Holiday Gratuity Guide

Throughout the year, we form special relationships with men and women who provide a unique service. Some are more than just hairstylists and manicurists. In monthly appointments, talking openly about life and family often leads to a relationship across months and years. We find it easy to honor quality service from those we see frequently; yet, what about all the other individuals who deserve acknowledgment? In the season of giving, it is often difficult to discern who should receive a tip.

Pet Groomers

Not everyone thinks of their groomer at Christmas. If you want to show a little bit of extra appreciation, consider providing a cash tip. Etiquette suggests owners should tip 20% of the cost of a service or what culminates the level of satisfaction throughout the year.

“You shouldn’t feel obligated to go beyond your personal budget.” ~ Emily Post

Personal Trainers

Pushing you to reach personal goals is one reason to thank a running buddy or trainer. The gift could be a pair of compression socks or a gift certificate to a spa, health food store or coffee shop! Make relaxation this year’s theme!

Teachers Gift

As you write down the numerous people who deserve appreciation, teachers always come to mind. Think outside the box for those vocations, who already have plenty of themed mugs and ornaments; instead, consider practical items such as stickers, markers and double-sided tape. (Teachers will indeed appreciate the gift of classroom supplies, rather than purchasing them.) Male and female teachers also appreciate the opportunity to relax. Gift certificates to a movie theater, book store or a spa service would be well-received. 

“If you tip at the time of service, you may forego an end-of-the-year tip, or give a more modest holiday ‘thank you’ or small gift.” ~ Emily Post

Baby and Pet Sitters

Good, reliable sitters are difficult to find and keep! Show appreciation to those who spend hours caring for your beloved children and pets by treating them as an extension of the family. Cash is always appreciated. Etiquette says a bonus equaling four hours is adequate. Add something extra, such as a small gift or asking the kids to include a handmade drawing or handwritten letter.  

Research First

Not all individuals can receive a monetary gift of money, including a check. According to federal regulations, post office carriers can accept a present worth $20 or less for special occasions. Consider attaching a handwritten letter to a batch of homemade cookies. Ask the kids to draw a picture, too! The gifts that take time and personal love will reveal your heartfelt appreciation!

Check the company policy of senior care facilities to ensure gifts and tips are permissible. Call the receptionist to see if you can drop off store-bought holiday goodies, such as a platter of fruit or a box of chocolates. Appreciation to the staff is a kindness that applies to everyone!

“Any gift or tip should always include a short, handwritten note of appreciation. Two to three sentences are enough.” ~ Emily Post

Using Gift Cards

It’s a thrilling feeling to have a gift card. Uncertainty arrives at locations that offer tips, specifically restaurants. Patrons should inform their server, at the time of payment, the means of payment and wish to leave a tip in cash or personal credit card. It is the patron’s responsibility to offer a gratuity for full service and not through the gift card. Consider, in fact, raising the tip percentage.

Warnings with Visa Gift Cards

When the ideal gift leaves a shopper thinking about purchasing a pre-paid VISA card, please be wary of the small print. A $50 card may only have a value of $40 after subtracting maintenance fees or held by potential preauthorization holds. Look for the phrasing, “No fees after purchase.” No one wants to give a gift that leads to frustration; instead, support your favorite local boutiques, shops and restaurants with family, friends and business contacts. By supporting small businesses, you can influence others to experience the same quality service you receive with every visit! Ask for a gift certificate!






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