Friday, December 10, 2010

Tips on holiday tipping

As a follow up to my recent five minutes on 6AM TV (bright-eyed and bushy-tailed), I thought I would jot down some specifics for those interested in finding one place for the appropriate amounts to tip those in the service industry whose services we use throughout the year.  I had a newscaster call me yesterday and we did a story on it in Dallas yesterday afternoon, that was fun.  I think it's something that people do forget about and I'm happy to remind them.  

Whether and how much you tip widely varies, depending on the quality and frequency of the service, where you live,  (amounts are usually higher in large cities, and your budget.  If you’ve regularly tipped at the time of service, either forgo a holiday tip, or cut back on the amount.  Try to get your child’s input when deciding on any gifts for teachers, day care providers, nannies, and babysitters.
Every situation is different so let common sense, specific circumstances, and holiday spirit be your guides.  This tip amounts might be helpful:
A gift from your family (or one week’s pay), plus a card from your child/children
Babysitter, regular
One evening’s pay, plus a small gift from your child
Cost of one haircut and possibly a small gift
Beauty salon staff
10-60$ each, giving most to those who give most to you, and possibly a small gift.
Child’s teacher
Gift, NOT Cash or check- school policy.  Ideas:  Classroom supplies such as books, sanitizer, tissue, picture frame, fruit basket, gourmet basket, slippers, cozy blanket, joint gift with other moms, a food item purchased by a group.
Day-care providers
25-70$ each, plus a small gift from your child; of only one or two providers, consider higher-range amount
Dog walker/Pet Sitter
One weeks pay
Personal Fitness trainer
Cost of one session and possibly a holiday card thanking them for hard work
Garage attendants
10-30$ each, to be distributed by my manager 
One days pay
Letter carriers
US Government regulations permit carriers to accept gifts worth up to 20$ each, but a basket of fruit or candy, and nuts, are appropriate too.  You could also write a kind letter to their supervisor telling them how your carrier goes out of their way to ensure your packages safe arrival.
Massage Therapist
One session’s fee

Newspaper delivery
Private Nurse 
Gift, not cash (too personal of a job)
Nursing home employees
Gift, not cash (see above)
Package deliverer
Small gift if you receive deliveries regularly; most delivery companies prohibits other.    
Pool cleaner
Cost of cleaning the pool
Elevator man
Handy Man
10-20/each for private service (a gift is also appropriate- candy, nuts, popcorn)
Yard worker/gardener

If you can't afford to tip these people, just remember, it's not all about the money for them, or rest assured, they wouldn't be in any of these professions (for the most part).  They enjoy serving you, seeing your hair transform, opening the door and making you smile when they ask how your day was, helping work out the kinks in your neck- so a card, at the very least, with a personal message written of thanks and gratitude for them this time of year is also very much appreciated (I've done my research in the field and asked).  Just don't forget to remember them.  

My two cents!

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