Holiday tipping can be a minefield — who do I tip? And how much? We're afraid the answer isn't so simple. The truth is, you're not required to tip anyone—but the holidays are a nice time to show your appreciation for the people who perform much-needed services for you year round. So as a jumping off point, here is our best advice for where to spread your holiday cheer this year.
Babysitters and Petsitters: One or two days' pay
If you have a go-to sitter (for your fur children or for real ones), the holidays are a nice time to give them a tip as a gift of thanks for all they do for your family. One or two days' or nights' pay is a solid benchmark.
Your Personal Glam Squad: The cost of one visit
Again, if you see the same folks week after week or month after month throughout the year, give them a little extra tip at your holiday visit—either the cost of one visit, or what you usually tip at a typical visit. This goes for hairdressers, manicurists, waxers, tailors and even dog groomers.
Doorman and Building Attendants: $20 each
A crisp $20 bill is a perfect tip for each of the people who keep your apartment or condo building running—that means the doorman, desk staff and garage attendants.
Day Care Workers and Teachers: A nice gift and a card
Instead of handing over cash to teachers and day care workers, opt for a holiday gift instead, with a nice card attached. A small gift card totally fits the bill, as does some nice candy or a book.
Nanny, Au Pair and Housekeepers: One week's pay
These people put in long hours to take care of your family and your home, so treat them with a generous tip for the holidays to show how much you value their time.
Clients, Bosses and Business Connections: A small gift or gift basket, and a card
When it comes to business relationships, there might be company policies (or even laws) that prevent you from handing over cash or lavish gifts. If you'd still like to present a gift, make it a small one (under $30 is a good benchmark)—and it's always OK to write them a kind card.
Mail Carriers, Municipal Workers and Delivery Drivers: A gift worth up to $20
If we're talking USPS, your mail carrier isn't allowed to accept cash or gift cards, at all, as well as gifts that are worth more than $20—and that rule might apply to your local municipal workers as well. The right thing to do here is present them with a small gift, like a box of candy or a homemade snack.
Nurses, Doctors, Dentists, Accountants and Attorneys: A nice card with a handwritten note
There are sometimes ethical concerns with tipping and gifting professionals like doctors and accountants. Instead, to show how much you appreciate their services, give your most-appreciated health and money advisors a nice card with a handwritten note—and your repeat business and referrals!