Manners & Misdemeanors
The Definitive Guide to Holiday Tipping
From your housekeeper to the garbage man, here's who deserves some extra cash around the holidays.

The holidays are a time for showing your appreciation—and in many cases, that means gratitude of the monetary kind. But how much is appropriate to give? And who in your life deserves a little acknowledgement?

Short answer? Common sense, specific circumstances, and holiday spirit should always be your guide. But of course, there's a longer answer too.

First, consider these factors, courtesy of the Emily Post Institute:

  • The quality and frequency of the service you receive.
  • Your relationship with the service provider.
  • You location—tipping averages tend to be higher in larger cities.
  • The number of years you've been using the service
  • Your budget: You should never feel obligated to go beyond what you can reasonably afford.
  • If your budget does not allow for tips, consider homemade gifts (yes, gingerbread cookies count) or a genuine and heartfelt thank you note.
  • Any gift or tip should always be accompanied by a short handwritten note of appreciation.
  • Do you already tip regularly? If you tip at the time of service, you may forego an end of the year tip, or give a more modest holiday thank you.
  • Don't buy into the thought that if you don't tip you won't get good service for the coming year. If you think you've had bad service for this reason, that's a sign you need to make some changes.

Below, a handy guide to holiday tipping using information gleaned from the Emily Post Institute and Sharon Schweitzer, an etiquette expert, author, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide:

Full-time household help (cook, nanny, personal caregiver, or butler): between a week to a month's pay, plus a gift

Housekeeper: if they come once a week: equivalent of a day's pay. If they come daily: equivalent of a week's pay, and possibly a gift

Babysitter: up to one evening's pay and a small gift from your children

Teacher: consider a group gift with parents pooled funds

Gardener: equivalent of a week's pay

Pool Cleaner: equivalent of one session, divided among the crew.

Garbage/Recycling: P100 to P300 each for extra holiday effort

Doorman: between P500 to P1000 each, or gift, depending on extra duties

Newspaper Delivery Person: between P100 to P300, or give a small gift

Pet Groomer: Up to the cost of one session or a gift

Personal Trainer: Up to the cost of one session or a gift

Massage Therapist: Up to the cost of one session or a gift

Barber/Hairdresser: Up to the cost of one haircut or a gift

And here's you could skip without--send a holiday card instead:

  • Accountant/CPA
  • Attorney
  • Auditor
  • Banker
  • Bookkeeper
  • Doctor, Dentist
  • Executive Coach
  • Members, Board of Directors or Trustees
  • Seamstress/ Tailor
  • Veterinarian

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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