The Real-World Guide to Who to Tip at the Holidays

Nov 10, 2017 | Blog, Tips & How Tos

The holiday season is a great time to show gratitude to those who provide services that make our lives easier throughout the year. But figuring out who to tip at the holidays – and how much – can add a layer of stress to the already hectic season.

We’ve rounded up a list of the service providers you’re most likely to interact with throughout the year, and the suggested amounts for holiday tipping. Some of the ranges are wide, so use your best judgement based on the length and quality of the relationship you have with the service provider. If it’s only the third time your lawn guy has visited, you will likely tip him differently than the beloved dog walker your pooches have loved for three years.


Holiday Tipping Guide

  • Landscaper/Gardener/Lawncare: $20-$50
  • Newspaper Delivery Person: $10-$20
  • Milk and/or Water Delivery: The cost of a typical week’s order
  • Garbage Collectors: $10 each (check rules on tipping)
  • Day Care Staff: $25–$75 for anyone who works with your child on a regular basis
  • Nanny: 1-2 week’s pay
  • Babysitter: One typical night’s pay
  • Mail Carrier: No cash, a small gift or gift card valued under $25 due to USPS policy
  • Massage Therapist: The cost of one service
  • Favorite Barista: $10-$25 in a greeting card addressed specifically to them – so that it doesn’t have be shared in a tip pool
  • Cleaning Person: Cost of one cleaning
  • Dog Walker: $10-$50
  • Hairstylist, Manicurist, Esthetician: Cost of one service
  • Personal Trainer: Cost of one session
  • Christmas Tree Delivery: $5 if they help you load it up onto your car, $20 for home delivery
  • Gift Wrapper: $1-2 per gift, up to $5 for large, awkward, or ornate jobs
  • Butcher: $5–$10
  • Caterer: 20% or $5-$10 to each event staff member
  • Florist: 10% of your order, $5–$10 to delivery drivers

Remember, the purpose of holiday tipping is a way to say thank you. Tips should be accompanied by a short thank you note, and – whenever possible – delivered in person.

If your budget is tight your can accompany a smaller tip with a small gift, baked goodies, or a longer heartfelt letter of thanks.

See more shopping lists and checklists in the Cozi List Library.

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