Tipping over the holidays

Show your appreciation from the heart.

In a recent 2017 survey by Care.com it was found that 87% of the 1200 members surveyed said they give holiday tips. We have had several readers request tipping guidelines for this holiday season. I agree that this can be a delicate issue because we all want to do the right thing. I’m always afraid I will forget someone. Remember that these guidelines differ according to where you live, how helpful the person has been, how long they have been in your life and how you feel about them. Tipping is an individual token of appreciation.

Apartment dwellers:

Building superintendent: $75 – $150.

Doormen: $50 – $100 depending on how many doormen there are and who is most helpful. If there are many, lower the amount. The average doorman tip is $50.00.

Other building staff: Elevator men, handyman – $20-$50 each.

Parking Garage attendant: $20 – $30

House dwellers:

Landscaper, gardener – If they come frequently, one week’s pay. If occasional, $20-$50 each.

Newspaper carrier– $10 – $30

Handyman – $20 – $50 depending on how much he/she does for you.

Trash, Recycling collectors: If it’s a private service, $20-$30 each. If it’s a public service check to see if your municipality allows tipping.

Christmas tree delivery person: $20 for home delivery.

Letter carriers: As federal employees they are not supposed to be tipped, but after years of giving Christmas cookies or nuts, I decided that they would probably prefer cash, so I give $30.

Package delivery person: $20 each if they visit your home often during the holidays.

Dry Cleaning delivery: $20 – $30


Babysitters/Nannies: I give cash (one week’s salary) and a present. A gift card would be a good alternative.

Housekeeper/cleaning person: One or two week’s salary

Dog Walker: One week’s pay

Hairdresser/Manicurist, Barber: The cost of one visit

Personal trainer, Yoga teacher, Masseuse – A tip or present work here. For a tip, one session’s fee, especially if they come to your home.

Home health employees/private nurses: A cash tip or present or both are acceptable, although I always feel that more people would rather have the cash if it’s not offensive or too impersonal. I try to add a thoughtful card.

Nursing home employees: A cash tip or a present are both acceptable.

People to buy presents (gift cards count) for instead of tipping:

It’s important to remember that those people in your life who are licensed like doctors, lawyers, CPAs, stockbrokers and many others are regulated by boards and cannot accept cash gifts.

Others you should buy a present for:

Your assistant

I love this quote I read somewhere about what to do if you are on a tight budget:

“Thriftiness” is cutting back at your own expense. “Stinginess” is cutting back at the expense of others.