slides: 2013 Holiday Guide: 10 Tips For Tipping

Monday, December 16, 2013
GoLocalWorcester Lifestyle Team

The snow has begun to fall, The temperature has gone from crisp, to chilly, now to downright cold. Yes, it is time for the holidays… time to buy presents and ponder who to tip and how much to tip them. It can be overwhelming and confusing, not to mention difficult when money is tight.


GoLocalWorcester spoke to Jennifer Adams Galipeau, CHE, Associate Professor at the Hospitality College at New Enagland's Johnson & Wales University, for 10 tips on holiday tipping.

  • 10. It's a gift

    You are not obliged to tip at the holidays

    While it may be customary, the “etiquette police” aren’t going to arrest you if you fail to give a tip or give less this year than last, because money is tight.

    A holiday tip is intended to show appreciation for work and services provided throughout the year. In reality, a holiday tip is a gift, one that should leave you feeling the “joy of giving.” The most important aspect is being thoughtful of another person who you value.

  • 9. Who should get a tip?

    Two holiday tipping categories

    There are two main categories to consider.

    Those service providers that you normally tip for their services – such as hairdressers, manicurists, etc.

    Those service providers that are not normally tipped but upon whom you rely throughout the year – such as a babysitter, housekeeper or the newspaper carrier.

    In both categories, someone who has provided regular service to you or your family throughout the year is someone you would want to consider tipping, especially in recognition for the times when they have gone above and beyond to meet your needs.Photo: The Plunge Project

  • 8. When tipping is not okay...

    ...and how to thank them anyway

    In some situations, company or government policies may prohibit a service provider from accepting a tip in the form of money. For example, mail carriers working for the US Postal Service are prohibited from accepting cash or cash equivalents such as gift cards….but if you want to give a small box of chocolates, that might be very much appreciated (so long as the dollar value of the chocolates is under $20.)

  • 7. How much to tip?

    Easy holiday tipping math

    An easy rule of thumb to remember is that the tip should be equal to the cost of “one service” provided. From that starting point, the amount might be adjusted upwards for an extraordinary level of service or downward to fit within one’s personal budget.

  • 6. Home services tipping

    They help your home run smoothly

    Here are some specific tip ranges for those folks who provide services around your household:

    * Housekeeper 1 week’s pay

    * Nanny 1 week’s pay + a small gift from child

    * Newspaper Carrier $15 to $30

    * Package Carrier $15

    * Home Caregiver 1 week’s pay

    * Babysitter the equivalent of one evening’s pay

    * Private Sanitation workers $5-$10 each

  • 5. Personal services tipping

    The folks who make you (and your pet!) look and feel good

    Don't forget the men and women who provide personal services throughout the year. Here are some good ranges for holiday tipping:

    * Fitness Trainer Cost of one session

    * Pet groomer 50% to the full cost of one service

    * Hairstylist 50% to the full cost of one service

    * Manicurist $10 - $15

  • 4. Don't forget the garage!

    Parkers, pay attention!

    Do you take advantage of a private lot or garage at work every day? Consider thanking the parking garage attendants with a $20 tip. That's a great thank you for taking care of your vehicle, day in and day out, year-round.

  • 3. Tipping on a budget (Part I)

    Plan ahead

    Money is tight, but you want to do the right thing.

    Save a little each month. Perhaps the easiest to aspire too…but the hardest to actual follow through on, is to create a personal “Holiday Tip” fund and set aside some money each month toward end of the year tips. This approach lessens the sticker shock at the end of the year.

    For this year, make a set-aside for the next 3 weeks and you'll feel the pinch less right before the holiday.

  • 2. Tipping on a budget (Part II)

    Give as a group

    When appropriate, give as a group. When tipping some like daycare providers or teachers, for example, consider collecting donations from all of the families, and then giving the tip on behalf of the group, with a nice card signed by everyone.



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