Holiday tipping: Who should get a little extra?



DENVER (KDVR) — Are you looking for ways to spread holiday cheer? If you’re thinking about gifting a few extra bucks, we have some advice.

“By no means is holiday tipping mandatory, but giving someone who regularly provides you with a service a little something extra at the end of the year is always appreciated — perhaps more so than ever this year,” according to experts at

Have you been keeping your post office busy? If you’re thinking about tipping your mail carrier, there are certain rules you must follow.

According to the United States Postal Service, mail carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount.

Additionally, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period.

When it comes to tipping more this time of year, 45% of U.S. adults say they typically give higher-than-usual tips to service providers who normally receive tips throughout the year, according to a survey completed by shared tipping recommendations, saying that experts recommend considering several factors when deciding how to give and to whom. They include your relationship with the recipient, your budget, the recipient’s position and your personal preferences. Here are some suggestions:

Tipping recommendations

Au Pair 1-2 week’s pay and a small gift from your kids
Babysitter Average day/evening pay for regular sitters and a small gift from your kids
Barber Cost of 1 session
Bartender $20-$40 for someone you see regularly
Building Porter / Janitor $25-$100, depending on involvement
Building Superintendent $100-200, depending on involvement
Cleaning Company Cost of 1 session or a small gift, if you see the same people regularly
Cobbler Don’t tip
Coffee Shop Barista $20 for someone you see regularly
Contractor Don’t tip
Country Club Staff $50 for someone you see regularly
Day Care or Child Care Center Staff Small gifts from your kids in the $10-$30 range
Dentist Don’t tip
Doctor Don’t tip
Dog Walker Cost of 1 session or 1 week’s pay
Doorman $25-$100 depending on involvement
Driver / Limo Service $20-$50 or 20% of monthly bill
Dry Cleaner $10-20 gift card or homemade goods
Elevator Operator $10-$40, depending on involvement
Errand Runner $50 to 1 week’s pay, depending on how often you use
Fitness Instructor Cost of 1 session or a small gift
Food Delivery Person $20-$30 for someone you see regularly
Garbage Collector $10-$30 per person
Gardener / Landscaper $25-50
Gas Station Attendant $10-$20 for someone you see regularly
Groomer Cost of 1 session
Hairdresser or Colorist Cost of 1 session
Handyman / Handyperson $25-50
House Cleaner Cost of 1 session for regular cleaner; small gift for infrequent service
Housekeeper Cost of 1 session and a small gift
Kennel Staff Handmade or baked goods
Kids’ Activities Instructor Small gift from your kids
Kids’ Coach (Athletics) Small gift from your kids
Live-In Help (housekeeper, senior care aide, nanny, chef, etc.) 1-2 week’s pay
Massage Therapist Cost of 1 session
Mother’s Helper Average day’s pay for regular helper and a small gift from your kids
Nail Salon Technician Cost of 1 session
Nanny 1-2 week’s pay and a gift from your kids
Newspaper Carrier $10-$30
Nurse (in-home nurse, private nurse) Edible goodies with a handwritten note
Nursing Home or Assisted Living Community Staff Homemade gift
Package Delivery Person Small, non-cash gift
Parking Garage Attendant $10-$20 for someone you see regularly
Personal Assistant $50 to 1 week’s pay
Personal Chef 1-2 week’s pay or cost of one session, depending on the frequency
Personal Trainer Cost of 1 session
Pet Day Care Staff Handmade gift or baked goods
Pet Sitter $20-50
Pet Trainer Cost of 1 session
Physical Therapist Don’t tip
Pool Cleaner $25-50
Postal Worker / Mail Carrier Food, such as baked goods, or non-cash gift worth less than $20
School Bus Driver Small, non-cash gift
Senior Care Aide $50 to 1 week’s pay
Snow Remover / Shoveler Cost of 1 session
Tailor Don’t tip
Teacher Small gift from your kids
Teacher’s Aide / Assistant Small gift from your kids
Tutor Cost of 1 session and small gift from your child, depending on the frequency
Veterinarian Don’t tip
Waiter / Waitress $20-$40 for someone you see regularly

Credit: said when your budget is tight, there are other ways to show your appreciation, even if it’s only a thoughtful note.

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