Your Holiday Gift, Tip and Bonus Guide

| December 19, 2018 | 27 Comments

Man giving a giftWhile you’re busy getting gifts together for your children, your spouse, your parents and other extended family members, it can be easy to forget about the service people who we hire to take care of various things for us. While you should never feel obligated to give a gift, you might be wondering what’s appropriate to gift the babysitter, mail carrier, hairdresser and other servicepeople who help you throughout the year. Here are some guidelines:

  • Your mail carrier braves rain, wind, snow and, this time of year, maybe even the gloom of night to bring you your mail. He might also be coming to the door with packages during the holiday season, particularly if you have faraway friends and family! The U.S. Postal Service prohibits him from accepting any cash gifts, but you can give him a non-cash gift that’s valued under $20. Some examples might be a Christmas ornament, a travel mug with tea bags or some small packages of coffee, or some type of snack to enjoy while on the road, such as beef jerky, fruit or maybe homemade cookies or muffins.
  • The garbage collector is another professional whose services often go unnoticed. Meet her at the curb with cash in a card or a small gift. Depending on where you live, $10 to $20 is usually appropriate. If your garbage collector doesn’t get out of the truck and instead has a truck with an arm that picks up the trash can, you really don’t need to leave a tip, particularly if you’ve never had any interaction.
  • For contractors who you hire each week, such as landscapers, gardeners or housecleaners, one week’s pay is a nice gift. If you use a landscaping or housecleaning service and don’t have a regular provider, however, you don’t need to tip at all.
  • For your child’s babysitter or nanny, a gift plus a week’s pay makes a nice bonus. Your child should make a card, and handmade-by-your-child gifts are always appreciated, even if you won’t be giving a bonus this year. Also, consider writing a heartfelt letter, telling her how much you appreciate the tender loving care that she gives your child. If you use a daycare center, policies vary. Ask whether teachers are allowed to accept gifts. If so, gift certificates to a coffee shop or bath and body items are often welcomed.

Remember that a gift is a nice extra, but should not be expected. If you are not in the financial position to tip your service providers or have some other reason for not wanting to do so, then don’t feel obligated. A sincere thank you and a hand-written card is an appropriate holiday greeting for anyone, whether you’re giving a gift or a bonus this year.

Comments (27)

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  1. Vicki Howes says:

    Great review – I love checking out new ideas.

  2. ArcyEm says:

    Hard to forget the garbage guys, as they put a helpful (hint, hint) empty envelope in my mailbox every year at this time. I do give them something, with a promise that I will give more next year if they stop throwing the empty trash cans into my flower gardens!

  3. Rebecca Sinclair says:

    Such Good ideas! Great way to teach the kids the gift of giving!

  4. Bonnie says:

    I always leave a tip and taught my children to do the same

  5. Sarah L says:

    Thanks for the postal info. Will get something this week.

  6. Debra Pauley says:

    whenever i cleaned houses, we usually got a tip also.

  7. Anne C says:

    Thanks for reminding me specially the garbage collectors. They are often unremembered.

  8. Kelvin Justine says:

    One tip I always do and always work is start early. So that you have time to decide.

  9. Cassandra French says:

    I like to give gift cards if I have the money, but I try to at least give them a Christmas card if that’s all I can afford.

  10. Stephanie Larison says:

    Such great ideas, sometimes we forget about the ones who you wouldn’t think to give gifts to. They’re important too!

  11. Kayce says:

    Yay! thanks for sharing this wonderful tips. It made me realize that I should also share my blessings to the people who helped us.

  12. deqa says:

    thanks alot for the reminders! we should remember everyone with our gifts

  13. Rich Hicks says:

    These hardworking people are often overlooked and underappreciated. Give them a tip!

  14. Kimberly says:

    Love the review, many great ideas.

  15. Montego says:

    Great tips!

  16. arra odeza says:

    great ideas 🙂 thanks for the tips 🙂 thanks also for the reminders

  17. Laila Husin says:

    Share your blessings! Happy holidays to you and to everyone!

  18. Pam says:

    Thanks so much for these ideas. I always struggle with what to get for my mail carrier and newspaper deliverer.

  19. Julie Wood says:

    What great tipping guides to follow to give to the people in our lives that help us every day! The baby sitter needs to get something because she is always so helpful!

  20. Becky Davis says:

    thank you for the great tips and the reminder not to forget the people we see every day in our lives.

  21. Karen Glatt says:

    I think that giving what you can to the people that help you during the year is such a great idea!

  22. denise smith says:

    thanks for the tips i need them at this time of the year lol

  23. Pamela Halligan says:

    I must admit, I leave out the garbage collector. But, you are right, he deserves to be appreciated during the holidays – and all year round. Thanks for the reminder.

  24. Robin Quick says:

    Its always good to remember these ppl during the holidays. Just a small token of thanks goes a long way! Whe I worked i daycare I use to get a lot of Christmas ornaments from my kids & I loved them! I have them even now 16 years later!

  25. Lydia says:

    I’ve been wondering about tipping the UPS man because I shop online a lot.

  26. Jody Cowan says:

    Great ideas! I’m thinking of giving my mailman homemade goodies I make.

  27. misty farmer says:

    Thank u for all the tips , i need them!! Thanks!

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