Holiday Tipping/Gifting


I want to thank the people who make our life easier. I really like our mailman, my hairdresser and the butcher. Our building manager is pretty nice and helpful, too.

Tough to decide what to give: don’t want to seem like a total cheapskate but still want to show “we appreciate you”. And you never know what they’re allergic or morally opposed to.

We gave chocolate truffles to a client once. When he called to thank us, he said “Even though I have diabetes, my granddaughter enjoyed them very much”. And yet candy seems like a safe choice. In worst case, they can just re-gift it.

  • The Mailman got a special edition holiday Toblerone ($8.50). Everyone loves Toblerones, right? He didn’t seem very moved but said that he’s in our area for awhile, hopefully he’ll be here next year as well (his words). So I’m thinking he wasn’t too offended. I thought about giving money but it’s against the law.
  • I tipped the Hairdresser 100%. I did well here, she was happy, everyone loves cash.
  • The Building Manager will either get a box of cookies or a Tim Horton’s gift card. He’s always carrying a Tim’s cup.
  • The Butcher is tricky. We shop at the Whole Foods, so would a WF gift card be appropriate? A steak? cash? I’m open to ideas. He is a very friendly young guy. I don’t want him to misinterpret it though.

Holiday tipping guide from CNN
The article suggests that cash is the best choice, average recommended tip is $20 or so, with some going a lot higher.


  1. You have a butcher? Well, a steak is definitely not a good idea. And cash would be awkward. How about a Starbucks or Peets card? I never thought to tip the mailman, but I definitely tip the housekeeper and newspaper delivery man.

  2. Our mailman brings the parcels to the door every time. Sometimes instead of just dropping stuff off if I’m not there, he’ll come back the next day. That saves me a trip to the post office, so I wanted to acknowledge him somehow.

    Yes! Whole Foods has a fresh meat counter, with real butchers. I usually buy a whole bunch of small packages, and often go to this one guy. He is very nice, always makes custom/fresh cuts even when not asked, and wraps it all carefully. We “visit”, chat about what’s up with him etc 🙂

    I thought about a Starbucks card, but not everyone likes it. That’s why I think maybe a Whole Foods card, so he can spend it right there. What’s a Peets?

    With people like hairdresser or housekeeper it’s easier, because one pays them anyway, so money is not awkward, it’s part of the “relationship”.


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