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December 13, 2007



Ugh, I have no answers, but I am interested to see what other people have to say.


I once forgot to tip my stylist (new mom, had to take my infant with me, who nursed sweatily under the cape, so generally frazzled). Which is way worse than potentially gypping her. I went straight back, with a tip and an apology. So I say do it.

Now what about the mailman? And the garbage guys? And the UPS guy who is here almost daily?


Oh wow, I feel guilty now. I never tip our dog groomers! I always tip my hairstylist though. I guess it never occurred to me.

What about the mailman?


I think food is good for the mailman.... or at least, what I was accustomed to.

My mom always would put a loaf of Christmas bread in the mailbox for the mailman around the holidays.

I've never done anything like that myself since becoming an adult... It seems like every time I've run into post office personnel where I live, it's a different person, but I think it's a really nice gesture if you have a consistent carrier.

Growing up, our mailman was really cool. He knew all the houses that had children on his route and his wife would make huge batches of candy that they'd box up and usually somewhere a few days before Christmas, he'd do his route on his own time and drop off boxes of homemade candy for all the kids.

Emma kw

My hair stylist gets a good tip - she makes me look wonderful, if only for one day a month!! Brian at the nail salon ditto, for making my garden shredded nails look fab - I think he's part wizard!!
Mailman - well, the law says $20 max, so that's easy, and the paper guy ( Sunday Globe) gets $20, for getting my paper on our driveway! Tim, the nice man who picks up and drops off our dry cleaning also gets $20.
I usually leave $20 for the trash guys taped to the trash can, but always wonder if they get it! So far I have not lost a trash can in traffic!!
My thinking is people who deal with your actual body ( hair, nails, masage,) or family member's body ( dog groomer) get the bigger tip, because I want them to be nice to me or my pet! Especially if it's some one you see regulary!
I actually like doing this - we are blessed and can afford it, and remember when times weren't so good.

Emma kw

OOh forgot to say - don't leave food - so many people have allergies, it could be very dangerous! Our local post office has a sign requesting that no food be left for employees as one had a severe reaction to sugar cookies a few years ago that had been made on the same kitchen counter as peanut sandwiches!


I never thought of the allergy thing, but always left fresh cookies, bread, candy ect for the mailman. One hot days, we'd leave either a bottle of ice water or ice gaterade and hot cocoa in the summer. He just retired though and now the new guy lacks the old mailman's niceness.


BTW - I'm interested in what to tip the garbage man as well - our old garbage men sucked so I don't feel bad for never leaving a tip. Our new guy is great- he definitely deserves a tip!


I tip the house cleaner a week's pay, my hairstylist usually double what I'd usually tip and the paperboy 20 bucks. I never tip the mailman or the garbage guys, mostly because they're different every week.


I was actually just talking about this to my husband - I plan on going out and buying 10 or 12 pairs of thin-but-warm nylon or wool gloves, the kind that you can still flex your hands and get things done outside, to leave out for our garbage men, the mailman, and the guys who work at the full-serve gas station we usually use. I thought that makes for a nice little gesture, something relevant (and my hands just ache watching them work in the cold, some days) but that won't break the bank.

I don't have "a hairstylist," we just go to the beauty school and rotate through varying levels of benevolence and skill there, so that's not an issue.

And I've knitted hats for each of the kids' teachers and caregivers.

I don't give out cookies, mostly because I rarely bake much before the 24th or so, and because a dear friend of mine's daughter has very severe food allergies so I'm suddenly nervous about taking that risk... I don't want to attach a full ingredients list to every package, so we'll just keep 'em here.


Nate (who is a tipped professional) puts it this way: Maybe it's $2 more for a bartender. Maybe it's $5 more for your manicurist. Maybe it's $30 more for your dog groomer. In the scheme of things that's not a whole lot - but now in that person's eyes you're a rock star and they'll take are of you forever.

For the hairdresser, double her usual tip. I don't know about all those other people. We don't know our garbage men or mail carriers in NY. We just have 40,000 doormen to contend with.

Mom on Coffee

I always drop off a Box of Joe and some homemade dough nuts at the post office since we have a box and they always ask for the dough nuts. Any other service people(servers, hair, etc) always get double tips. But, my garbage guy, he's pretty damn hot, so I just tip him in the bedroom. It's my husband, you sickos! ;)


I always tip my hairdresser anyhow, but around Christmas I'll add a little box of nice truffles, since I know she loves good chocolate. My daycare teachers, I give coffee cards for the place across the street, or more personal gifts if I feel like I know something about them to go by.


We tip our cleaners and babysitters very generously, since those are the 4 people we as a family depend on and have deep, long term relationships with. Teachers and special ed. aides, bus drivers, garbage and mail, hair stylist, all get $20 gift cards to various places, depending on who they are.

(My hair stylist has a huge dog, so she gets a PetCo gift card, and I know the teachers and aides always ended up supplementing their classroom supplies out of their own pockets, so Staples or A.C. Moore cards for them. Everyone else gets Dunkin' Donuts cards!)

I think it's a matter of what you can afford - we give a lot out at the holidays because we can, but I think any service person understands that not everyone can spend that kind of money, and it really is the thought that counts.

Redneck Mommy

I lurve my mailman so I spoil him rotten at Christmas. He's an old dude who went to school with my daddy and Boo's daddy. He rocks.

If I had a dog groomer (other than me) I would name my child after said groomer because I know how damn dorky my dog acts when I'm trying to groom him. So feel free to send her a Christmas card with a wad of cash in it...

Fairly Odd Mother

Let's see; I tip about $20-$25 for my hair stylist; $20 to mail man John; between $10-20 to the garbage guys (we just started with a new company, so it'll be 10 this year; 20 for a full year); $25 to the girl who delivers the newspaper. Then, little gifts (Starbucks gift cards) to the three guys who teach gymnastics to my kids & a little gift for the dance teacher. I think that is it for us. Oh no, wait, babysitter: well, our most frequent one is my mom who gets a big gift anyway. Our neighbor's daughter has always gotten a gift but I add a to it now that she is also our mother's helper/babysitter. It can feel a little crazy when I start adding it all up, but I really think the people appreciate the thought!

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