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Your Guide to Holiday Tipping

We reveal how much to tip your babysitter, mail carrier, hairdresser, and more.

In this infographic provided by Zagat Survey via AP Images on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, are results of Zagat’s first-ever holiday tipping survey. Credit: AP
In this infographic provided by Zagat Survey via AP Images on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, are results of Zagat’s first-ever holiday tipping survey. Credit: AP

Written by Maridel Reyes

Family? Check. Friends? Got it. Office Secret Santa? In the bag. Now…what about gifts for everyone else?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (again), when every service provider you frequent expects a little something extra in his or her Christmas stocking. Whether it’s your handyman, building superintendent, babysitter or dog walker, holiday tipping is really holiday thanking.

To prevent any accidental Scrooging this year, here’s our guide for showing your gratitude without completely emptying your wallet. (Note: For people you tip regularly throughout the year, etiquette experts say you can forgo the holiday tip entirely or give a more modest amount or a small gift.)

 

Holiday Tipping Guide

Babysitter:  1 evening's pay + small gift from child

Nanny:  1 week's to 1 month's pay + small gift from child.

Daycare providers:  $25-$70/each + small gift from child.

Housekeeper:  One week’s pay or more, depending on length of service.

Dry Cleaner/Tailor:  Cash tips are not required, but if you use them often, a card and small gift is appropriate.

Beauty salon staff:  Individual tips for each person who works on you, totaling the amount of one salon visit. It's not necessary to tip the salon owner.

Mail carrier:  Postal workers are forbidden from receiving cash tips and gifts whose value is greater than $20, so give a small gift under that amount.

Doorman:  $15-$80 (if multiple doormen, $15 or more). Ask your neighbors to find out what is typical in the building.

Superintendent:  $30-$100, closer to $100 if you don’t have a doorman.

Handyman: $10-$50 each.

Garage attendant: $10-$30.

Gardener: $20-$50.

Newspaper delivery person: $15-$25 for daily delivery; $5-$15 for weekend delivery only.

Dog walker: One week's pay.  

Yard/garden worker:  $20-$50 each.

Personal trainer/ Massage therapist:  Cost of one session.


TELL US: How much do you tip your service providers? How much is too much and how much is too little?

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