Holiday Tipping

Who should you give a tip to this holiday, and how much? Stephanie AuWerter, Editor of, has some advice.

You definitely want to tip baby-sitters, nanny's, au pairs and day care providers. The best way to do it is to give cash plus a handmade gift from your children. "The biggest tip is going to go to a nanny or an au pair because they work for you, essentially, full time," says AuWerter. You'll want to give a tip that's one week to one month's pay. Baby sitters you can be tipped one night's worth of service. As for day care providers, you generally want to give $25 to $75 for each caretaker, depending on the cost of the day care.

Also, don't forget about the people who make you fabulous - those people who who cut your hair, do your nails, give you massages or spot you at the gym. Most of these folks you tip throughout the year -- so you don't necessarily need to give cash, but you could give them a gift. If you do give cash, as a general rule, "the etiquette experts say your tip should be the equivalent of one session," says AuWerter. That can be pricey, but if you have a close relationship with this person, be generous.

In New York, tipping the building staff in your apartment building can set you back hundreds - even thousands - of dollars. For most folks, though, the household staff you should tip are cleaners and yard workers. If you have someone who cleans your home, their tip should be one day's pay. Yard workers should receive roughly $15 to $40.

Mail carriers and newspaper delivery people are important too. You can usually tip $10 to $30 to your newspaper deliverer. Your postal worker is a little trickier. U.S. government regulations allow postal workers to accept gifts worth up to $20, but cash isn't allowed. Try giving a gift card instead or some homemade cookies.

If you're in a management position, you may be tempted to tip your coworkers. Keep in mind that you don't want to tip your coworkers or your underlings. "I think a small gift can be a nice gesture, as long as you use common sense," says AuWerter. Don't give anything too personal, like perfume, jewelry, or bath products. Again, gift cards are always a safe bet.

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By Stephanie AuWerter