“I have to tip how much?” A guide to holiday tipping.


The holidays are upon us. Tis the season for displaying your hundreds of Christmas decorations, blasting holiday music in the car, and for wallets that grow thinner by the day. Speaking of wallets, it is also the season for extra tipping. “Say what?” you shout. I know, I know. I had to explain the concept of tipping to my son to which he replied, “Why can’t we just say thank you?” Ummmmmmm… Kinda sucks when your kid asks a really good question that has no reasonable answer. We should say thank you, but for a person that works in the service industry, nothing says thank you better than a few extra bucks. Why? For starters, they often don’t make a whole lot of money so tips make up for that. Tips also motivate the server to continue to do good work. This is just the reality of serving and although it is part of the job, it’s important because whatever the job is, the server is doing something for you that you otherwise could not or choose not to do, so we say thank you and throw down some cash. How much? Don’t freak out, but here are some “guidelines”.

$$$$$ Tips per Service $$$$$

  • Hairdresser: Normal- 20%, unless you get a bowl cut, in which case 10%

Holiday- The amount of the service provided.

  • Teacher: Normal- Nothing, your darling child is enough.

Holiday- A small gift ~$25

  • Mail Carrier: Normal- Keep your dog inside

Holiday- $20

  • House Cleaner: Normal- Nothing, but you could clean up after your kegger.

Holiday- Half of what you typically pay.

  • Lawn care company: Normal- Nothing, they actually owe you for breaking a sprinkler head.

Holiday- $20 per person

  • Restaurant server: Normal- 15% if the services sucks, 20-25% if it’s good

Holiday- 30-35%

  • Personal trainer: Normal- Nothing, just show up on time.

Holiday- The amount of one session.

Holiday tipping may seem a bit extreme considering what else you are spending money on at the moment. Soften the blow by considering it as a form of giving. Now you have a clean house and a clean conscience, stronger abs and a stronger sense of charity, a great haircut and a great feeling of generosity. It’s possible that you don’t have the extra money for those kinds of tips so before you let your hair grow out of control, let your muscles atrophy, or live in filth, remember, it’s also the acknowledgment of the service provided that is appreciated. Write a nice note thanking them for their hard work over the year, try to make their job easier (clean up your own dog poop, help pre-bus the table, clean the hair out of the shower drain, etc.), or let them know that money’s a bit tight so you will get them back at a better time.

The holidays are stressful enough so just do what you can for those who do for you. Meanwhile, turn up the Jingle Bell Rock, don’t forget to water the tree, and wrap 2 gifts a day so that you are done by Christmas Eve. Those are my tips to you!



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