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jane__ny

Holiday gifts for service people

jane__ny
last month

Mailman, Trash collectors, lawn guy, cleaning women, etc.


I usually give cash and a small bottle of alcohol to my mailman (who is fantastic), my trash collectors, and our weekly lawn man. Cleaning women and hairdresser I give cash.


Wondering what others give?


Jane

Comments (53)

  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    last month

    I don't know very much about our mail carrier, she has just had this route a few weeks. She's quite young, athletic, I think single but I'm not sure. She lives at the beach and I was thinking a gift card from one of the restaurants out there. She's agreeable and helpful, will use my in-wall mail slot even though she's not required to. She has already proved willing to alert us if she's left packages, mail at DH's sisters up the hill. They are seldom in town, DH puts their mail inside.

    I tip my stylist generously all year around, but especially so at Christmas. I'll triple her usual tip.

    I don't have a housekeeper and I don't tip DH for mowing, edging, or the almost daily raking he's doing this time of year. We seem to have more deciduous trees than any household needs ;)

    I'm feeling like I want to order my usual gift of assortment of individually wrapped cookies sent to the staff at my mothers care facility. I want them to know how often I think of them with deep appreciation, even though they are no longer caring for her. I miss them, a few had become friends but at more than 100 miles away, I haven't dropped in to tell them that.

  • Kswl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Usually we give $20 each to the three garbage collectors, we tape the envelopes onto the top of one of our containers. Our postal carrier, who is perfectly lovely, usually gets the same but this year I gave her an early present of a glass Christmas ornament, a white U.S.mail jeep with a little green bottlebrush tree on the top and a small wreath on the front grille. i saw it when i was Christmas planning in late September and gave it to her as soon as it arrived. She really seemed to like it and tbh it was totally cute!

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  • Oakley
    last month

    Lily, call your local post office because that's way too long to go without mail.


    Back in the day I knew my postal carrier (rural) for years and would give him cookies or W-S hot chocolate with their marshmallows.


    Our trash collectors are from a minimum prison, I guess I could slip them a saw. :) I remember now, a few years ago they emptied our dumpster and I asked if they'd take the trash I had on the porch which included boxes from furniture. The two inmates did it with a smile, and I gave them each $10 for lunch. That really made them happy!

  • Allison0704
    last month

    I tip our trash collectors $40 each, in a card and handed to them. $100 to pool guy. $100 to hair stylist. $100 to the groomer - we will no longer need, but I'm taking her next week. She was so good with Ellie.


    We have a new mail person and while one UPS driver seems to be consistent, FedEx is not. I put out a container with drinks, snacks and a sign I printed telling them thank you. I put outside on days we are expecting a deliveries from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The UPS driver loved it last year and made a point of telling both of us thank you. Our previous mail lady left a note in our mailbox.

  • salonva
    last month

    We tip our trash people $20 each. We try to wait around for them to hand to them.


    In more recent years, there were problems taping it to the garbage cans. Always a fear of a windy day and also believe it or not, our town hall sent out an email saying to please try to hand directly as there were people scouting the neighborhoods helping themselves to the envelopes left on the cans.


    We used to have wonderful mail carriers and tipped them with cash in a card, usually $20 also.We will probably do the same this year although the mail carrier has been changing a lot and we don't have the most reliable mail service so I'm not sure.


    I don't have house cleaners, and I go to the salong maybe twice a year, so no regulars there and no seasonal tipping.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    last month

    We tip our mail carrier and our newspaper delivery person. But DH takes care of the lawn and the garbage so I don't tip him. Then again, I cut his hair and he doesn't tip me. I don't have a consistent hairdresser and only go once every 2 months so I'm just extra generous with the tip for the cut around holiday time.

  • maire_cate
    last month

    We give our letter carrier $20 in a card early in December and make sure to hand it to him. We stopped tipping our trash collectors when the township went with a commercial service. My hairdresser gets $150.

  • Kswl
    last month

    Our golf club restaurant owners send out an email letting us know each account will be charged $10 and the aggregate will be divided amongst the staff equally,. People can opt out and I am sure many do, so we give $40 to that pool. I also tip my hairdresser and dog groomer (who comes to the house) $100. Our cleaners are not the same each week so we also opt into an account tip for them, the amount of which is different each year.

  • dedtired
    last month

    My regular hairdresser changed locations and i have been seeing someone closer to me. Not real happy with the last cut so I won’t be going back, which is a long way of saying no tip for the hairdresser this year. I tipped my old hairdresser about $50 and also tipped her throughout thenyear.

    The mail carrier keeps changing after many years of the same person. Sorry Sorry, no tip there there.

    Trash people come very early in the morning and i am not going out there to hand out tips. One year they beeped the horn on thentrucks as if to say come out and tip us , which i found obnoxious. Cant leave a tip outside because it would be stolen.

    I tip the housecleaner equal to one pay, so $100.


  • pudgeder
    last month

    Our trash person comes through at 7 am and never EVER gets out of the truck. (One of those arm pick up trucks) If the trash misses the targeted hole in the truck, it's just too bad. He drives right off. He's not getting a tip.


    Our mail carrier is never the same person, so a financial give is off the table too. I will leave a little tin of cookies for whichever one is lucky to be delivering on that day.



  • OutsidePlaying
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Allison, what sort of snacks do you put in your box for the delivery folks? Great idea as I can never catch our UPS and Fedex people and they are great.

    I have usuallt given our mail carrier a Chick-Fil—A gift card. This year we have a new, temporary carrier as the old one sadly recently retired. She is fine but is currently working 2 routes until a replacement contract carrier is found, so we don’t get our mail until very late in the day. Packages are delivered separately. It’s weird but so far so good and i know the USPS is having trouble filling jobs just like everyone else.

    I give my cleaning lady a rounded-up months salary, my hairdresser (who gets very good tips through the year) a nice bottle of wine or something else good, my pedicure person a gift card.

  • deegw
    last month

    Our trash man conveniently tapes a holiday card to our can to show us how we can leave a tip for him :) He gave us our card last week.

  • Sueb20
    last month

    I do the same "snack basket" like Allison. I think we've been doing it for 3-4 years. I buy the big multiple packages of individual chips/pretzels/cookies, water bottles and cans of soda, etc. We keep it on the porch all day and bring it in at night. We do a lot of online ordering plus still occasional grocery ordering, and the delivery people seem to really appreciate this.


    I am going to a new hairdresser today, and won't see her again before Christmas, and obviously since I have no relationship with her yet, and it's early in the season, I'll just be giving her a normal tip. That's one way to get out of the usual holiday tip!


    Mail carrier usually $20 and some little treat like a box of chocolates.


    My dad is in assisted living and there is no real protocol there for gifts for employees, that I'm aware of. I even emailed the director once to ask, and he never responded. So I just send a package of lots of treats for the employees and let them figure it out. Last year I sent Lake Champlain Chocolates. Not sure what to send this year.

  • Ida
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You're all much kinder than I am, apparently. Actually, it may be a regional/lifestyle thing as well. I have no idea who delivers our mail or picks up our trash. The "service people" with whom I'm most connected tend to be the contractors in my workplace who provide cleaning and mail delivery and such to myself and colleagues. I have been considering doing a little something for them, but there are so many of them that I'm not sure how to go about it without creating a lot of expense for myself or otherwise "making it weird." To my knowledge this is not something that is organized already, and I'm still a bit new here to be taking it on myself. But it is a nice thought to remember others at holiday time. Mostly I'm focused on my English students (refugees and immigrants), and will be doing several things for them this season.

  • beaglesdoitbetter
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Our trash people are terrible, they drive on the neighborhood grass and make ruts in it despite the HOA people calling numerous times to complain. They also speed very quickly through the middle of our neighborhood's narrow private roads and have almost killed us twice coming around blind corners in the middle of the road. The HOA has complained about this as well to no avail. They will, needless to say, get nothing.

    Our mail carrier is also not super friendly or competent, so nothing there either.

    My housekeeper gets a week's pay in a card.

    Not "service people" but the teachers of all our kids activities will get a 1-pound box of chocolate from my favorite candy store (swim teacher, music teacher, and one for each of the preschool teachers).

  • barncatz
    last month

    We don't have a Starbucks, Caribou, Target or fast food closer than 40 minutes in various directions, so I ruled out gift cards they might not use. Last year I bought two large coffee cakes from a local bakery and left them for our mail carrier and garbage driver. For my UPS and FedEx drivers, I filled a large mason jar with some pre-packed Christmas candy - peppermint hersheys and candy canes type things.


    My stylist owns the salon and although I regularly tip him, I haven't increased it for the holidays. Maybe I should bring a couple coffee cakes to the salon for them to share. These threads are making me realize I'm into food gifts.


  • Allison0704
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @OutsidePlaying Flavored water (Costco/Kirkland) and plain water. Last year I did chip variety, trail mix and fruit bars. The chips were not a hit, so this year I'm doing cookie variety and trail mix with the drinks. I've added Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies since taking this photo. I usually put by our gate or in the carport.



  • Jilly
    last month

    Allison, that’s awesome!

  • Allison0704
    last month

    Thanks, Jinx! I've been doing this about five years now.

  • nicole___
    last month
    last modified: last month

    For my husbands construction coworkers he shares an office with....

    I made up gift bags with: Coffee, Lindor chocolates, energy drinks, microwave popcorn


    . Uh..oh....just remembered my yoga instructor....I need to pick up a crisp $......maybe I could get the class to sign a card....

  • amylou321
    last month

    I tip my hairdresser significantly more than usual at Christmas. For the others,well, the only time I left something was a bag of coal for my former mail creature. She was universally hated and also, I heard,receive bags of dog excrement,bullets ,and empty gift cards as her Christmas bonus from others unfortunate enough to be on her route. My new mail carrier will get probably 50 bucks, just because he is not her. Our trash people change a lot.


  • Ida
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Goodness, that's such a sad thing to do to a mail carrier, no matter how lousy they were! Curious what she did to garner that kind of treatment!

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    One thing to keep in mind in re gifts for teachers, mailmen, etc. They probably get a ton of gifts. If you are giving them an item, imagine two dozen of them on their dining room table and ask yourself if you still think the item is a good idea.

    I don't really see the holiday spirit in being mean to people, regardless of their own behavior. My goodness.

  • tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
    last month

    There are not too many service people in my world, but I was thinking about taking something to the post office. They only deliver packages within half a mile of the cluster box so I have gotten to know the inside people when going to pick something up. I wanted to bring in treats but was curious what other's thoughts are on homemade vs prepackaged. I like to cook and can do it well but after Covid have begun to question whether or not it is a good idea.

  • Bunny
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My housecleaner (owner of service) comes with a team of 2 or 3 others, so there are 3 or 4 of them every other week. I clear out of the house before they come so they don't have to work around me and don't really know who's who. I was thinking of putting some cash--in $10 and $20 denominations--in an envelope addressed to the owner to distribute equitably among her and her staff. I'm planning on an amount divisible by 3 or 4.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last month

    Gosh, am I the only outlier who does not give gifts or Christmas bonuses to people I barely know? I worked in a service industry for many years and never once did I receive anything at the holidays or a tip for services performed at any other time of year! I have a post office box so never see a mail carrier I need to interact with. Ditto garbage collection. They only travel the main street so cans get dragged the better part of a block for pick up. No house cleaner (except me), no longer have a regular hairdresser/stylist and do my own yard work.

    As a senior on a fixed income, it's enough of a challenge for gifting for family members. I can't afford to do so for a bunch of folks I do not know and who are just doing the job they are paid for.

  • Jasdip
    last month

    I certainly don't tip the trash and recyling guys. They're hired by the city, and they make a good salary.

    My hair-stylist, seems every time I go it's a new price. Once was $20, then the next $25, back and forth. My hair cut hasn't changed in years and it used to be $15. She doesn't wash it, just spritzes it then cuts and blow-dries. I tip her.

    I get a Tim's card from my work, and I give that plus $20 to my newspaper carrier. I don't like Tim's coffee so I gladly pass it on.

    I put $100 bill in a Christmas card for my mechanic (owner) last year. I'll do the same this year. He and they are awesome, and he can take his crew out to lunch on it.


  • Bunny
    last month

    I'm trying out a new hair person next week, and I don't plan on giving her anything for Christmas. The USPS drivers vary and the trash guys I wouldn't recognized if they knocked on my door. I wouldn't leave any money out for them anyway, lest someone walking by help themselves or it gets dumped in the truck.

    The housecleaners are in my home, in all the rooms with my stuff. I trust them and am grateful they do a nice job that I don't have to do myself. I want to let them know they're appreciated.

  • chisue
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Nice idea to leave treats for the Amazon, etc. drivers. I'd think it's thirsty work!

    I'd discourage anything other than cash or equivalent. You should see the mountain of junk teachers receive; apples would be an improvement!

    My hairdresser gets double the usual fee and tip. If I can catch him, our regular mail carrier gets $20. I've missed him some years and double up the following year as needed. DH insists on a paper newspaper, so the delivery person gets $100.

    When we owed our vacation condo, a request would come for contributions for the 30 employees who manned the desk and the groundskeepers. I was amazed that other owners gave $20 at Christmas. Really -- to spread among 30 people? I was more disgusted to learn that the resident manager took *half* the kitty for himself.

  • maifleur03
    last month

    While I may tip more than I normally would when I pick something up as a food treat any tipping I do is during the whole year. My normal mail person during the holidays is often switched to package delivery so putting a tip in the box for him would probably not reach him even if I put his name on it. Water or any liquids is out as is any homemade goodies. If the person is wise they do not take a chance eating them. Some do leave where the homeless can retrieve them if they want but too many people have things they cannot eat.


    I did discover a couple of years ago my regular mailperson used a different name when I worked with him at a bank many years ago. Which explains why he never took a card addressed in that name when I had put it in the box for him.


    A suggestion for gift cards is one for a gas station. People may not purchase their gas there but they do purchase snacks.

  • Tina Marie
    last month

    We have a po box and have many deliveries forwarded there (use PO address), so no postman.

    Hair gal (we both use) gets a nice cash gift from the two of us. When my grandmother and then my dad was in assisted living, you were not allowed to tip or gift individual caregivers, but I always took/sent enough food items (baked goods, chocolates, etc.) to cover all shifts. Once I had bagels delivered. We clean and do our own yard work and no newspaper carrier. Garbage goes to a local dropoff/recycle center, so we don't have those service people. I order groceries and want to do something for the girl that shops my orders. I know she is a single mom with a young daughter. You can't tip them, but I may do a gift card and a small item/treat for the child.


    I don't really see the holiday spirit in being mean to people, regardless of their own behavior.

    DITTO!!

  • Sueb20
    last month

    Tates cookies had 20% off so I just ordered a whole slew of cookies for my dad’s place.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    For us, it's cash for USPS carrier, house cleaners, and landscape maintenance/odd jobs guy.

  • lily316
    last month

    Maybe it's regional but I don't know anyone around here who gives gifts to the garbage men or mailperson. I have never even seen the garbage man and our mail service is so poor, they should be gifting me. We don't have a yard service or housekeeping.

  • dedtired
    last month
    last modified: last month

    This was in the NYT . HelpfulHoliday tipping

  • Oakley
    last month

    Ded, our trash collectors come around 6:30-7:00 am, and no way will I go out there either. How does one tip a garbage collector who lifts the dumpster way up in the air?


    Lily, could it be the size of your town? I'd think larger towns and cities would be hard to get to know the mail carrier and trash collectors.



  • OutsidePlaying
    last month

    Allison, that is helpful. I told DH about doing this today and he is totally onboard so we’re doing it. Our driveway is a bit long but they all come down and put packages either on our porch or by our garage (just inside the garage if the door is open).

  • maire_cate
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have to admit that I'm not sure why trash collectors should receive a tip when other township employees don't receive one. Granted they have a tough job picking up other people's trash but so do the township crews who come out and plow our streets or remove dead trees, or the volunteers who run our fire department and assist in so many township activities that benefit us.

    Our township contracts with a large commercial company for our weekly trash removal and I've never tipped them. I don't even know if the same crew comes each week or not. On hot summer days I'll offer them bottled water and I know they appreciate that.

    Allison's snack and beverage container is a great idea and I could do the same for our delivery drivers. But I could also adapt it for the trash collectors by filling a clear plastic bag with treats and placing it next to our containers with a note.

    Our fire department is volunteer and they run a Christmas tree and poinsettia plant sale every December. DH will stop by and buy flowers and makes a donation too.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    last month

    Well, people must tip the mail carriers around here as she has pre-printed thank you notes.....

  • Kathsgrdn
    last month

    I've never heard of anyone doing this anywhere I've lived, but have heard KT people doing it.

  • jane__ny
    Original Author
    last month

    The stories are so good!

    Forie, my hairdresser certainly drinks booze. I only go every few months for a color and trim and she talks on and on about the different places she and her husband frequent along with pictures. She dresses like a 16 yr old in tight dresses, crazy hair. She's funny and wild.

    I wouldn't have the slightest idea what booze to get her as she talks about different cocktails and drinks I have no idea what they are. I give her $100.00 and a box of Godiva chocolates.

    My trash collector is very nice. There are two guys in the truck and one who dumps the barrels into the truck. They come around 10am and if I'm outside he always chats and I've gotten to know him. He's just a really nice guy. He takes things from me that he isn't supposed to take. He brings my barrels up to my garage and I always tip him and give him more than the two guys (I've never spoken to) who are inside the truck. I give the guys in the truck, $20.00 each and my helpful guy $50.00 and a small bottle of Rum.

    My mailman is also nice, friendly, we chat and he also will take things I should drive to the PO. He will weigh the box in his truck and print a sticker. He goes out of his way to be helpful. I give him $50.00 and a small bottle of Irish Whiskey.

    Cleaning woman gets double what I pay for cleaning. I give her a bottle of Rose wine and a box of chocolates.

    I posted the question because I sometimes wonder if I am giving enough to those who truly make my life easier.

    Loved all the stories!


    Jane

  • Allison0704
    last month

    Outwide, I found my sign on Pinterest, downloaded from blog to print. Placed in a protective cover and used two paint stir sticks. I need to add a thin piece of cardboard (cut from a shirt box?) for a little more support. (Crap, I forgot to bring inside last night. I hope the bears didn't come around!)


    Our garbage trucks have a driver and an employee that attached the can to the back of truck for dumping. We have always tipped them because we feel it is a nice thing to do. Since we are FT and in a seasonal tourist area, when we've had an exobitant amount of debris (after moving in, cutting back the dang Palmettos, etc) they are good about taking everything on either pick up day when they are not suppose to take on the first day after the weekend.

  • salonva
    last month

    I;m not sure when we started giving to the trash team but I know we were doing it in our last house and continue it here. Here, it's mostly 2 guys, and they are super nice and helpful ( like Jane's!). In the summer we leave water out for them ( as do some of our neighbors) and they are just super nice and courteous. They always put the cans back on the strip by the curb with care, and sometimes even bring it back to the garage ( it's a short driveway). So, they get a tip.


    We always had ( past tense) great mail carriers (one used to leave dog biscuits in our mail box)) and definitely would see them and talk to them. Now we are in a townhouse and have the hive cluster mailboxes. In the beginning we had the same mail carrier but now it's random and not very reliable so I'm ambivalent about tipping. I do feel bad for them for having to work in the very disrupted postal service, I just haven't decided for sure if we will tip the carrier this year.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    last month

    Do I get to tip myself? I live in part of the county that has reduced income tax... with reduced services. I have to take my own trash and recycling to appropriate places. Mind you, it's really close, but dang, it is a pain. Agree the mail delivery is different people all the time. We had a regular one that seemed to really like the neighbor next door and he sure liked to talk to him. I imagine they told him to deliver more quickly ;) No other services I can think of? Think I'll tip myself a bottle of wine.

  • Tina Marie
    last month

    @jane__ny you are a kind and generous person. : )

  • barncatz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I get a weekly meal delivery package for our Tovala oven, delivered by Fed Ex. I'm often in the barn when the young woman driver delivers it, or other packages. One week, she asked me about the horses and shared that she had just bought an older drafthorse from an auction site (saving it from a kill buyer, most likely). She was so excited, showed me photos and since then, if I run into her, we chat briefly about our guys. Her horse is getting a bag of cookies, for sure next week. I didn't see anything in the tip guides that limits that.

  • functionthenlook
    last month

    We don't have the foggiest idea who our mail person is at home since our mailbox is down at the public road. All we know is that they are lazy. The mail lady at camp goes above and beyond and will get tipped. No garbage man at camp. The little we can't burn we take home. The garbage man at home will get tipped. He has to manually throw the garbage in the truck. The recycling truck quit coming back our road years ago, so he takes it all. The big truck can't come down our road. I double the tip for my hairdresser at Christmas.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    We tip our cleaning people twice their daily charges. Our cleaning person in CT loves to travel (she has been all over, including a cruise to Fiji) and collects shot glasses. I get her shot glasses whenever we travel, if it is some place she has not been.


    I have never interacted with our mail carrier; the box is not near our house and we get relatively little mail. I have not noticed that it is one person, I don't think it is. What we do get, 90% goes straight into the trash. I don't really even think about the mail. Very different from growing up, when the carrier came to our door and we all knew hime by first name.


    Our trash is a private service. It would not occur to me to tip them for the holidays. DH tips them throughout the year just to stay in their good graces. He calls it "pre tipping." Same thing when you park in a parking lot; he always tips when he leaves the car as well as upon return.


    Our lawncare company gives us a gift. We are a huge client. We know all of them like family because they are here all the time, and we do things for them during the year.


    I have a regular salon, but I like to make appointments last minute and I use just about anyone. This time of year I double my tip.

  • LynnNM
    last month

    Our wonderful guy who delivers our morning newspaper goes out of his way every morning to drive down our very long, winding driveway through the trees to drop our paper off close to our garage instead of where the road meets our drive like all previous carriers have done. This around 2-3AM! Because of this, my hubs tips him an extra $20 every three months. We’ll gift him more for Christmas.

    We have group mailboxes out near the main road with no specific carriers, so none there.


  • Feathers11
    last month

    In my former home, I tipped the garbage collectors $20 each, left taped to the garbage can. We lived on a quiet street, and I was assured they received it. We had the same mail carrier for ages, too, and always tipped him, usually a $20 Trader Joe's gift card. (Is $20 still the max you can tip USPS workers?)

    My new location is on a busier street, and I haven't tipped the garbage collectors because they seem to collect briskly, and I don't want to slow them down. I haven't noticed that anyone on my street tips. I have at least 4 different mail carriers with random schedules, and I honestly wouldn't know how to figure out that tip.

    My hairdresser is a personal friend with her own salon. I tip her regularly, even though she tells me not to. For the holidays, I give her a gift rather than a tip.