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Hairstylist to housekeeper: Who gets a holiday tip and how much?

SAN DIEGO – Tis the season to say a special thank you to the people who make your life easier all year long.

From a daycare provider to dog walker, Brett Gottlieb of Comprehensive Advisor revealed a guide to giving gratuities.

Who should we tip this time of year and how much?

  • It depends on how often you use the service and how long you’ve been a client.
  • Sometimes, it’s best to give cash. There are other times when a small gift is just as appropriate.
  • With a little creativity, you can show gratitude to everyone on your list without blowing your budget.

Child Care/Nannies

  • Tip regular babysitter up to one evening’s pay and a small gift (handmade or store bought) from your child
  • Daycare provider should receive $25-$70 and a small gift from your child
  • Nannies who are with your children daily should receive a weeks-worth of pay for a tip
  • Teachers appreciate a small gift or a gift card (check with the school’s policy)

Beauty/Personal Care

  • Massage therapists, hairstylists and manicurists seen year-round should receive an extra tip
  • The tip should equal the cost of your service, depending on how frequently you rely on that person

Delivery Services

  • UPS or FedEx driver should get $15-$25, depending on how often you get packages delivered
  • The newspaper carrier’s tip should be $5-$25, depending on how often you get the paper
  • By law, U.S. Postal Service mail carriers cannot accept cash, checks or gift cards
  • But you can give your mail carrier a small gift, snack or beverage that costs less than $20, according to Emily Post Institute


  • Feeling generous? Tip your waiter or waitress 25%
  • If you’re eating a local diner where a meal is inexpensive, you might consider a generous tip. A 40% tip on a $10 meal would only make your bill $14 and you’d make your server’s day.

Who aren’t we tipping that we should be?

Dog groomer, dog walker, housekeeper, doorman, mechanic, handyman, trash collector, gardener

  • All appreciate an extra tip or gift this time of year
  • The big box store clerk deserves a tip if they carry a large item like a big screen tv or a treadmill to your car. The clerk averages about $10 an hour, so a $10 tip would surely make their day.

Get more advice from Comprehensive Advisor.