Holiday Tipping Guide

With the holidays comes gift giving for our family and friends. But many of us like to include the people who are a part of our daily lives throughout the year. Walletpop did a great list citing Emily Post’s rec, Consumer Reports 2010 tipping survey, as well as their own 2 cents. And of course, yours truly had to add on a thought or two.

Who to Tip and How Much

CLEANING PERSON

cleaning lady washing sink - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: Tip up to the amount of one week’s pay and/or small gift.
CR Survey finds: 66% do tip them;total median valueof$35
WalletPop says: If you’re still able to outsource your house cleaning duties during these tough economic times, realize you’re one of the fortunate. It’s likely your cleaning person has seen their business shrink dramatically over the last couple of years as previous clients have lost their jobs or tightened their proverbial belts. When you’re divvying up your holiday-tipping budget, we think this is a great place to be generous, especially if your queen (or king) of clean is self-employed.

NORA: I give items (clothes, purses, household things) to my housekeeper year round. I’ll probably give her a nice tip and gift certificate to somewhere. Since she takes care of all the belongings in my house, I definitely like to keep her happy. And she’s great with my kids who often distact help her.

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CHILD’S TEACHER

smiling teacher - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: A small gift (not cash) or note from you, as well as a small gift from your child.
CR Survey finds: 60% do tip them; total median value of $20
WalletPop says: Unless you know your child’s teacher really well, skip any gifts that are too personal, like perfume or clothes. Likewise, do not even consider one of those “World’s Best Teacher” or “apple” tchotkes! (Can you imagine how many any given teacher receives of those year after year?) What do teachers love to receive most? Gift cards, gift cards and oh, how about a gift card? Personalized stationary and books for their classroom also ranked high on the list of teachers we spoke to.

NORA: I don’t think there is enough money to express my grattitude to the teachers. With budget cuts in LA schools, I know she spends a lot of her own time and money ensuring the kids still have a valuable learning experience. Each parent was asked to contribute for a collaborative group montary gift. I’ll also send a holiday card and gift from the boys.
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HAIRDRESSER

young lady in a hair salon - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: For beauty salon staff, the cost of one salon visit divided for each staff member who works with you. Give individual gift cards or a small gift each for those who work on you.
CR Survey finds: 48% do tip them; total median value of $20
WalletPop says: Salon visits can be pricey. Unless you are going for a cut-rate trim, chances are you are spending upwards of $75 per visit (and that’s a modest estimate) if you are having your hair cut and colored on a regular basis. So what’s a good alternative to tipping the equivalent of one salon visit, when that figure could be $75, $100 or more? We like the idea of doubling your tip at the appointment closest to the holidays. Make sure to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” when giving your tip, so that your stylist knows your extra generosity is your holiday thank you.

NORA: Since I barely wash my hair at home, I never make it to my hairdresser on a regular basis. Holiday Tip DENIED.
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NEWSPAPER CARRIER

newspaper on a porch - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: $10-$30 or a small gift
CR Survey finds: 39% do tip them; total median value of $15
WalletPop says: How much you tip should take into account how often you get your paper delivered. Do you get your paper delivered daily or only on Sundays? An alternative way to figure out your tip is to base it on the equivalent of one month’s subscription fee.

NORA: Newspaper? Facebook and Twitter are my morning reads. I’ll be sure to do an extra special status/Tweet to let my cyber friends know how much I appreciate them keeping me informed. Holiday tip DENIED.

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MANICURIST

nail polish - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: For beauty salon staff, the cost of one salon visit divided for each staff member who works with you. Give individual gift cards or a small gift each for those who work on you.
CR Survey finds: 38% do tip them; total median value of $15
WalletPop says: If you get weekly manicures, you’ve likely engaged in lots of idle chatter with your manicurist week after week. Perhaps you’ve learned she is a Starbucks freak or has a real sweet tooth. WalletPop thinks this is a good opportunity to use that knowledge to gift your manicurist with something affordable and appropriate.

NORA: I have been going to my nail lady for 9 years. She still thinks of me as a little girl, so doesn’t expect a dime from me. I grace her with my smile regularly and tip each visit. My nail lady actually cooks a huge feast and invites all her clients to show HER appreciation for our regular business. Holiday tip DENIED.
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BARBER

barber with scissors and comb - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: Cost of one haircut or a gift.
CR Survey finds: 34% do tip them; total median value of $10
WalletPop says: Many barbers work on a self-employed basis, and with the tough economic environment forcing mom-and-pop shops to close left and right, we have a real soft spot for those still making a go of it. In addition, barber visits tend to be much less costly than salon visits, so if you can spare the cost of one haircut as your holiday tip (or more), we say go for it!

NORA: Don’t use a barber for the boys, they actually go to my hair salon more than me, but only a few times a year and never to the same person. However, would definitely give a holiday tip if I did. I agree 100% with WalletPop on this one. Gentlemen, don’t forget your barbers!

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PET-CARE PROVIDER

pet groomer with dog - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: For a groomer, up to the cost of one session or a gift. For a dog walker, up to one week’s pay or a gift.
CR Survey finds: 27% do tip them; total median value of $20
WalletPop says: For pet groomers, you may want to tip if it’s the same person caring for your furry one all year. However, if it’s a business with multiple employee and not someone with a close connection to your pooch or kitty, we think this could be one tip to cut — if your purse is feeling pinched. On the other hand, for a dedicated dog walker who takes good care of your four-legged friend, we think a gift card to a coffee house or local business is a good idea to show your appreciation.

NORA: Don’t have any pets. 2 kids are enough.
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LAWN-CARE PROVIDER

lawnmower - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: For yard or garden workers, $20-50 each
CR Survey finds: 23% do tip them; total median value of $25
WalletPop says: Reserve these tips for those lawn-care or gardening workers who you have an established ongoing relationship with. If you pay to have your grass cut a couple of times in the summer or when you are away, no tip is necessary.

NORA: Hmm….didn’t really think about the gardeners. I’ll get back to ya one this one.

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MAIL CARRIER

mail carrier - how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: Small gifts up to $20 in value.
CR Survey finds: 721% do tip them; total median value of $20
WalletPop says: While the United States Postal Service’s official stance is that mail carriers may not accept cash, checks, gift cards or any other form of currency, the practice of receiving cash gifts is so commonplace that most carriers come to depend on this year-end “bonus.” It appears that many in Post Office management look the other way when it comes to enforcing this no-currency policy.

NORA: YES, YES, YES!!! My postman always delivers. He comes at the same time daily, leaves my packages for me, and even makes trips back for special deliveries that need to be signed for. He’s the best. Since cash is frowned on, I’ll give him a collection of homemade baked goods we give our friends, and I’ll also include an ice cold Coca Cola.

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GARBAGE COLLECTOR

garbage men -how much to tip

Emily Post recommends: $10-$30 or a small gift
CR Survey finds: 11% do tip them; total median value of $20
WalletPop says: Collecting other people’s trash can be a stinky, messy, thankless task. If you’re happy with the service you’re receiving from your garbage man or men, you may not want to forget them when creating your “who-to-tip?” list.

NORA: OMG, my trash collectors are sooo inconsistent. Some mornings they wake me up at 6AM with their loud trucks, other days I’m waiting til dawn for trash pickup. And some days, they just don’t show up. Holiday tip DENIED.

***And don’t forget to tip your favorite mommy blogger :)***

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