Providing a tip is an expression of gratitude. When you offer cash, you’re conveying how appreciative you are of the person’s hard work and service to you. During the holiday season, it’s customary to offer a tip to your various providers. Housekeepers, cooks, babysitters, gardeners, nannies, personal trainers, stylists, and others who go out of their way to provide you with a personalized service all fall under this banner. While this may be in lieu of actual Christmas gifts, it could also be in addition to a token of thanks.
But what’s the most suitable way to tip? Should you choose a blanket figure and distribute the same amount to everyone? It turns out it’s not quite so straightforward — especially if you have a budget that you’re determined to stick to this season. Using these handy and practical tips, here’s how you can approach the often delicate subject of tipping and ensure that everyone on your list has a smile on their face.
What you can afford to give really does matter. Never feel obligated to go beyond what’s practical for your means. You likely have a list of people on your list, and after a while, all of those items — the cute Christmas sweaters, the cozy bedding, and the pet presents, for example — start to add up.
Be mindful of your plans to tip as you purchase throughout the season. Allot whatever is practical so that you have enough remaining within your budget to give the service people in your life. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you haven’t gone overboard. Shopping earlier in the season ensures you can snap up the best deals, too. Don’t forget to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. You can often snap up exactly what you need at a fraction of the cost.
If you’re already in the habit of tipping your nanny or your housekeeper regularly, you might feel compelled to do something a little bit different during the holiday season. Think about what may mean the most to the person. You might give a small token of your appreciation, be it a box of holiday chocolates or a set of monogrammed hand towels, especially if you have a great relationship with your provider.
However, in some cases, a cash gift may be more suitable. In that case, consider giving them a week’s pay as an expression of thanks for all that they do for you year-round. Often, both a small gift and a tip are given. This is especially reasonable for the service provider who is a constant presence in your life and who makes things considerably simpler for you — a babysitter, a housekeeper, or a live-in nanny, for example.
What’s your bond like with your service provider? This can also play a big role in determining what you choose to give. For example, if your children absolutely love the babysitter, let your little ones choose a thoughtful gift to give in addition to the cash tip that you choose to give. A personalized Christmas ornament is sure to bring a smile to their face.
Or you could slip a tip into a decorative envelope and add a holiday-themed bag full of baked goods, like cookies or chocolate bark. Add a colorful and festive ribbon and include a thoughtful card sharing your thanks for all that they’ve done for you during the year, whether they’ve cared for your children, tended to your lawn, or kept your house spotless.
Remember that this time of year centers around goodwill. So long as your gesture is genuine, no one can fault you for what you choose to give. To take some of the pressure off and make it a bit easier for you to determine how much to give and whether you should also include a gift, like a holiday bouquet or a Christmas wreath, ask yourself a few key questions.
How often does the person provide service for you? If they’re a regular part of your life and you see them every daily or weekly, prioritize giving a tip and a gift. If you see them biannually, you may not choose to give a tip at all or give a handmade gift like baked goods instead. Then think about where you’re located. In major cities, the average tip amount is generally higher than it may be elsewhere. Consider, too, how often they’ve worked for you.
So long as they continue to provide quality work and you enjoy a bond with the person, you should feel good about giving a tip that comes from the heart. Whether your gift is modest or extravagant is no matter; ultimately, it’s the generosity of spirit that shines at this time of the year.