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With the holidays upon us, and 2018 coming to a close, end-of-year “thank you” tipping can be a tricky and confusing topic.

The purpose of holiday tipping is to reward good service and to say thank you. And according to a recent survey by Consumer Reports, “sixty percent of us gave tips to one or more service providers during the holidays last year.”

What is the etiquette for who to tip and how much?

Deciding who to tip is easy. Just think about  which service providers have been an integral part of your personal life during the past year.

And, the amount of the tip will vary in different regions of the country. For example, tipping may be higher in larger cities where the cost of living may be higher.

Below are 10 general etiquette guidelines on holiday tipping that will help ensure your tipping is appropriate and accepted with a smile and gratitude.

10 Holiday Tipping Guidelines

  1. Cash is always king. But, consider your budget. Don’t go beyond what you can comfortably do.

  2. Consider the quality and frequency of the service. For example, I’ve gone to my chiropractor regularly this year. So at an upcoming appointment, I’ll give him a small box of locally made gourmet chocolates.

  3. Consider how long you’ve used this service provider, and how close your relationship is with the service provider. For example, have you had the same barber or hairdresser all year? The same dog groomer?

  4. For services that you normally tip throughout the year, give a small extra tip or gift card. This may include your hairdresser, barber, massage therapist, dog groomer or dog walker, or manicurist.

  5. For services in which you don’t normally tip throughout the year, such as newspaper delivery or trash collector, consider a holiday thank-you tip of $10-25. In my neighborhood, a tip usually ensures that my daily newspaper is consistently thrown onto the driveway instead of the grass. And it means the emptied trash cans are placed near the garage instead of being left on the curb. In addition to the tip envelope, one of my neighbors even includes a plate of holiday cookies and candy for the trash haulers to enjoy along their route!  (And I’ve copied their marvelous idea!)

  6. Mail carriers may receive small gifts, but are not allowed to accept cash, checks, gift cards or any type of currency.

  7. For a regular babysitter or house keeper, give a small gift or cash or gift card equivalent to an evening’s pay or bi-weekly cleaning.

  8. Daycare provider or nursing home employees; consider food items or flowers that can be shared and enjoyed by all. Or you may opt to give your child’s specific daycare teachers a cash gift or pre-paid bank gift card of $25-50 that can be used at any retailer. Nursing home guidelines usually do not allow for cash gifts to employees; however, small individual gifts to specific caregivers are usually acceptable.

  9. For those who live in big city apartment buildings with superintendents and doormen, how much to tip can be tricky. A good idea is to ask several other residents what amount they give.

  10. Be sure to tuck money gifts and gift cards into a greeting card or printed thank you note. Then to make it personal, write several sincere lines (2-4 lines is enough) of heartfelt appreciation for the service provider.

Your generosity and thoughtfulness is appreciated by hard-working service providers at the holidays.

These tipping guidelines will help accommodate everyone who’s made your life a little easier without draining your bank account.

Interested In Learning More About Rachel’s Business Etiquette Services?

If you are interested in any of my business or etiquette seminars please contact me or call me at 918.970.4400!