Tips on Tipping

Guidance on how to tip your nanny, hairstylist and building manager.


If the people who deliver your newspaper, cut your grass (or your hair) or hold open the door to your apartment building suddenly become much cheerier around the holidays, it could be the spirit of the season—or it could be they're hoping for a holiday tip.

In some parts of the country, tipping is welcome but not expected. If you live in a charming, small town where everyone knows everyone else and wouldn't dream of accepting a tip just because it's Christmas, count yourself lucky.

In large cities, tipping service workers is not only expected but is so much a part of the holiday tradition that it provokes its own level of anxiety about how to do it right. So if you don't live in Mayberry, here's a little guidance on tips and tokens for the people who make your life easier:    

Household Helpers

·    The lady who "does" for you once a week (or every day): an extra week's pay. (If you pay $100 each week, the holiday tip would be $100.)

·   Your daily, in-house nanny: an additional week's pay and one week off.

·   The home health care worker for your elderly parent: an additional week's pay.

·   Your babysitter: $25 if you use the sitter regularly, and a small gift.

·   The gardener who comes one day a week: one week's pay.

Non-Domestic Helpers