You should prioritize a holiday gratuity to the people who walk your dog, cut your hair, and even deliver packages to your front door.
Think about the people who are out of sight and out of mind, like garbage collectors, newspaper deliverers or other people who provide important services you may not be aware of right away. It’s not mandatory, but holiday gratuities and gifts show people you appreciate their service and encourages loyalty.
Here are some examples of how you should tip:
1. Au pair, babysitter, nanny
Suggested tip: One week’s pay and a gift from your child(ren)–This person works with your family, and you likely know them well. Consider a gift, especially if the person lives with you.
2. Dog walkers and pet groomers
Suggested tip: Dog walker: up to one week’s pay/Pet groomer: up to the cost of one session –Experts say you can also give a gift valued at roughly the same amount as the cash tip. Adjust the value of the tip for how frequently you use this person’s services. If you visit the pet groomer only a few times a year, the tip can be smaller.
3. Hair stylist or barber
Suggested tip: cost of one visit–Consider cash or a gift “commensurate to their good service.” If your stylists and manicurists work miracles, show them you appreciate it.
4. Gardener or landscaper
Suggested tip: varies–If you only have one gardener, then tip the cost of one visit or one week’s work. If you have a crew, then $20 to $50 per person should suffice.
Suggested tip: up to one week’s pay–You can also divide the tip among a crew if there is more than one person.
6. Personal trainer
Suggested tip: the cost of one session or more–Some people are practically best friends with their trainers. If you have been training with the person for several months and see them at least once a week, consider tipping at least the cost of one session.
7. Package delivery or mail carrier
Suggested tip: small gift, up to $20 in value–The U.S. Postal Service does not allow any kind of cash gift, or any other form of currency. (That includes gift cards!) Most private delivery companies discourage or prohibit cash gifts, so check the policy, or stick with a small gift.
8. Apartment building staff
Suggested tip: $20 to $100 or a gift–If you live in a building with a doorman, don’t forget to tip, especially if you receive a lot of packages, order a lot of pizza or have a lot of visitors.
9. Trash and recycling collectors
Suggested tip: $10 to $30 each–Offer a cash tip or gift (for private companies). Check city regulations if it is a municipal service.
10. Children’s teacher
Suggested tip: small gift from you and/or your child–Giving cash is not appropriate for teachers (or tutors or coaches, or anyone related to education). But they will all appreciate the gesture of a small, thoughtful gift.
Suggested tip: a thoughtful gift–These people may know you pretty well. They are often also pretty well paid. Stick with a meaningful gift that shows how much you appreciate their care.