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Holiday Tipping: Who Gets Paid & How Much

12:19 PM, Dec 16, 2013   |    comments
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Jolie Lee, USA Today Network

With all the emphasis on buying for family and friends during the holidays, the idea of tipping people who provide services to you may not be top of mind.

But don't worry, we've got you covered.

Diane Gottsman, the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, offers a holiday tipping guide for whom to tip and how much to give this holiday season. From your apartment doorman ($20) to your babysitter (one night's pay), Gottsman said the guide offers suggestions - not hard-and-fast rules.

"You're going to give what's comfortable with you and what's in your budget," she said.

Generally, you should give an extra holiday tip to people who rely on tips throughout the year and who you see regularly during the year, Gottsman said.

"They have treated you loyally. They have given you good service and you would enjoy receiving future service with them," she said.

Here are some of the people to consider giving a holiday tip to:

1) Barista

A $10-20 tip for each barista you see every morning, who knows your name and has your drink ready before you even order it.

2) Mail carrier

Government regulations do not allow U.S. Postal Service workers to receive cash gifts. A non-monetary gift under $20 is appropriate. FedEx drivers can receive tips and gifts, but they should not exceed $75. UPS prefers its drivers to receive gifts, rather than cash, but leaves it to the customer's discretion.

3) Dog walker

A cash gift of one day to one week's pay.

4) Newspaper delivery person

A cash gift of $10-$30.

5) Housekeeper

A cash gift of one week's pay. A 2012 holiday tipping survey by Consumer Reports found 64% of Americans who use house cleaners tipped them for the holidays with a median of a $50 holiday tip.

6) Building handyman

A cash gift of $20-$50, if you see them on a regular basis.

7) Nursing home workers

If you have an elderly relative in a nursing home, consider bringing a tray of cookies for the entire staff. Because there is more than one shift, bring a tray for each shift.

8) School bus driver

A $10-$20 gift card. If cash gifts are not allowed under the company policy, a nice gift is a pair of driving gloves.

9) Hair stylist, manicurist, personal trainer, massage therapist

A cash gift equal to one visit.

10) Pool cleaner, lawn maintenance worker

A cash gift equal to one week's pay.

There are some people you should not tip, including doctors, dentists, accountants or anyone who is a salaried employee, Gottsman said. It would be appropriate to give them a small gift, like a tin of cookies, if you happen to see them in December, she said.

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