An Etiquette Guide on Holiday Tipping

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/12/2013 | 12:00 PM EST

Tipping your hairdresser, doorman, the like, is a way of giving thanks

A lot of the time people get so wrapped up in getting gifts for family and friends that they forget that the ones you should be giving thanks to the most are the people like your doorman, babysitter, hairdresser and barber, who provide you with everyday services that make your life that much more complete.

Holiday tipping or gift giving those who provide you year-long services is an etiquette must. Emily Post says it’s the equivalent of saying thank you, and is most especially needed in these tough economic times. In case you need a little guidance on how to tip or what’s an appropriate tip or gift for service providers, Centric has some fast tips for you to live by this holiday season.


Any gift or tip should be accompanied with a short handwritten note. This is a great opportunity to express your gratitude.

How Much to Tip

Tipping is contingent upon various factors like how long they’ve provided you with service and the nature of your relationship. Generally, you want to tip your barber the cost of one cut, while for your hairdresser you give the amount of one visit divided by each staff that works with you. Also, give live-in nannies, butlers, cooks or housekeepers up to one week’s pay, plus a gift, and for personal trainers, give the amount of one session or a gift. For babysitters, the cost of one night is appropriate and for any other servicers like the doorman, mail deliver, handyman, personal trainer, etc, $10-$40 tips are most appropriate or a gift equivalent.

Set a Budget

The most important thing is to remember that you should give within your budget. Don’t feel obligated to go above and beyond. It’s the thought that counts.

Who to Tip

Here’s a general list of people who should receive a holiday tip: hairdresser, barber, babysitter, nanny, cook, butler, housekeeper, doorman, personal trainer, daycare provider, mail carrier or deliver, home nurses, massage therapist, pool cleaner, superintendent, handyman, trash collectors, gardener, newspaper deliverer and dog walker.

(Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

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