Tis the Season for Tipping! Ho Ho Ho!!

Tis the season to thank those who provide services to us.   I thought I would give a recap of what is customary:

1.  Postal Carrier-  My mail carrier, Rocks…she picks up boxes at my door, and gives me a bill for the shipping.  She is always pleasant, and between Thanksgiving and Christmas, she wears a Santa Hat.  She makes my life so much easier…and for that I give her $100.  I believe the USPS prohibits gifts of more than $20…so we will not use her name.

2.  Hair Stylist – the cost of one service…unless your stylist has messed up your hair, then I suggest Nothing.  Best to keep those who make you lovely, happy. 

3.  Masseuse, Nail Technician, etc… – cost of one massage,  mani or pedi, or facial.  And look for a future blog on the No-Chip Manicure…Fabulous!

4.  Dog Walker – they say you should tip one week’s of dog walking.  Same applies for dog sitting.  Take care of those who care for our beloved pets.  

5.  Sitter, Nanny, or Au Pair – if you have a live in Nanny, then you tip then one month.  An Au Pair should get an extra week’s pay.  If you have a regular babysitter, tip them the amount you would pay them for one evening’s work. A small gift from your child is also a nice touch.

6.  Personal Trainer – $25 up to 1 week’s pay (or cost of 1 session).   Which reminds me, I really need to go back to my trainer!

7.  Teacher – A small gift of about $20 value, given to the teacher by your child.  My sister-in-law is a teacher, and I remember the wonderful, thoughtful gifts she used to receive…and the ones that meant the most to her were personal gifts from the child.

8.  Coaches, Tutors, Music Teachers, Ballet instructors – a small gift from the child.  I always like a signed group gift for a sports coach.  A signed baseball, football, or team photo. 

9.  Cleaning Person/Service – Does the person visit once or twice a week?  Tip them one week’s pay. Consider tipping more if they do work more frequently.

10.  Trash Collectors – $15 – $20 each.  If these guys haul away things they shouldn’t, you really should take care of them.  My father said no need to tip the Recycling People, because they can’t do anything for you.  Seems like sage advice.

11.  Paper Carrier –  $15-$25 for daily delivery ($5-$15 for weekend delivery).  We don’t get the paper anymore, and I know we had a carrier that didn’t deliver the paper till after 8AM during the week.  Suffice to say, that carrier did not receive a holiday tip. 

12.  Parking attendants –  $10-$35 each or up to half a month’s parking bill for the group if they regularly provide extra service.  More if this included washing your car.

13.   School Bus Drivers – as my friend Carol says…so they don’t run over your children! 🙂

General Tips On Tipping:

Remember cash is king. Choose to give cash over a check, and do your best to make sure it’s a fresh, crisp bill.

If you can’t afford to give a little extra – or at all – a handwritten note to show your gratitude is something you should consider. Be sure to express your appreciation in some way to the folks who make your life easier. Suggestions include a holiday card or a handmade gift or treat like cookies or candy.  And if you can, a lovely holiday luncheon, always fits the bill.

Happy Holidays and Happy Tipping.



One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.  Don’t clean it up too quickly.  ~Andy Rooney


  1. Keeping us on our toes Terry! First the pardon me’s and thank yous, and now the tips. Good thinking! I’ve been known to use VERY poor form and call over my postal carrier as I’m driving by and thank him and hand him a $20. Also, don’t forget the kid’s bus drivers (especially if you want them to slow down as your child runs after them). I DID forget that one this year, so it will be a New Years gift. Nice lucky strike extra post for a Monday. Thanks.

  2. Okay little late in reading some of these. But this blog is perfect…just making out the envelope to our wonderful postal carrier.
    And, OMG love the Shellac No Chip manicure – because there is a difference – and that bubbly nail tech – she’s the best.
    I think you must post a photo of your living room on christmas morning. I remember when our kids were little, they would play in all the torn wrapping paper while their gifts were piled high.

    • Thanks Julie! Of course since I posed this one, I’ve thought of 10 other service providers/employees I should have mentioned…So that will be the 2011 version. xo

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