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Holiday Tipping Guide: Who to Tip at Holidays and How Much

Giving holiday tips is a fantastic way to express your gratitude. But who gets a tip during the holidays? This guide to holiday tipping will help you navigate that.

Make sure to take a look at the video from the well-known consumer expert, Clark Howard, titled “Full Show: Holiday Tipping Guide and Tax Credit Warning.” In the video, he offers some advice on how much to tip the hardworking folks who provide valuable services in our lives.

An Introduction to Holiday Tipping

Holiday tipping is a beloved tradition in numerous cultures and businesses globally. It doesn’t just spread goodwill but also strengthens relationships with those who contribute significantly to our daily lives. With the holidays approaching, many ponder the etiquette of tipping and who should be included on their list. Here are five compelling reasons why holiday tipping is crucial.

Acknowledging Consistent Service: .All year long, different professionals deliver dependable and top-notch service, making sure our lives go on seamlessly. Whether it’s your mail carrier, the doorman, or your regular hair stylist, a holiday tip is a way to recognize their year-round dedication.

 Building Strong Relationships: Giving holiday tips is a fantastic way to deepen relationships, especially with those you regularly interact with. It lets them know you appreciate their services and aim to keep a positive connection in the upcoming year.

A Gesture of Goodwill: The holiday season is all about giving and spreading cheer. When you tip, you’re actively taking part in this season of goodwill, making sure the spirit of generosity reaches as many lives as possible.

Encouraging Quality Service: A tip can act as a token of appreciation for exceptional service. By tipping during the holidays, you’re also encouraging these professionals to continue offering quality service in the future.

Holiday Tipping Guide

Mail and Package Delivery Services

You likely send and receive a bunch of mail and packages during the holiday season, and maybe throughout the rest of the year too. It’s a good idea to tip your letter carrier and any package delivery professionals you regularly interact with.

USPS Letter Carrier: The USPS lets letter carriers receive gifts with a value of up to $20, as long as it’s not cash. Opting for a gift card might be the most convenient choice.

UPS Package Delivery: If there’s a driver you regularly interact with, you can tip them around $25 in value. The company prefers tips not to be given in cash.

FedEx Package Delivery: FedEx drivers can receive gifts worth up to $75.

Other Delivery Services: For services like newspaper delivery or courier services, you can tip up to $30 during the holidays.

Tipping your mail and package delivery folks is a way to express gratitude for their year-round service, especially during the holiday season when their workload usually ramps up.

Practical Advice:

1. Consider adding a personal note of thanks along with your tip to make it more meaningful.

2. If you’re unsure about the exact amount, lean towards generosity, especially if you receive frequent deliveries.

Building Staff

If you work in a commercial building, there are likely plenty of folks who keep your operations running, ranging from doormen and security to cleaning and maintenance staff. You might not interact with all of them regularly. Still, figure out which ones are most relevant to your business when creating your holiday-tipping budget.

Cleaning Staff: The holiday tips for your cleaning team can vary based on your usual payment. Give around what you typically pay for one session. If there’s a full team, divide the tip among everyone.

Landscaping or Gardeners: Those who take care of your building’s exterior might be less active during the winter. Still, you can tip these individuals between $15 and $40 each.

Doormen or Security: Tips for doormen and security guards can vary widely. If you don’t interact with them regularly, you can give as little as $10 during the holidays. If they help you a lot throughout the year, then you can give as much as $80.

Building Superintendent: If your building has a supervisor or superintendent, consider tipping them up to $100 at the end of the year. If their responsibilities are limited or you’ve tipped throughout the year, you can give as little as $20.

Building staff, including cleaning, landscaping, and doormen, often go unnoticed, yet they contribute significantly to your daily convenience. Tipping them is not only a kind gesture but also a recognition of their hard work.

Practical Advice:

1. If your budget is tight, prioritize those you interact with most often.

2. For shared services like cleaning and landscaping, think about pooling tips with other tenants or businesses to give a more substantial amount.

Child Care Professionals

If you need help caring for your children or pets while you run your business, the holidays are a perfect time to recognize their contributions.

Teachers: Gift values can range from $25 to $100, depending on your location. Gift cards are usually a better idea than cash. Check with the school first to see if they have any specific policies about holiday gifts.

Babysitters: For those who watch your kids on a semi-regular basis, give them an extra night’s pay and maybe a special gift from your child.

Full-Time Nanny: Depending on how long they’ve worked with your family, you should give them the equivalent of at least one week’s pay, but up to one month’s pay. Also, consider getting them a personal gift from your child.

Daycare Service: Gifts for each person who interacts with your child should range between $20 and $70 in value.

Dog Sitter/Walker: Give them cash or a gift card equivalent to about one or two weeks’ pay.

Childcare professionals play a pivotal role in supporting your family or business. Holiday tipping for these individuals is a way to show your appreciation for their dedication and care.

Practical Advice:

Personalize your gift or tip by including a handwritten note or a small gift from your child, adding a personal touch to your appreciation.

Restaurant and Hospitality Staff

Generally, you should tip hospitality staff at the time service is provided. However, you might provide an additional tip or gift during the holidays for those you interact with regularly.

Waitstaff: Give between $10 and $50 to anyone who serves your business regularly, such as those who’ve worked events for you or those who work at one of your regular meeting spots.

Maitre D: If there’s a restaurant with a waiter or waitress you frequently visit, give them between $50 and $100.

Golf Professionals: If you host many meetings on the golf course, tip caddies or instructors either $50 or the cost of one session.

Front Desk: For those who often visit hotels or country clubs with front desk attendants, tip anywhere from $10 to $50, depending on how often you interact with them.

Locker Room Attendants: If there are locker room attendants at the country clubs or health clubs you visit regularly, give between $10 and $50 each during the holidays.

For those in the hospitality industry, the holiday season can be particularly hectic. An extra tip or gift can be a great morale booster for these hardworking individuals.

Practical Advice: Keep in mind that a personal connection can make a tip feel more special. A simple “Thank you for the great service this year” can go a long way.

Service Professionals

You don’t necessarily need to tip every service provider you’ve worked with throughout the year. But any that you interact with regularly may deserve some recognition.

Transportation Service: If there’s a driver who you work with regularly, give about 20 percent of your monthly bill.

Parking Attendants: For parking or garage attendants you interact with regularly, you can give between $10 and $30.

 Virtual Assistant: If your business uses one, tip them $50 during the holidays or the equivalent of one hour’s pay.

Freelancers: For those who’ve supported your business on a contract basis throughout the year, think about tipping them the equivalent of their hourly rate, or $50.

Beauty Professionals: If you have a regular hairdresser, barber, or manicurist, consider tipping them 15 or about 20 percent of your standard service during the holidays. This is on top of your regular tip for each service.

Service pros such as transportation services, parking attendants, and freelancers play a vital role in your day-to-day operations. Tipping them during the holidays can strengthen your business relationships.

Practical Advice: If you’re a regular customer, think about giving a slightly higher tip than the suggested amount to acknowledge their consistent service.

Who Not to Tip

Typically, it’s not the norm to tip highly skilled professionals like accountants or physicians. If you believe that any of these service providers went above and beyond during the year and you’d like to recognize them, consider sending a gift instead.

A thoughtful gift basket with sweets or a gift card to their favorite restaurant would be a more fitting gesture than giving cash.

Moreover, government employees can’t accept cash tips, and it’s a good idea to check with each company you work with beforehand to see if they have a specific tipping policy.

Practical Advice: When unsure, a meaningful gift or a heartfelt thank-you card can serve as a fitting alternative to cash tips.

How to Set a Holiday Tipping Budget

Holiday tipping is a chance to express extra gratitude to those who have supported your business throughout the year. If you have a budget constraint, prioritize those you interact with daily or regularly.

If you can’t provide cash or gift cards to everyone, gifts with a comparable cash value are also acceptable. However, avoid giving inexpensive promotional items with your company’s logo instead of cash. A thoughtful gift basket or a sincere note and card would be more suitable.

If you can spare a little extra for those on your list, ensure it’s a sustainable practice year after year. Avoid creating unrealistic expectations that may become challenging to meet in the future.

Practical Advice: Begin mapping out your holiday-tipping budget early in the year. This way, you can set aside funds gradually, steering clear of any financial strain when the holiday season rolls around.

Who Do You Tip at the Holidays Summary

Service CategoryService ProviderTipping Suggestion
Mail & PackageUSPS CarrierUp to $20 (gift card)
UPS DeliveryAbout $25
FedEx DeliveryUp to $75
Building StaffCleaningOne session’s pay
Doormen/Security$10 – $80
Superintendent$20 – $100
Child CareTeachers$25 – $100
BabysittersExtra night’s pay
NannyWeek to month’s pay
HospitalityWaitstaff$10 – $50
Maitre D$50 – $100
Front Desk$10 – $50
Service ProfessionalsTransportation20% of the monthly bill
Virtual Assistant$50 or an hour’s pay
Beauty Pros15% – 20% of service

The Takeaways

Holiday tipping is a tradition with a wide-reaching impact, fostering relationships and showing appreciation for those who make our daily lives more comfortable.

From delivery services to beauty professionals, there’s a wide array of people we can thank through thoughtful holiday tipping. Here’s a summary of what you need to keep in mind:

Recognize Consistent Service: Reward those who’ve consistently delivered excellent service all year. Feel free to be extra generous—it’s the holidays!

Build Stronger Relationships: Use tipping to build stronger connections with those you regularly interact with.

Participate in the Season of Giving: Spread joy and goodwill by including as many folks as you can in your holiday tipping.

Encourage Quality Service: Your tips serve as motivation for ongoing quality service.

Consider Who Not to Tip: Keep in mind the professionals and government employees who usually don’t get tips; consider giving them gifts when it’s suitable.

Set a Tipping Budget:  Plan your holiday tipping budget, keeping sustainability and meaningful gestures in mind.

Don’t forget, that tipping is more than just handing over cash; it’s a way to show appreciation and goodwill. The guidelines here can help you navigate this tradition with grace and thoughtfulness.

The holiday season is a great time to let those close to you know you appreciate their contributions and want to recognize their efforts. It’s these human connections that truly make the holiday season special.

Giving holiday tips is a considerate way to strengthen relationships and show gratitude. When figuring out your holiday tips, think about how often and well the service has been provided, your budget, and the customary practices in your community.

Keep in mind, that the heart of holiday tipping is in appreciating the effort, not just the amount. By being thoughtful and giving within your means, you can bring more cheer to everyone who plays a part in your everyday life and business.

Make sure to check out resources like Clark Howard’s video for advice on specific amounts and additional insights. Wishing you holidays filled with joy, gratitude, and thoughtful giving.

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