How to Tip for the Holidays

The holidays are an ideal time to say “thank you,” … in the ways that matter, to those who have helped us through the year.

“T.I.P.” literally translated, means “To Insure Promptness.”
Regular service providers whom we have come to trust and rely such as our hair stylist, manicurist or masseuse, babysitter, animal sitter, newspaper delivery person, UPS person, housekeeper, etc., help make our lives easier, brighten our day, and deserve to be acknowledged. While holiday tipping for regular service providers is very personal and certainly not mandatory, there are general guidelines:

Rule: The holiday tip should be one week’s compensation for that service provider.

For example, if you pay your housecleaner $60 per week, write another check for $60 for their holiday bonus.

While some may consider this over the top, there are many who “tip” much more than these basic guidelines. Babysitters and concierges, for example, are tipped as much as $100 to $500 or more, during the holidays. Remember, we trust these individuals, we rely on them, they take care of us/our children, they give us peace of mind, and make our lives easier, better.

Hair stylist – write another check for the same amount… some say you should double your regular 20 percent gratuity.
Manicurist – Write another check for the same amount.
Masseuse – Write another check for the same amount.
Day care provider – follow the same guidelines, however, this is very personal and, subjective.
Newspaper delivery person – $10 to $20
Postal delivery person $10 to $20.
*It is actually illegal to tip the postal carrier any more than $20.
House cleaner – write another check for the same amount.
Valet – $20 – $30
Secretary/Admin – write another check for one week’s salary.
*Please note: the Holiday Bonus is an entirely separate issue.

Not to forget:
Day to day regular service providers who i.e. make your coffee, pump your gas, the doorman in your building, etc.

Money need not always be the form of the holiday “tip.” While monetary gifts and gift cards are more common during the Holidays, some may not be able to tip or, simply prefer to gift something other than money.

Options: make something – your specialty craft or expertise, a special framed photo, baked goods, etc. A ‘thank you’ gesture of gratitude during the Holidays in any form is appreciated. People like to feel appreciated and acknowledged and ‘The Holidays’ is the perfect time to do so!

Whatever gesture you chose, it is truly the thought that counts!

Remember: A personal thank you note should always accompany the thoughtful “gesture.

And … even if your card has a pre-written message, write your own personal note of thanks.

Remember Ink:  Black ink is used for strictly professional correspondence, blue ink reflects warmth. Consider festive holiday colors i.e. red, green or gold is elegant!