A Guide to Tipping Everyone This Holiday Season

tipping bartender
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Unless you're a real Grinch/Jim Carrey wearing a creepy-ass costume/one of the people likely in our comments section, 'tis the season to give a big fat tip to all the people who help you out. It's simply the right thing to do to give a little extra cash to the people who take out your garbage, cut your hair, and memorize that you like your coffee black with 3.5 sugars and a pump of sugar-free hazelnut. This is their year-end bonus for making your life a little easier, and here's how much to give them.

barber shop
Flickr/Thomas Gehrke


How much to tip: The cost of one haircut
Why you should tip: Think about how gross that must be to touch other people's heads all day. Would you want to run your hands through some stranger's greasy hair? Barbers deserve a medal of honor, not just a tip.


How much to tip: Anywhere between $25-$100
Why you should tip: Doormen know all your secrets. They know who goes in and out of your apartment, and they have access to your mail. Tipping them isn't an option, it's a necessity to make sure they don't blackmail you. If you live in a nice building and the doormen are always signing for your packages, tip them more. If you live in a dump and the doorman is asleep behind the front desk most of the time, a $25 gift card to a coffee shop can't hurt. It also might keep the guy awake so people can't sneak into your apartment and watch you sleep.

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

Your regular barista

How much to tip: $20
Why you should tip: This person has to look into your tired, caffeine-craving eyes every morning and act like she likes you. Do you know how much more work that must take than making you an Americano? And while it’d be hilarious/a dick move to give her a gift card to the coffee shop where she works, we suggest slipping a big ol' $20 into that tip jar one random morning in December to show your appreciation for what she does. Just make sure she's looking.

Your super

How much to tip: Anywhere between $75-$100
Why you should tip: After listening to all the crap supers have to put up with, it felt necessary to give them what they believe to be a fair bonus for doing things like snaking your drain all the damn time, which isn’t a euphemism. If your super is snaking your drain in the euphemistic way, either give him a lot more or absolutely nothing. Whatever feels more appropriate.

Flickr/Dave Crosby


How much to tip: The cost of one cleaning and a gift card
Why you should tip: The housekeeper cleans your house much better than your method of gently misting everything with Febreze. This is hard, hard work, and it deserves to be rewarded. The gift card is to show that you put a little more effort than stuffing $50 into an envelope. It doesn’t take much more cash, and it's a genuinely thoughtful act.

Mail carriers

How much to tip: Something homemade from your kitchen
Why you should tip them: There’s something touching about a homemade pie or cookies. If you live in a place where the mailman is coming to your front door, leaving a plate of homemade sugary goodness probably won’t cost you much to make, and will make their day. Because who doesn’t get excited by surprise dessert? Especially if they're driving around all day.

FedEx truck
Flickr/Dan McKay

UPS/FedEx people

How much to tip: $25
Why you should tip: Yes, we’re proposing you giving more to this delivery person than your mailman. It’s fair because generally the UPS/FedEx people have probably dropped off enormous boxes at your house at some point. Furniture. A case of wine. Realistic sex dolls you’ll never tell a soul about. Car parts. Sex dolls. Umm, furniture. Bump it up if they make frequent deliveries, like if you work from home, or really, really go through those dolls.

Sanitation workers

How much to tip: $25 p/truck
Why you should tip: It’s 89% funnier to refer to the people who pick up your trash as “garbage people,” but it’s also probably untrue. Try to imagine the level of sainthood required to inhale all those awful smells each day and not completely lose your mind. Next time you see the trash truck drive by, wave the driver down and hand him $25. In my neck of the woods, the truck is a one-man operation, but if your local sanitation truck has multiple workers, select one guy and give him enough to split with his co-workers.

bartender pouring a drink
Flickr/Jan Mark Holzer

Your regular bartender

How much to tip: 100% of your next tab
Why you should tip: If you’re a regular at a bar, the bartender is your best friend/therapist/drink dispenser. That’s a lot of good qualities for a person to have; he's basically the human version of one of those sweet, crunchy oat clusters you find in a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. How can you not be happy to see him? Tip him an amount he's not expecting for the holidays, and he should keep you nice and boozed up for the next 365 days. Note: if you’re tipping them on Christmas Day or at a New Year’s party, add a few more bucks to that tip.


How much to tip: A small gift or something homemade
Why you should tip: You should never tip a teacher, because in many countries that’s known as bribery. That includes this country. Instead, bake Teach something delicious (hell, you can do it in the same batch as what you make for the mailperson, and no one will be the wiser!) or buy something nice and not too expensive. The best teachers stay with you the rest of your life, so a tiny token of appreciation is literally the least you can do.

Santa Claus

How much to tip: A pile of cookies and milk
Why you should tip: You really wanna piss off Santa? Dude sees everything.

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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and thinks giving feels pretty good. Follow him to tipping etiquette: @LeeBreslouer.