The Post About Frosted Tips

First Snow
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.
Giving always comes back to you.

Caveat: So does not-giving.

{image: Jamie}


  1. OK ... who has a maid and garden/lawn service ???? both of those are ME ... so I guess I can tip myself

  2. Thanks for the tips! Oh and I look forward to that Amazon gift card.....

  3. I hope Kara reads thiiiiissss! :) Just kidding!

  4. Your trash would not fall out on the garbage man if you would TIE YOUR TRASHBAG.

  5. BJP: I have a lawn boy until a husband takes his place. And I would totally have a maid if I could afford - regardless of my marital status.

    M: You 100% have a blog worthy of a gift card!

    K: You should send her the link...

    C: There's no need to yell...

  6. Hello,

    I am a mail carrier. I want to set the record straight. The lovely Post Office higher-ups have spread the rumor that we are not allowed to except cash gifts. I dont know a mail carrier alive who wouldnt except a gift during the Holiday Season. We work very, very hard during the year, especially at Christmas time with all the packages, catalogs and holiday cards. Another misconception is that we make lots and lots of money!! I have to laugh at that. I make $17 an hour. Yes it is a good paycheck, but not as great as most people think. I also only get paid 40 hrs a week no matter what (no overtime) This time of year I am working 60-70 hour weeks. I just wanted to say that people should feel free to tip as little or as much as they feel is right. From experience, mail carriers and newspaper carriers (do that too) deserve alot of credit for 6 days a week, rain, snow, sleet or hail!!!! So please tip how you feel.

    P.s. Also remember that most rural routes have two mail carriers. A full time regular, and then the poor sub that gets the bad shifts (xmas eve for example!!!!)

    Thank you for letting me comment, and Happy Holidays!!!!


  7. SL: Thank you Sarah so much for fleshing that one out a bit more for us rabbit chasers!


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