Q:

What are some guidelines for giving holiday gratuities?

A:

Quick Answer

The amount of holiday gratuity to give someone depends on what that person does for you during the year. While people like delivery persons and garbage collectors should receive a small gift, personal employees should receive a gratuity of up to one week's wages.

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Full Answer

A gift of between $10 and $30 is appropriate for a regular delivery person or garbage collector. Keep in mind that the U.S. Postal Service prohibits its employees from receiving cash, gift cards or expensive non-perishable items. Therefore, show your mail carrier your appreciation with candy, baked goods or a small gift. Consider giving a superintendent, doorman or dedicated parking attendant a slightly larger gift of up to $100.

For people who you pay by the job, give a gratuity equal to the average cost of one job. For instance, tip your barber or hairdresser an amount equal to the typical cost of a haircut.

While a week's salary is appropriate for most regular employees, those hired through an agency may be prohibited from receiving cash or large gifts. If this is the case, show your appreciation with a small item or a gift card of at most $20.

Cash gifts to professors or teachers are generally considered in poor taste and may actually be explicitly prohibited at some schools. Show these professionals you care with a small, thoughtful, non-cash gift.

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