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NQM Holiday Tipping and Giving Guide

December 8, 2018

This time of year especially, it’s important to remember to show our appreciation to those whose work makes our lives easier all year-round. And while this is hard to make time for while you’re scrambling to keep your wits about you, expressing your gratitude is really worth doing!

But when it comes to being in tuned with holiday tipping etiquette for our service and care providers, the joy of giving can sometimes start to transform into just another drop in the stress bucket. So to help take the guesswork out of the equation, I thought I’d give you a guideline with the low down on the “who’s” and “what’s”… and especially on the “how much’s!” 

Household employees, caregivers, regular service providers, and teachers are amongst those whose efforts day in and day out are well-deserving some form of end-of-the-year-reinforcement. Check out the list below for helpful suggestions on what and how much to give this holiday season. Though the list is written in monetary terms, gift cards are always a welcome replacement if you would like to add a personal touch to a practical present. It also goes without saying that if an employee or service provider have been with you for years, the amounts and ideas below should be expanded upon based on your tenure and relationship depth.

Gift giving guidelines:

  • Nannies: one week’s pay along with an optional hand-made card or picture from the child up to a month’s pay
  • Babysitters: one shift/evening’s pay with the optional home-made note or drawing to top it off
  • Teachers: a gift or gift card of up to a $25 value; check with schools for policies and allowances. Note: at middle school and high school level when children often have several teachers, gift-giving is not as commonly expected. There are a few commonly gifted items that you should avoid: apple-themed items and teacher holiday ornaments.
  • Gardener: $20–50, or if they come several times per week, one week’s pay
  • Housekeeper: up to one week’s pay
  • Trash collectors: a gift with a cash value of $10–$30 for private companies; for public service providers, check with local department for allowances.
  • Dog walkers: 1 day’s pay or if they come several times per week, one week’s pay
  • Hairstylists & manicurists: the equivalent of one total appointment
  • Massage therapist & personal trainer: one session’s pay
  • Building superintendent & doorman: $20–100 depending on the relationship that you may have with them and how much he/she gives the extra effort to help you out in your daily grind
  • Parcel Carriers: USPS postal workers are not allowed to receive cash gifts so a non-monetary gift of under $20 is a good option
  • UPS workers a similar gift or holiday treat is appreciated; FedEx drivers can receive gifts of up to a $75 value
  • Newspaper carrier: $10–30

While it can be helpful to quantify our present-giving guidelines, it’s also important not to let numbers take the qualitative nature out of our offerings. So if you’re are feeling inspired, add personal touches whether that be through the gift itself or via a handwritten card. Don’t forget that a little thought can go a long way. And try not to stress if you can’t reel out personalized gifts for all; just a little something to let people know how much you value their work is all it takes to bring some holiday cheer to all your everyday elves!

Photo by Angela Carlyle

Featured Photo by Angela Carlyle