Guide to Holiday Tipping


The holidays are traditionally a time to thank those who provide us services throughout the year, but determining who and how much to tip can be confusing. Each of us has a different idea about what constitutes good service and how that service should be recognized.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on all aspects of the service industry, so you may consider tipping more this year to thank those who provided you services during these unprecedented times. You might also consider tipping service providers you were unable to use or used less frequently to show them your continued support. A general suggestion is to increase your gratuity by 10-20% (or more if you worked closely with the person throughout COVID).

While there are no hard and fast rules regarding an appropriate gratuity, we hope you will find these guidelines helpful.

Keep in mind that tipping amounts are influenced by the following factors:

  • The quality, length, and frequency of service
  • Your relationship with the service provider
  • Where you live (amounts are usually higher in larger cities)
  • Your budget
  • The type of facility (deluxe vs. moderate)
  • Regional customs

JDJ 2020_Tipping_Guide_WEB

The United States Postal Service has the following rules regarding gifts:

Mail carriers may accept the following items as gifts:

  • Snacks, beverages or perishables – gifts that are not part of a meal
  • Small gifts – no more than $20 in value
  • Perishable items clearly worth more than $20 (large fruit baskets or cookie tins) must be shared with the entire branch

Mail carriers may not accept:

  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Gift cards
  • Any form of currency

Another consideration: if you regularly tip at the time of service, you may forgo or give a more modest holiday tip.

Let common sense, specific circumstances, and holiday spirit be your guide. The gratuity amounts in this chart are merely guidelines, not rules. What to give is always an individual decision.

Happy holidays from the JDJ team!