This season is an ideal time to show appreciation for those who help you on the home front all year long. A holiday tip is always welcome, whether in the form of cash, a gift or a little extra added to your regular payment. Different service professions have different guidelines for such gifting, however, so consult the following hints before you tip.
Childcare provider: This very important person should be tops on your tip list. For a nanny or au pair, consider giving a week’s pay plus a small gift from your child. For a babysitter who watches your kids occasionally throughout the year or for last-minute emergencies, add one or two nights’ pay. For a day-care provider, consult the facility’s policies, and if tips are permitted, give in the range of $25 to $75.
Cleaning person: Give the cost of one visit if your cleaning person comes in weekly or biweekly, and give more if the visits are more frequent. For a cleaning service team, it’s customary to give a box of candy.
Mail carrier: U.S. Postal Service employees aren’t allowed to accept cash gifts, but you can express your appreciation with a gift card or edible holiday treat, as long as the value is under $20.
Newspaper-delivery person: Give a tip of between $10 and $30, leaning toward the lower end of the scale if you tend to tip throughout the year. You can also give a small gift in lieu of cash, and a note of thanks is a nice accompaniment.
Trash and recycling collectors: Check rules for your municipality before tipping, as some don’t allow workers to accept cash. If tips are permitted, consider an amount of $10-$30 per worker, and hand-deliver the gift with a note or holiday card when they show up for the next garbage or recycling day.
Dog walker: For a daily dog walker, give up to a week’s pay or a small gift. For more occasional dog-walking duties, adding one day’s pay is appropriate.
Building handyman: If you’re lucky enough to have regular help from an on-site handyman, check your building association’s policies before giving a holiday tip in the $15 to $50 range.