December 20, 2005
If you made your holiday list and you checked it twice, chances are you've still forgotten some folks like your paper boy or your babysitter. An etiquette authority gives some suggestions on how much to tip.
Dec. 25 can't come soon enough. For many it means Christmas bonuses. But, if you're the one giving the gift? How much is enough?
Luci Riddick is the etiquette teacher at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School. She said that part of gift giving can be a challenge.
"We don't want to over-give and embarrass folks, we don't want to under-give and make them feel under appreciated," said Riddick.
Riddick suggests when it comes to babysitters, housekeepers, or the gardener, they should be tipped at least one day's pay, which is usually between $20 and $50. Nannys and personal caregivers should be given a little bit more. Officials suggest about a week's pay.
For those that are strapped for cash this holiday season, you can always give a gift or even a card to show your appreciation.
"We need to remember those folks whose lives are even busier this time of year," said Riddick.
At the post office, they're working overtime to make sure your gifts are reaching their destinations on time.
"They're out there in the worst kind of weather and often times very hazardous conditions to see that mail is delivered on a daily basis," said Tucker Johnson, of the U.S. Postal Service.
Riddick said for that mail carriers deserve a lot but they are government regulated so they're not allowed to accept cash, only a gift.
"The gift can not exceed a maximum value of $20 and cannot be cash or alcohol," said Johnson.
But if you're tapped out at tip time, sometimes a simple thank you will do.
It is always up to you whether or not to give a gift, but it is recommended that you base the gift on the quality of the service, or on how long you've used the service.