How Much to Give for Holiday Tipping, Who to Tip

How much should you tip your mailman this holiday season? Your child's teacher? What about the baby sitter?

When it comes to holiday tipping, it can be difficult to know how much money is generally expected and acceptable. Read on to learn more about how much to give for a holiday tip for a mailman, doorman, a child's teacher, a nanny and others.

Why Should I Give a Holiday Tip?

Holiday tips are a great way to show appreciation to the workers who serve you well all year long.

So if there's someone who serves you regularly throughout the year, you should consider offering a holiday tip," explained Financial Planner Jill Olson in a December 2008 interview with Suite101.

Olson added, "Like all tips, holiday tips are not mandatory, but they're much appreciated by the person who receives a Christmas tip. And it's important to remember that service industry workers don't earn a whole lot to begin with - many rely on holiday tipping to pay for Christmas gifts for their family.

Monetary tips are great, but even a tin of homemade cookies or some sort of homemade Christmas gift will be appreciated as a kind token of appreciation."

Who Should I Tip for the Holidays? And How Much Should I Tip?

Most holiday tippers struggle, wondering what gifts to give as a tip for the holidays and how much money to give for a holiday tip. Olson offered the following holiday tipping recommendations for some of the most common Christmas tipping recipients.

When considering how much to give for a holiday tip, it's important to consider factors like how frequently the individual provides the service and the tipper's level of satisfaction with the service.

Other miscellaneous factors should be considered as well when deciding how much to give as a holiday tip. A resident with a mail carrier to has to climb 30 steps to get to the home's mailbox to deliver the mail each day should give their letter carrier a holiday gift that's on the more generous end of the spectrum.

More Advice on Holiday Tipping Tipping Limits, Ethical Issues with TipsWhen giving a holiday tip, it's important to consider the ethical factor. Many businesses, unions, states, cities and towns have placed limits on tipping or gift value to avoid violating state ethics laws or conflict of interest laws.

For instance, United States Postal Service employees cannot accept cash tips nor can they accept a gift worth over $20. Many school districts have also put a cap on how much parents can give their child's teacher for a holiday tip.

In 2008, the school department in North Andover, Massachusetts, placed a $50 cap on holiday tipping for teachers and other school department staff because parents were going a bit overboard in the Christmas tipping department. Some teachers were receiving extravagant and expensive gifts some worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars including cash, trips to the spa, and gift cards.

For people who cannot afford to give a monetary tip, Olson offered this advice: "Not everyone can afford to give a generous holiday tip, but this is really a case where it's the thought that counts. A nice Christmas card, a 'thank you' card, a tin of homemade cookies, a homemade gift from a child to his or her teacher or babysitter, homemade gifts or crafts - these are all wonderful options for someone who cannot afford to give a monetary tip this holiday season."

Christmas Gift Ideas and Tips for Holiday ShoppingLooking for more advice on holiday shopping, gifting and gift ideas for children, pet owners, Christmas shopping tips or even holiday quotes and sayings? Check out the Holiday Shopping and Christmas Gift Ideas Page!

Readers may also enjoy What's the Best Time to Christmas Shop?, which includes information on how to save money Christmas shopping and how to save time on Christmas shopping.

For pet owners, check out Christmas Gift Ideas for Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters.

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