Manner Monday®: Holiday Tipping Tips

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by Carey Sue Vega in Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday

Do you find yourself asking how much you should spend when spreading Holiday Cheer to service providers? It can be a bit overwhelming when you start making the list of all of the people who not only make your life easier, but also those who help you, take care of you; everything from day care providers, housekeepers, and pet groomers, to hair stylists and personal trainers. And modern times bring new categories to that growing list; personal assistant/errand service, eyelash care, nail tech, and don’t forget the technology ninja who makes sure your home office stays online! After all, they are the people we rely on throughout the year.  To help you navigate the process, Paula Burkes with the Oklahoman asked me a few questions, so I put together some guidelines to help you show your appreciation.

Q: So who SHOULD I tip?

A: When thinking through who should be on your list, start with the suggestions above and then add to it any other people who you think deserve a special thank-you. If you think about the word ‘gratuity’ it’s very similar to ‘gratitude’. Which service providers do you need to show gratitude to for helping you throughout the year?

Q: Is there anyone I SHOULD NOT tip?

A: Yes, you do not need to tip you banker, attorney, doctor/dentist, or financial planner. These types of professionals don’t rely on gratuities. Also, steer clear of tipping your kiddos teachers in cash; you don’t want it to look like you’re bribing them for good grades!

Q: Ok, I’ve made my list, how much should I tip those on it?

A: How much glee do you consistently spread throughout the year?  For example, your Hairdresser, do you tip them well on a regular basis? If so, maybe consider something a little more creative for the Holidays. Of course cash is always a great gift, and always appreciated. Or, you could opt for something a bit more creative.  More than likely you’ve spent enough time with them to have a pretty good idea what some of their favorite things are, or the things they enjoy doing like going to the movies.  You could get them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or to their favorite movie theater.

Q: What if money is tight this year; can I cut back on tips?

A: Be careful and think through your gifts, you don’t want to avoid giving a gift to someone you’ve historically gifted – that might send the wrong message.  Instead you can still give something, but maybe a bit scaled down.  Then make sure you include a sincere handwritten note focusing on why you are grateful for them.  More than just ‘thank-you’, share with them why are you thankful – be specific.

Q: What’s the best way to give them the gratuity?

A: I like to be creative in the presentation. If you are planning to give cash, swing by your local bank and get new, clean, crisp bills.  If you’re giving gift cards, wrap them and add a nice bow.  If you’re writing a note, use nice paper and a good pen.  Taking the time to make an attractive presentation is just another part of showing how much you care – you’ve thought through the process, and didn’t just hit the drive thru on your way to see them.

Here are a few possible categories of service providers and recommendations on ‘how much’ to tip.

Those who help with your Children:

  • Babysitter – 1 nights pay, plus a small gift or note from your child.
  • Day Care provider – $25/75, plus an optional small gift.
  • Teacher – $10/20 gift cards make great teacher gifts anytime of the year!
  • Pet groomer (your other child) – one service fee.

Those who help with your Home:

  • Housekeeper – up to one week’s pay, plus an optional small gift.
  • Letter Carrier –  gifts up to $20 in value; they are not allowed to accept cash.
  • Handyman – $15-50
  • Technology Ninja – $20-50 if they make regular visits to your home office.
  • Yard/Garden Worker – $20-50
  • Trash/Recycling worker – $10-30

Those who help ‘you’ take care of ‘you’:

  • Personal Trainer – One session
  • Personal Assistant / Errand service – $20-50, possibly more depending on how much and how often you rely on their services (up to one month of fees).
  • Hairstylist – cost of haircut or service.
  • Nail Tech – cost of one service.
  • Eyelash Care – cost of one ‘fill’.

Click to Tweet:  #TippingTip: if you are planning to give cash, swing by your local bank and get new, clean, crisp bills. #MannerMonday

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Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

As always, thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue

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