Housewife Bliss Holiday Workshop Week Two: Tips for Holiday Tipping

by Mindy Lockard on October 13, 2010

I am honored to be participating in the second week of The Holiday Workshop — the brainchild of my nesting friend Housewife Bliss.  As we look ahead to the holidays, now, is the perfect time to start buying gift cards, or setting money aside to say “thank you!”

Tips for Tipping…

Service_thumbLet’s take a journey much like the one taken in the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life when an angel is sent to show George Bailey, a loving but disheartened man, what life would be like if he hadn’t been born. Rather than looking at how the world would be different if we never existed, let’s look at a world without those who have committed their lives to providing us services on a daily basis: a world where we bundle our garbage, throw it in the back of our SUV or sedan, and drive across town windows rolled down, of course to drop off our trash at the local dump. Or where we stare in the mirror, trying to make sure both sides of our hair are cut evenly and the back doesn’t look like it was caught in a paper shredder as we give ourselves our six-week haircut. The lines are long, but that’ s life when you pick up the mail every couple of days at the post office. And we have worn a hole in the wall that we stare at every
morning as we sip our coffee minus the newspaper . . . Yikes! We think our lives are busy now. Imagine if we added these chores to our to-do list as well as the other services that we take advantage of on a regular basis!

 When tipping, consider your budget, the length of time you’ve been utilizing this person’s services, and the frequency and quality of
service. Start now by setting money aside if this will impact your holiday budget. Remember, holiday tipping should fit within your budget and doesn’t have to be a lot. If everyone tips a little, it will go a long way! Here are some people to keep in mind. (You may think of some others.)

$5 to $20
-Postman or woman: It is illegal for a US postal worker to receive a monetary gift or anything above a $20 value. In thanking them, think
beyond the holiday fudge. A gift card for a cup of coffee or tickets to a movie is a great way to say, “Thanks for my mail!”
-Newspaper delivery
-Regular delivery service (grocery, dry cleaning)
-Sanitary collection team (recycling, garbage, yard debris, etc.)
-Regular babysitters
-Parking attendants

$20 or equal to one service/visit and up to monthly service
(If you have a long relationship and they are like family, the amount
should be doubled or tripled.)
– Housekeepers
– Nannies
– Hairdresser
– Manicurist
– Massage therapist
– Personal trainer
– Gardener
– Pool care
– Pet care (walker, groomer, sitter, etc.)
– Caretakers
– Technology support

Apartment or condo living—$10 to $100 each, depending on the style and services provided. If you have questions, ask your neighbors.
-Elevator staff

Note: If you don’t have direct contact with the service provider—delivery or garbage services, for example—contact the organization to find out the names, addresses, and best practices for sending a holiday thank-you tip. Last year I called my local sanitary company to get the name of our trash collector. I almost fell off my chair when the woman on the other end of the phone informed me that I have four: recycling, yard debris, garbage, and glass recycling. She shared with me how much these service providers love receiving even a note of thanks. Any letter of appreciation goes on the bulletin board, which the employees view with pride. So we wrote thank-yous to each of the men and slipped them a small—very small—amount of cash. I must admit it felt really good to say “thanks!” for what they do for our little house on their route!

Please join my other friends who are pulling back the curtains of their Holiday workshops to give us a sneak peek of how we can enjoy the most wonderful time of the year…

Pemberley Collections The front door: Make a statement
The Entertaining House A surprise awaits you
Lily Lemon Tree Cracking the Code: The Blissful Guide to Dress Codes for Holiday Parties and otherwise….
The Savvy Host Ever-prepared for what may come in the “gift-giving” season
Ab home Interiors Holiday Survival Guide- 5 tips for effortless decorating
Tatertots and Jello Creating inexpensive and beautiful feminine gifts
Lucky Life Parties Invitations
The Daily Basics Plan Ahead Hand-Made Gifts

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

cynthia at the daily basics 10.14.10 at 11:48 am

Hey Mindy –
This is a GREAT post. We always forget that tipping others at the holiday could very well be a big part of their income. It makes a big difference to them that you are thoughtful enough to think of them and it does carry them through to better service for you throughout the next year. Glad you brought it up!

Mindy Lockard 10.14.10 at 1:47 pm

Thank you Cynthia! It is one of those things that’s easy to not do, but so worth it if you do make the extra effort and budget!

Housewife Bliss 10.16.10 at 2:24 pm

As a new arrival in the US this information is invaluable, what a lovely guide for the holiday season….Thank you Mindy.

BarbaraG 10.16.10 at 2:42 pm

Hi Mindy,
Thanks for the post.
Question re: do you mean manager of building, and what about
various maintenance crew (tip all or just the person you call),
what about the staff in the management office, superintent’s assistant?
What is your opinion on bringing some goodies into office?

Joanna 10.18.10 at 8:02 am

I’m always at a bit of a loss on how much to tip who. The issue I have with tipping is that Christmas isn’t supposed to be about money. I prefer tokens of appreciation – a jar of homemade jam, a thank you note, etc. Maybe I can get the kids involved this year to write notes to our letter carrier, trash and recycling pickup folks, etc.

Michelle 10.18.10 at 4:49 pm


Thank you for this very helpful reminder!


Mindy Lockard 10.18.10 at 5:22 pm

Happy to help Michelle! Thank you for stopping by.

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