staff of people, spread the wealth. In this case, it's okay to give less to each.
Coach, Activity Instructor
Budget: Less than $25
What to Gift: Remember that these are their jobs, not necessarily their only interests. Try something personal from your child, like a personalized framed photo or a drawing of the entire team.
Hint: If you're not up for giving a gift, a simple handwritten thank-you note from you and your child is a great way to show your appreciation.
Teacher
Budget: $25-$100
What to Gift: A unique house plant is always welcome. But, you could also get the class to chip in for one big gift that's more personal — like a cooking class or a Kindle Fire.
Hint: Check your school's policy because gift giving might be against the rules. Gifts are usually given when your child has one teacher all day. Don't feel obligated to buy presents for everyone.
USPS Mail Carrier
Budget: Non-cash gifts with value up to $20 — civil servants are not allowed to receive cash tips
What to Gift: If you want to reward for delivery through snow, sleet and rain, buy a gift card for a coffee shop near your carrier's route or a cold weather accessory for those tough winter days.
Hint: An added non-cash token of your appreciation could be a glowing letter or email to a supervisor — it might even mean more than a present.
Assistant
Budget: $50 or more; take into account your position in the company and how long the assistant has been with you
What to Gift: Ask around for advice on your assistant's interests like a certificate to dine at a fine restaurant or another experience to an exciting event. A stylish home accent is nice too.
Hint: Avoid gifts that are too personal like clothes or perfume, and avoid anything too practical. They're practical for you all year round, this gift should give them a break!

Give them cash!

Don't worry about the wrapping paper and pretty bows.
For these people you can show your appreciation with cold hard cash.
Apartment Doorman
Budget: $10-$100 each
Hint: You don't have to spread the tips equally—those who serve you more should get a bigger tip.
Building Superintendent
Budget: $10-$100 each
Hint: The IRS considers tips income, but most supers don't want to declare their Christmas gifts so consider tipping in cash. You can also tip less if you tip throughout the year.
Country Club Staff
Budget: $50 for your regular servers, locker-room personnel, front-desk employees and golf professionals; $100 for head servers or special service
Hint: Cash tips during the holidays are appropriate regardless of the club's tipping policy.
Dog Walker
Budget: One to two week's pay
Hint: A great way to show your walker that you feel her pain? Also include a gift certificate for a pedicure to cure her tired feet.
Garbage Collector
Budget: $15-$30
Hint: Pay attention to who collects your trash. If your garbage man is really a truck driver who operates a mechanical arm that does all the work, there is no need to tip.
Gardener
Budget: $20-$50
Hint: If you use a service that sends a different gardener each week, don't worry about tipping.
Hairstylist
Budget: Cost of one haircut
Hint: If the same person that cuts your hair, styles, and colors it too, you may want to give more.
Housekeeper
Budget: Up to one week's pay
Hint: If you use a cleaning service and never know who shows up, don't tip at all. But if the same housekeeper comes every week and does a great job, tell her with a holiday tip.
Beautician
Budget: Cost of one session
Hint: If the person who does your nails is the shop's owner, they might refuse your cash tip. But trust us, either way the gesture will be appreciated.
Newspaper Carrier
Budget: $10-$30
Hint: If you tip your deliverer throughout the year, give a smaller gift at the holidays. Usually they'll leave an envelope at your door. If they don't, ask the company to add a tip to your bill.
Package Delivery (UPS/FedEx)
Budget: Less than $75
Hint: Each delivery company has their own rules: FedEx doesn't allow cash or gifts worth more than $75, but UPS doesn't have a policy. Don't get them in trouble, do your homework first!
Personal Trainer
Budget: $60-$100 upon reaching goal, or cost of one session
Hint: If you're going to add a gift to your tip, stay away from chocolates, candy or anything that's not health-conscious.