How much should you tip during the holidays?

The holiday season is traditionally a time to thank those who provide us with services throughout the year. However, determining who to tip can be confusing — each of us has a different idea about what constitutes good service and how that service should be recognized. While there are no hard and fast rules regarding what is appropriate to tip, here are some guidelines we hope you will find 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


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.

Try to include your child in gift decisions for teachers, day care providers, nannies, or babysitters.

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

Happy holidays from all of us at JDJ!