Tips for giving tips this holiday season

PHILADELPHIA - December 7, 2010

To help decide who gets what, first prioritize your most important service providers. Ask yourself - who does the most to help me throughout the year?

Then, feel free to ask your neighbors or peers what's customary for your particular situation. What's appropriate can really vary but here are general guidelines:

  • For a regular babysitter - one evening's pay plus a small gift from your child.
  • A daycare provider - $25 to $70, plus a small gift from your child.
  • Trash collectors - $10 to $30 each.
  • Garage attendants - $10 to $35 each or up to half a month's rate for the group if they regularly provide extra service.
  • Handyman - $15 to $40
  • Doormen - $20 to $100 each depending on who provides you the most service.
  • Hairdressers, manicurists, dog walkers, and personal trainers usually get a tip equivalent to the cost of one visit or session.
  • As for mail carriers - By law, they cannot receive cash, check or gift cards. However, they can receive gifts worth less than $20.
  • Housekeepers - Up to one week's pay and/or a small gift..
  • Newspaper carriers - $15 to $25 for daily delivery, $5 to $15 for weekend delivery.
By the way, etiquette experts say if you're having trouble making ends meet, it is okay to cut back on holiday tipping or to even skip it altogether.

However, make sure you still express your appreciation in some way. Suggestions include a holiday card with a handwritten note or a plate of cookies or even candy.

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