How Much to Tip 11 People for the Holidays

iStock
iStock

The holidays can be a stressful time, filled with busy social calendars, family obligations, and last-minute shopping. On top of that, you're expected to give holiday tips to everyone from the mail carrier to the dog walker. But don’t fret! We’re here to help you figure out how much to tip 11 important people for the holidays.

1. REGULAR BARISTA

If your favorite barista knows your daily order before you even make it to the counter, you might want to give an extra holiday tip to this friendly face (who likely makes minimum wage). Rather than leave money in a communal tip jar, directly hand your barista between $5 and $20. If you don’t want to give cash, consider giving a gift card in an equal amount.

2. APARTMENT BUILDING STAFF

If you live in an apartment or condo, tip the building superintendent, doormen, and handymen. Most etiquette experts suggest that you give your super anywhere from $20 to $100, doormen $15 to $75, and handymen $15 to $35. If your doorman is particularly friendly or often collects or carries packages for you, give an amount on the higher end of the range. Holiday tip amounts may vary depending on the city in which you live and the amount of personalized attention you’ve received from your building’s staff, so if you’re unsure what to give, ask your neighbors how much they’re tipping.

3. ASSISTANT


Depending on your company’s policies, give your assistant a holiday cash bonus as well as a gift. Try to tailor your gift to what you know your assistant (or intern) likes. A gift card for $50 to their favorite coffee shop or local bookstore makes for a thoughtful present.

4. GARDENER

If you own a home and pay a gardener to regularly maintain your lawn, give a cash tip between $20 and $50. To make it easier on yourself, you can simply give your gardener the amount you pay for their regular weekly or biweekly service. And if you’ll be out of town for the December holidays, give your gardener the tip at the beginning of January—it’s not too late!

5. MAIL CARRIER

The United States Postal Service has strict rules for the types of holiday tips and gifts that mail carriers can accept, regardless of how many excess packages he or she has been delivering to your door. Rather than give cash, a check, or a gift card—all of which your mail carrier can’t accept—give a small gift worth less than $20. Sweet treats, baked goods, or a simple pair of gloves make a nice gesture.

6. HAIR STYLIST

During your regular appointment in December or January, tip your hair stylist or barber up to the amount that one hair cut usually costs you. If you've been seeing the same hair stylist for years, give him or her a gift card to their favorite restaurant, clothing store, or spa. The more personal the gift, the better.

7. TEACHER


The teachers, tutors, and coaches who educate your kids appreciate a holiday gesture. Some schools prohibit teachers from accepting money from parents, so play it safe by giving a thoughtful thank you card along with a small gift, such as a book, picture frame, or plant.

8. CLEANING PERSON

If you have a cleaning person tidy up your home, give him or her between 50 and 100 percent of what you usually pay for one service. So if your cleaning person charges you $100 for one visit, give a holiday tip of $50 to $100. If you don’t want to give cash, you can also give a gift card, thank you note, and box of holiday pastries.

9. PERSONAL TRAINER

Whether you regularly work out with a personal trainer, yoga teacher, or Pilates instructor, consider tipping the cost of one session with them. You can also give them a gift card to a local spa or department store. Just keep in mind that your personal trainer probably won't appreciate getting cookies, candy canes, or other holiday treats loaded with sugar (and you might not want to admit that you've been snacking on them either!).

10. DOG WALKER


We entrust pet groomers, dog walkers, and pet sitters with our beloved furry friends, so definitely remember to tip them the cost of one normal service. For example, if you typically pay your pet groomer $30 per session, pay him an extra $30 during the holidays. If you have a particularly close relationship with your dog walker or pet sitter, give more money.

11. BABYSITTER

Whether you occasionally pay a neighborhood teenager to babysit your kids or you have a live-in nanny, the people who care for your children will probably expect a holiday tip. Have your children write a thank you note to their babysitter or nanny, and include cash or a check for an amount equal to one day’s pay (for an occasional babysitter) to one week’s pay (for a full-time nanny). And if your babysitter is on vacation during the end of December, make sure to give a New Year’s tip at the beginning of January.

All images via iStock.

This Innovative Cutting Board Takes the Mess Out of Meal Prep

There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
TidyBoard, Kickstarter

Transferring food from the cutting board to the bowl—or scraps to the compost bin—can get a little messy, especially if you’re dealing with something that has a tendency to roll off the board, spill juice everywhere, or both (looking at you, cherry tomatoes).

The TidyBoard, available on Kickstarter, is a cutting board with attached containers that you can sweep your ingredients right into, taking the mess out of meal prep and saving you some counter space in the process. The board itself is 15 inches by 20 inches, and the container that fits in its empty slot is 14 inches long, 5.75 inches wide, and more than 4 inches deep. Two smaller containers fit inside the large one, making it easy to separate your ingredients.

Though the 4-pound board hangs off the edge of your counter, good old-fashioned physics will keep it from tipping off—as long as whatever you’re piling into the containers doesn’t exceed 9 pounds. It also comes with a second set of containers that work as strainers, so you can position the TidyBoard over the edge of your sink and drain excess water or juice from your ingredients as you go.

You can store food in the smaller containers, which have matching lids; and since they’re all made of BPA-free silicone, feel free to pop them in the microwave. (Remove the small stopper on top of the lid first for a built-in steaming hole.)

tidyboard storage containers
They also come in gray, if teal isn't your thing.
TidyBoard

Not only does the bamboo-made TidyBoard repel bacteria, it also won’t dull your knives or let strong odors seep into it. In short, it’s an opportunity to make cutting, cleaning, storing, and eating all easier, neater, and more efficient. Prices start at $79, and it’s expected to ship by October 2020—you can find out more details and order yours on Kickstarter.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

This Innovative Cutting Board Takes the Mess Out of Meal Prep

There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
TidyBoard, Kickstarter

Transferring food from the cutting board to the bowl—or scraps to the compost bin—can get a little messy, especially if you’re dealing with something that has a tendency to roll off the board, spill juice everywhere, or both (looking at you, cherry tomatoes).

The TidyBoard, available on Kickstarter, is a cutting board with attached containers that you can sweep your ingredients right into, taking the mess out of meal prep and saving you some counter space in the process. The board itself is 15 inches by 20 inches, and the container that fits in its empty slot is 14 inches long, 5.75 inches wide, and more than 4 inches deep. Two smaller containers fit inside the large one, making it easy to separate your ingredients.

Though the 4-pound board hangs off the edge of your counter, good old-fashioned physics will keep it from tipping off—as long as whatever you’re piling into the containers doesn’t exceed 9 pounds. It also comes with a second set of containers that work as strainers, so you can position the TidyBoard over the edge of your sink and drain excess water or juice from your ingredients as you go.

You can store food in the smaller containers, which have matching lids; and since they’re all made of BPA-free silicone, feel free to pop them in the microwave. (Remove the small stopper on top of the lid first for a built-in steaming hole.)

tidyboard storage containers
They also come in gray, if teal isn't your thing.
TidyBoard

Not only does the bamboo-made TidyBoard repel bacteria, it also won’t dull your knives or let strong odors seep into it. In short, it’s an opportunity to make cutting, cleaning, storing, and eating all easier, neater, and more efficient. Prices start at $79, and it’s expected to ship by October 2020—you can find out more details and order yours on Kickstarter.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.