Etiquette Help for the Holidays
Q. Which service people should you tip during the holidays and what are the appropriate amounts?
A. Tip people who provide a regular service that makes your life easier, your hair manageable, and so on, says Smith. To decide
on the right amount, consider your relationship with the individual, the norms in your area, and your budget. Place crisp,
new bills in an envelope with a card or note and try to hand-deliver your gifts. If this isn’t possible, and you live in a
safe neighborhood, you can tape addressed envelopes to your mailbox (or the tops of garbage cans for trash collectors). Otherwise,
find out the names of your providers from the main office and drop their tips in the mail. Here are some guidelines on whom
to tip and how much.
The people who take care of your kids: Give your babysitter two nights’ pay. A nanny or au pair should get a week’s salary the first year and a little more each additional year. Allot $20 to $70 each for day care staff that have direct contact with your child(ren); if gifts are more typical in your area, shoot for the same price range.
The people who come to your home: Plan on a week’s salary for the cleaning person and a day’s pay for the dog walker. Allocate $10 per person for the garbage, recycling, lawn and snow crew (a bit more for the boss or a single provider). Note: If you have public-service trash collection, check with your municipality for regulations, as some areas may not allow tipping. Give regular delivery people $5 to $30 each. Mail carriers are prohibited by law from accepting cash, or gifts worth more than $20, but a small token, such as a coffee gift card, is a nice gesture.
The people who work in your apartment/condo complex: Earmark $25 to $100 for the superintendent and up to $200 for the doorman; if there are multiple doormen, $20 or more for each is fine. Set aside $20 to $50 each for other staff (custodian, handyman, etc.).
The people who take care of you: Give the hairstylist/manicurist/massage therapist/personal trainer you see regularly the cost of one visit. If there’s a separate shampoo person, give her $5 to $20.