By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) So just how much should you tip the dogwalker this holiday season? And is it really Ok to tip a doctor or a teacher? Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz consults the great-great-grandson of Emily Post to find out proper etiquette.
As Americans open their wallets for the holiday season, custom dictates cracking them wider still to give annual tips to the service providers in your life.
“It’s a tradition that works well,” said Daniel Post Senning, author and spokesman for the Emily Post Institute. “It’s a good way to honor people, build good relationships.”
But knowing who to tip is always a bit of a puzzle. Why tip the hairdresser but not the dental hygienist? Why the dog walker but not the dry cleaner? And did you know you’re supposed to tip your trash collector if it’s a private service?
Post Senning, the great-great-grandson of Emily Post, suggests tipping the people who help with your home, like a regular handyman or babysitter, or who help with your person, like a fitness trainer or barber.
You should also consider whether the individual is paid by the service, eliminating professionals like doctors.
Traditional etiquette says you don’t have to tip a service provider who is also the owner of the business, but if you’d like to reward them, Post Senning suggests asking if they would mind receiving a tip.
The greatest growth in tipping expectations has been for in-home child care workers like nannies and au pairs.
Meanwhile, mail carriers and teachers are occupations people think they should tip, but there are ethics restrictions on these.
If all this sounds terribly expensive, remember you don’t have to tip everyone, and many people don’t give annual tips at all, which makes it all the better if you can.