I didn't used to be a holiday tipper.
And then I remembered I wouldn't want to pick up trash or cut my own hair or wake up at 4am to deliver my beloved Sunday paper.
So I started stretching my wallet.
Holiday tipping is crazy important to those who are deserving, so here's a quick and easy etiquette guide for us all (with bonus commentary):
Who and How Much?
- Maid - one week's pay. This is for maids in your employ whom you pay directly. If you use a service and never know who is coming out, don't tip at all. I will be tipping myself. Generously.
- Gardener/Lawn Boy - $20-50. Mine deserves a Wii for the volume of leaves those two trees vomit.
- Mail Carrier - Non-cash gifts with value up to $20. This is for mail carriers who you know and see regularly. And put up with the enormous amount of magazines you subscribe to. POST UPDATE: Sarah Lynne (a postal worker) makes some great points in the comments section - check her out - #6)
- Apartment building handyman - $15-40 each. This is my Dad. He gets the simple gift of being my father.
- Manicurist/pedicurist - $15 or more. This yearly gift will keep them from talking smack about you in a foreign language.
- Hairdresser/barber- $15 or more. This is the person with sharp instruments near your face. Don't scrimp.
- Newspaper Carrier - Daily - $30, weekend - $10
- Teacher - $20-50. If you know the teacher's hobbies or interests, then a gift certificate from a movie theater, mall, restaurant or spa would be snazzy. No more bus earrings.
- Coaches, tutors, ballet instructors, music teachers - A small gift from your child. Unless your kid stinks at the activity, then it's time to give up. That would be the best gift.
- Garbage collector(s) - $15-30 each. It would be more if they'd pick up the trash that falls out of the bag. Dudes - It's RIGHT THERE.
- Babysitter - One night's pay, plus a small gift from your child.
- Personal trainer - $25-75 upon reaching goal. I have always successfully avoided this giving opportunity.
- Blogger (which you regularly read) - Gift card to Amazon.
Caveat: So does not-giving.