Tipping for the holidays? An etiquette guide


'Tis the season for gift-giving and holiday tipping.

If you agonize over who should be on your tipping list or worry about how much is appropriate to give, the Ruth to the Rescue unit has checked with some etiquette websites for some general guidelines. Remember, they are just guidelines and you should consider your own financial situation and choose amounts you can truly afford.

First, how do you determine who to tip? The experts say make a list of people that regularly impact your life in positive ways. Also, consider your relationship with each vendor. How long have they worked with you? Has their service been outstanding? The answers to these questions will both affect their inclusion on the list, and how much you decide to give.

In some cases, you may need to check the tipping policies of the worker's employer. For example, postal workers are not allowed to take cash and can only accept gifts worth less than $20.

Also, don't forget money isn't the only appropriate way of letting someone know they are appreciated. If money is tight, you can also write personal notes or bake sweet treats.

How Much Do You Tip?

The following suggestions come from the Emily Post Institute:

Regular babysitter: Cash- Up to one evening's pay and a small gift from your children.

Day care provider: Cash or a gift for each staff member who works with your children. A gift from you or $25-$70 for each staff member who works with your children and a small gift from your children.

Housekeeper: Cash and/or a gift. Up to the amount of one week's pay and/or a small gift.

Nursing home employees: A gift (not cash). Check company policy first. A gift that could be shared by the staff (flowers or food items).

Barber: Cash or gift. Up to the cost of one haircut or a gift.

Beauty salon staff: Cash or gift depending on whether you tip well after each service. Up to the cost of one salon visit divided for each staff member who works with you. Give individual cards or a small gift each for those who work on you.

Personal trainer: Cash or gift. Up to the cost of one session or a gift.

Dog walker: Cash or gift Up to one week's pay or a gift.

Personal caregiver: Cash or gift: Up to one week to one month's salary or a gift.

Newspaper delivery person: Cash or small gift $10-30 or a small gift

Mail carrier: Small gift only per United States Postal Service rules, carriers can only accept small gifts worth $20 or less.

Doorman: Cash or gift $15-80. $15 or more each for multiple doormen, or a gift.

Handyman: Cash or gift $15 to $40.

Trash/Recycling collectors: Cash or gift. Check city regulations if it is a municipal service. $10-30 each.

Yard/Garden worker: Cash or gift $20-50 each.

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