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Holiday Giving Guide for Parents: What to Give the Nanny, Babysitter, Teacher & More!

Holidays Just For Fun Parenting

The holiday season is supposed to be a fun and exciting time of year for families, yet, as parents often do, you probably spend most of the time stressed about family parties, kids presents and tipping protocol for services rendered throughout the year. While this guide won’t help you decide how to explain Uncle Jim’s weird jokes to your 6-year-old or which superhero doll little Susie would like under the tree, it will relieve the stress-inducing nightmare that is holiday tipping.

Importance of Holiday Tipping

Holiday tipping is a noble tradition that most people adhere to, showing the appreciation they have for the people that make their life easier. Simply put, the holidays are the one time of year that you express your gratitude for the people who provide the services you find most useful. For example, the babysitter allows you to have a date night once a month; the nanny makes it easier for you and your spouse to earn that much needed double-income; your kids’ teachers help them learn to make informed decisions. True, all of these people are paid for the service they provide, but holiday giving isn’t about delivering mandated fees, it is about showing gratitude beyond required payments, indicating that you value the person who has dedicated their life to making yours a little easier. Additionally, you don’t have to give money. You can always show your appreciation with a small gift.

Allocating Funds

If you do choose to give money, be sure to understand any tax codes, rules and restrictions in your area. While most people don’t realize that any such tipping rules exist, it is beneficial to review them before giving holiday gifts or tipping senior care providers or children. Additionally, when you decide to give holiday tips, you are likely going to experience some level of anxiety over who deserves a tip and who doesn’t. Granted, everyone who helps you deserves a tip; however, it is likely not feasible to give to everyone. A good rule of thumb is to give to people who you normally don’t tip, like child care providers, housekeepers, tutors, etc.

Tip Value Versus Service Value

While it is understandable to feel a little overwhelmed, you can think of holiday tipping in terms of tip value versus service value, meaning that a tip can often equal the cost of one session or one day of work. For example, you can tip anyone who works on a per session basis, like your hairstylist, dog walker or baby sitter, the cost of one session. However, not every service works this way, so it is valuable to understand how to tip in other instances.

Person/Service Suggested Tip Additional Gift From Kids
Nanny 1-2 Weeks Pay Yes
Babysitter 1 Session Yes
Cleaning Company 1 Session No/Depends
Doctor Don't Tip No
Dentist Don't Tip No
Kids Coach Don't Tip Yes
Teacher Don't Tip Yes
Tutor 1 Session Yes
Garbage Collector $20 - $30 No
Delivery Person $10 - $30, if seen regularly No
Dog Walker 1 Session or 1 Week's Pay No

Timely Distribution

When it comes to holiday giving, the sooner the better is the rule of thumb because it shows forethought. If you wait until the last minute, the people you are trying to show gratitude toward may feel as though the gift was given out of feelings of obligation. However, when you give someone a tip and present it with a card and a personalized note expressing your gratitude, you are showing them that they matter to you and that you value the time they have dedicated to you. The majority of people like to give holiday tips in December, with most preferring to give early in the month.

Tipping Alternatives

While tipping is a generally accepted practice, not everyone can afford to do it. Unfortunately, this can become a point of contention within a marriage. Instead of arguing about what you can’t financially handle, try coming up with alternatives that still show your appreciation. For example, handmade gifts or even homemade baked goods are an excellent way to show your gratitude because they require time and forethought. Additionally, taking the time to write a heartfelt letter can be just as valuable as a monetary tip, but it’s a good idea to explain that the lack of a tip is not a reflection of the service they provided. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to tip something, even if it is a lower value than the ones offered here.

Good Tipping Etiquette

Understanding how much to tip may be stressful enough without considering the etiquette behind the exchanges, but as with most things, there is a proper protocol. For example, you do want to check any guidelines that may exist for the company, organization, or building to ensure that neither you nor the person you're giving to get into trouble. There are a plethora of additional rules for giving, but here are the most important ones to keep in mind:

  • Give both cash and physical gifts.

  • Involve your kids in the process.

  • Budget for holiday tips.

  • Give only what you can afford.

  • Include personalized notes.

  • Give group gifts so people can share.

  • Cash should be crisp and clean.

  • Give more to people you see frequently.

Poor Tipping Etiquette

As there is proper tipping etiquette, there is poor etiquette. This doesn’t mean that everything is done in poor taste, it only suggests that there are certain things you don’t do when giving holiday tips. For example, you don’t usually give monetary tips to salaried professionals or business owners, and you don’t argue over how much to tip. Additionally, it is considered in poor taste to just give someone cash without a card or envelope. Tips should always be provided with the idea of self-sacrifice in mind because it is the sacrifice that shows appreciation.

Holiday Giving

The holiday season is an excellent time of year and we, here at CertifiKID, believe that everyone who contributes to your family’s success is valuable. If you're looking for a unique way to show your appreciation beyond tipping, then check out our available deals and coupons.

Tags: holiday giving tipping gifts parents families


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