GIFTING 2016 = The Scoop on Holiday Tipping

If you’re anything like me, the holidays are consumed with equal parts excitement and the stress that accompany gift giving. As you make your list (and check it twice) of those you plan on gifting this year, you don’t want to forget to thank the service providers who consistently give year round.

When holiday tipping, it is important to remember it is the thought that counts. If budgets are tight this year or tipping just doesn’t feel right, never underestimate the power of a hand written thank you note. Genuinely expressing your gratitude for the people who help make your life easier can mean more than anything.

holiday tipping | photo from
photo from

For no-fail tipping this holiday season, follow this advice from Emily Post, the queen of etiquette herself.

  1. Prioritize. Those that you interact with more should be at the top of your list for tips.
  2. Accompany your tip with a hand written note. Let those who you are tipping know how much you really appreciate them.
  3. Check company policy. Does your salon have a strict no tipping policy? Better to know before than getting your hairdresser in trouble later.
  4. Budget. Dishing out more than you can afford will leave you feeling guilty rather than grateful. If it isn’t already, try adding holiday tips into your budget for next year. You bank account will thank you.
  5. Get your children involved. Let them help pick out a small gift or write the thank you card.
  6. Don’t make excuses. Just because you over-bought for your kids this year doesn’t mean you have an excuse to skimp out on service providers.
  7. Consider need. It’s ok to consider those who might appreciate a tip more than others as it will ultimately have a bigger impact on them and their family during this season.
  8. Tip Year Round. Those that tip year round have an excuse to hold back a little bit during the holidays. If you’re guilty of skipping out, consider this your opportunity to cover your tracks.

Tipping, gifting, or even a simple note is the perfect “thank you” this time of year; however, sometimes the hardest part is figuring out which one is appropriate for which service. Scoop has you covered for that too.


“Go-To” babysitters are a unique luxury. When considering them this holiday season, it is appropriate to gift them with cash equal to the amount of one night’s pay. Want to go above and beyond? Have your child pick something small out for her or him in addition for a little heartfelt gesture.

Day Care providers work day in and day out for your children – needless to say, it is important to thank them. Like babysitters, we recommend a small gift from your children and anywhere from $25-$75 per daycare provider who directly interacts with your child.

Service Providers

Depending upon the regularity of your housecleaner/keeper, Emily Post recommends a cash gratuity of up to one week’s worth of pay and/or a small token of appreciation. For this small token, think a home baked treat or festive, holiday candle. Check out where to find the best one in our article on the best candles to give in Charlotte.

holiday tipping
Boem’s Stag Candle – the perfect winter mix of siberian fir, citrus, cilantro, and raspberry.
Triple Wick $48
Single Wick $36
Votive $16

I think I can speak for almost every scoop reader when I say we don’t know what we would do without our hairdressers. Depending upon if you are a generous tipper for each provided service, plan on tipping your beauty guru this holiday season up to the price of your standard service. For example, if your haircut and color costs $75 and you tip year round – give anywhere from $25-$35. Skip out on tipping? Gift a $75 tip and call it even.

If you are lucky enough to have a personal trainer during this tempting time of the year (hello Trader Joe’s peppermint bark), plan on tipping up to the cost of one session with your trainer. Have you gotten to know your PT as a personal friend? Emily Post suggests a gift is just as appropriate.

Dog Walkers and groomers are easily forgotten. Don’t be that woman! It is appropriate to tip up to one walking session or one grooming session depending upon frequency of the service. If that doesn’t speak for itself, use them weekly? Tip a full session. Use them quarterly? A 25% tip is generous.

Mail-carriers can be your trickiest to thank during the holidays because they cannot accept cash, checks, or any other form of currency. Don’t let this be your excuse to cross them off your list. Scoop recommends home baked holiday treats, a small, universally liked gift, or a Starbucks gift card. Keep in mind gift card amounts cannot exceed $20 per governmental regulations.

holiday tipping - photo via @starbuckscoffee Instagram
Who says gift cards can’t be personal? Have your kids create their own Starbucks’ gift card – photo via @starbuckscoffee Instagram

Finally, don’t forget trash/recycling collectors. Emily Post recommends anywhere from $10-$30 per attendant as a nice holiday gesture. If tipping doesn’t suit you – go for the undeniable christmas cookies and coffee during their morning route as a simple thank you.

What are you waiting for – haven’t you heard it’s always better to give than receive?