How Much Should We Tip This Holiday Season?
Tis the season for extra tipping. How much does the manicurist get? What about the barber? And the massage therapist?
My dad was a rural mail carrier in Nebraska, and when I was growing up he would always get tons of baked goods around the holidays. We were eating fudge for weeks! The postal service has a rule that mail carriers can only accept non-monetary gifts under $20. Hence the fudge. FedEx drivers can receive tips and gifts, but not over $75. UPS says it would rather have its drivers receive gifts instead of cash, but that's up to the customer.
When it comes to people who provide a personal service like hair stylists, manicurists, massage therapists. and personal trainers, what's suggested is a cash gift equal to one service. So if the haircut costs $35, the holiday gift is $35 cash on top of the haircut.
The mobile dog groomer is coming to my house Friday to make Harry the schnauzer look handsome for Christmas, and I have a $15 restaurant gift card for her. I hope that's enough. Dog groomers aren't specifically on the USA Today list, but newspaper delivery folks should get $10 to $30 cash, along with baristas and school bus drivers.
I've started keeping a stash of gift cards in a drawer in the kitchen so I can whip them out when I think of someone new that needs a gift. The kids' teachers, the trash collectors, and the list goes on and on.
I love the giving part of the holidays and I want to do it right. And besides, we can't forget these people because you know they'll remember the house that stiffed them at Christmas!