Do you give Christmas gifts to service people?

All these threads about gifts got me thinking and I realized I’m not a complete Grinch after all. I leave a gift card for my mail carrier (USPS rules say it has to be less than $20) and when I lived in the family home, we used to leave a case of beer or soda for the trash collectors. Not sure how that works with the one-armed bandits now. If there are certain people I see regularly, like a cashier at my local supermarket or a waiter or waitress, I may give them them a small gift card or an extra tip.

Do you give Christmas gifts to service people and if you do, what?

I used to give boxes of store-bought candy or cookies to the librarians at my local library, with a card of thanks. At the time, I used the big headquarters library and it was easy to slip the gift on to the return counter anonymously. These days I go to a much smaller branch and I would be identified as the giver, which is not my intent.
I do have a tip for you though: this is in the wrong forum. :slight_smile:

Yes, usually gift cards.

Since the OP is asking about personal experiences, let’s move this to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

Yup. I’ve just purchased a box of tea cakes for the refuse crew and another for the postie.

I give no gifts, period.

I do not and it was relatively new news to me that giving gifts to the mailman or the trash collector was a thing. I don’t know these people and I don’t typically give gifts to people I don’t know.

I give gifts one exactly one person. My kid. I used to buy for two but when my oldest got married I figured her husband can take over that duty.

I have house cleaners who come every two weeks. There are two of them and I get them gift cards. They do a good job and I like them.

I was under the impression that the mail carriers were not allowed to keep anything left for them, but never did quite figure out what happened to the stuff - especially now with gift cards. When did this change?

But yes, as far as my parents were concerned, leaving things (usually bottles of wine, as my father was in the liquor business) for the mail carrier and probably the garbage collectors and milk deliverers as well.

"Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy

All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period."

My family would always give the mail carrier a gift at Christmas. Sometimes cash, sometimes a box of candy, but that required catching him/her when they arrive at the house.

There are a few bartenders who get a xmas tip.

My garbage guys who handle my dumpster at work (where home garbage goes as well) get a handle of whatever liquor I’m regifting. They’re definitely old school; one year they cracked the bottle and started passing it around before I’d even walked away.

I view these kind of gifts as building community relationships. I haven’t really had a community since I left Durango and while the town I’m in is permanent i doubt I’ll ever see my community here after we move in the spring. Next year though I’m hoping to finally settle down and then we’ll get back to giving those small thank you gifts.

I do a few things for, give gifts to, our janitors at work and the city garbage collectors but thats about it. For whatever reason even though we have had a couple mail carriers in the family, we never handed any sort of Christmas gift to the mailman.

I’m very urban and live in a high rise, so I’ve never seen the trash collectors and only see the postal delivery people maybe once a month if they happen to be in the mailbox area when I’m coming in or out of the building.

I have given gift cards to the front desk staff in the past, I’m not sure I will this year. There’s been so much turnover and they seem to be using a lot of people who only work a couple days a week.

I frequently go to a bar across the street, I’m regular enough to have been invited been invited to their Christmas party, so I’ll give something to my usual bartenders.

I tip my hairstylist quite well every three weeks, I’m not planning on getting him anything extra. Perhaps a larger tip at my last appointment before Christmas.

Care to say what you tip your regular bartenders?

The topic came up a few years ago among a bunch of “regulars”. What a shitstorm that brewed up. From nothing extra (“I tip a dollar for every beer I drink, they should all be ready to retire”) to $100 (“They’re the only women in my life who treat me well”).

Personally, I give $50 a person to three and $20 a person to three.

Here’s a threadon this topic from Nov 2013.

I give my (independent) hairdresser (colorist) a sum equal to one visit ($70). My haircutter is a brilliant stylist who works for a chain and probably doesn’t make much, so I tip very generously at each visit and give her an extra $100 for Christmas. My housecleaner who comes every other week-- I give her $200 at Christmas, and I give it the first week of December, because I assume that’s when it will be most useful to her. I don’t deal regularly with any other service providers, so that covers it.


My postal service is terrible, and tipping them would only reinforce their shitty service.

My housecleaning service, who come once a month, is usually not the same people, and I tip them generously on each visit ($20 each).

I’ve had 5 mailmen this year, and the butcher from whom I bought meat had his store burn down.

I was under the impression if you lived in a nice high rise tipping was “mandatory”, I’ve heard many NYC podcasters complain about their yearly Christmas “gifts” where they’re basically given a checklist from management of “suggested donations” along with conveniently provided envelopes and the front desk constantly reminds people if their envelopes haven’t been returned yet.

Among people who are tipped

  • Janitors
  • Front Desk Staff
  • Maids
  • Handymen
  • Gym/Valets (even if you don’t use them)