Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pay Up, It's the Holidays

I was recently asked to contribute to a group gift for someone that really was not on my radar for gift giving.  It was not a large personal sum but it added up to a decent amount of cash and it irked me.  I thought the group money would have been better spent on helping a less fortunate family or a funny gift exchange but I kept my mouth shut and put up the cash. 

I have no problem recognizing people that make my life easier throughout the year and there are a few key people. In addition to them, I plan to give cash to the UPS guy who never rings the doorbell in case LO is sleeping and always waves when he sees us in the neighborhood.  I don't plan on tipping the Fed-ex driver who repeatedly fails to deliver LO's formula or dents the cans.  The lady who cleans the alley every day will see a holiday card and cash but not the horrible gardener that floods the walkway.  

Do you think cash is always preferred or should I do a gift card?  Am I forgetting anyone that you like to recognize? 

I have included Emily Post's suggested holiday giving guide as a reference:

Service Provider Options Suggested Amount or Gift
Au pair or live-in nanny
Cash or consider a gift. This person works closely with your family and you probably know them well.
One week’s pay and a gift from your child(ren).

Regular babysitter
Cash
One evening’s pay and a small gift from your child(ren).

Day care provider
Cash or a gift for each staff member who works with your child(ren).
A gift from you or $25-$70 for each staff member and a small gift from your child(ren).

Live-in help (nanny, cook, butler, housekeeper)
Cash and a personal gift
One week to one month of pay as a cash tip, plus a gift from you.

Private nurse
Gift
A thoughtful gift from you.

Home health employees
Check with agency first about gifts or tipping policies. If there is a no gifts/tipping policy, consider a donation to the agency.
A thoughtful gift from you. (If gift-giving is not against company policy.)

Housekeeper/Cleaner
Cash and/or a gift
Up to the amount of one week’s pay and/or a small gift.

Nursing home employees
A gift (not cash). Check company policy first.
A gift that could be shared by the staff (flowers or food items).

Barber
Cash or gift
Cost of one haircut or a gift.

Beauty salon staff
Cash or gift depending on whether you tip well after each service.
The cost of one salon visit divided for each staff member who works with you. Give individual cards or a small gift each for those who work on you.

Personal trainer
Cash or gift
Up to the cost of one session or a gift.

Massage therapist
Cash or gift
Up to the cost of one session or a gift.

Pet groomer
Cash or gift (if the same person grooms your pet all year).
Up to the cost of one session or a gift.

Dog walker
Cash or gift
Up to one week’s pay or a gift.

Personal caregiver
Cash or gift
Between one week to one month’s salary or a gift.

Pool cleaner
Cash or gift
The cost of one cleaning to be split among the crew.

Garage attendants
Cash or small gift
$10-30 or a small gift

Newspaper delivery person
Cash or small gift
$10-30 or a small gift

Mail carrier
Small gift only

Package deliverer
Small gift only, no cash. (Only if you receive regular deliveries.)
Small gift in the $20 range. Most delivery companies discourage or prohibit cash gifts.

Superintendent
Cash or gift
$20-80 or a gift

Doorman
Cash or gift
$15-80. $15 or more each for multiple doormen, or a gift.

Elevator operator
Cash or gift
$15-40 each

Handyman
Cash or gift
$15 to $40

Trash/Recycling collectors
Cash or gift (for private) check city regulations if it is a municipal service.
$10-30 each

Yard/Garden worker
Cash or gift
$20-50 each

Teachers
Gift (not cash)
A small gift or note from you as well as a small gift from your child.