If you think you’re ready for Christmas because you’ve gotten something for all your family members and friends, you may want to check your list again.
Did you remember your babysitter? Or your personal trainer? What about your newspaper carrier?
Holiday tipping and gift giving guides offer a panoply of suggestions for recognizing service providers.
Here are some suggestions for how to show your appreciation for a job well-done:
For a hair stylist who gives regular service, an additional tip equivalent to the cost of a regular haircut is a general rule of thumb.
Jonathan Leitzel, owner of the Black Comb in Lancaster, says some customers also bring in cookies, drop off bottles of alcohol or give gift cards. The shop at 31 E. Orange St. has even had clients drop off lunch this time of year, he says.
While it is not expected, Leitzel says about half his clients offer a holiday tip or gift, saying it has become more common since the The Black Comb first opened in 2013.
“The relationship between a barber and a client can become pretty strong,” he says. “I would say, as the shop ages and we have more and more regulars, we will see it become a regular thing with people.”
For newspapers carriers who begin their rounds in the wee hours of the morning, holiday tips are a big perk of the job. Cash is the most common, but some carriers have also reported getting baked goods from Amish delivery customers, according to LNP circulation manager Steve Loose.
Nina Evans, an LNP newspaper carrier in West Hempfield Township, said cash tips during a typical holiday season can amount to an extra $3,000.
The 46-year old Columbia resident, who has had a delivery route for 17 years, says about 90 percent of her roughly 300 customers offer some kind of gift or tip. The most common is a mailed card with around $20 in response to a Christmas card with her address she leaves with a paper in early December.
Since they’re famous for the consistent, year-round service in any kind of weather, postal carriers are one of the most frequent recipients of holiday gifts. But since they’re subject to the federal government’s ethics policy, there are some limits.
Carriers can accept a gift worth $20 or less, which includes gift cards to stores or restaurants, although they cannot accept any amount of cash, or cards such as Visa gift cards that can be used like cash.
And while there’s no prohibition against giving lottery tickets to your mail carrier, post office spokeswoman Karen Mazurkiewicz says some people are opposed to gambling, “so that could be problematic.”
Even if it costs less than $20, a gift of alcohol will be a problem since the postal service is prohibited from transporting alcohol, and postal workers can’t have it in their vehicles.
“A great gift is a clear, safe, and dog-free path to the mailbox so carriers can celebrate holidays when they get off work,” Mazurkiewicz says.
And the rest
Kristi Long, assistant director of Elizabethtown Child Care Center, says a tray of cookies is typical for a teacher while a handwritten note of appreciation is also highly valued.
Similarly, elementary schoolteachers often get some token of appreciation, although most schools have policies against giving cash.
Susan Bleecher, deputy director for the Lancaster Parking Authority which oversees eight garages or parking lots, says a small gift for an attendant such as candies or cookies is welcome, even if it is not all that common.
For herself, Bleecher always tips her hairdresser and makes sure not to overlook her dry cleaner.
“I don’t know if a lot of people do, but I do.”