Holiday Tipping Guide: 2011

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Holiday tipping time is here, and if you’re looking for advice on how much to give, and who should be on your list, then we’ve got you covered.

We asked experts, including Diane Gottsman of The Protocol School of Texas, for some guidelines. Plus, what to do when you can’t give as much as you’d like.

Babysitter/Nanny: One Week’s Pay

Full-time babysitters should get one week of pay. Babysitters you use less frequently should receive a tip equivalent to the amount of time you use them per week. You can also add a small gift from your child.

Barber/Hair Stylist: One Visit’s Pay

If you see your hairstylist or colorist frequently, tip the equivalent of one service, or whatever you can comfortably afford.

Building Staff: $20 to$100

From the doorman to the handyman, the tip depends on how much you’ve used them during the past year. City dwellers will likely give more than suburbanites. Elevator operators should get between $20 and $50.

Dog Walker: One Week’s Pay

Offer the equivalent of one week’s service and/or an inexpensive gift.

Landscaper/Gardener: Cost of One Visit

If there’s a team, consider giving $10 to $20 each depending on the service and relationship.

Mail/Package Delivery: Gift

United States Post Office workers aren’t allowed to accept cash. Consider a small gift or home-baked treat worth less than $20.

Manicurist: Cost of One Session

The size of the tip depends on how often you use them, and if you visit the same person with each visit.

Massage Therapist: Cost of One Session

Tipping factors include how often you go, and if you visit the same professional.

Newspaper Carrier: $10 to $25

If you get a newspaper delivered daily, consider $25. If you receive a newspaper less frequently, offer $10 and/or a small gift, depending on the quality of service.

Nurses/Private Caregiver: Gift or One Week’s Pay

“A private home nurse that works for an agency may not be able to accept cash, so check with the agency first,” Gottsman said. For nursing home staff, consider a gift such as food that everyone can share and doesn’t favor only one attendant.

Personal Trainer: Cost of One Session

If you’ve worked with a trainer regularly for at least six months, the tip can range from one session to one week of service.

Teacher: Gift/Gift Cards

“Teachers get their share of body lotions and candles. Be creative and uncover the teacher’s favorite restaurant or shop and offer a gift card accordingly,” said etiquette expert Gottsman. Accompany the gift with a handwritten note from your child.

Trash collectors: $10-$20 each

Different rules may apply for public service workers so check first to be safe.

Housekeeper: One Week’s Pay

Offer the equivalent of one week’s pay, plus a gift if the housekeeper has worked with your family for years.

Holiday Tipping Guide: 2011” was contributed by


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