Dec 17, 2021 - News

Denver readers' guide to gratuities during the holidays

How much do you tip?
Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

'Tis the season for generosity, so we polled readers last week about their giving habits during the holidays.

  • Nearly 80% of those who responded to our survey tell us they plan to open their hearts, and wallets, to give a cash bonus or a gift to a service worker in their life.

Why it matters: These neighbors make our lives better, often at low wages, and many also faced pay cuts during the pandemic.

  • A gift of any kind is a wonderful way to show gratitude while also helping someone during a season tied to spending.

By the numbers: Readers' gift sizes ranged from $2 (door attendant) to $200 (house cleaners/hairdressers).

Averages for some of the top-tipped professions were:

  • Mail carrier: $22
  • Child care worker: $51
  • Door attendant: $23
  • Teacher: $25
  • House cleaner: $90
  • Hair stylist: $45
  • Newspaper delivery person: $20
  • Pet groomer: $36
  • Massage therapist: $40
  • Salon worker (nail technician, etc.): $27

Plus: Restaurant workers, bartenders, trash collectors, fitness coaches, lawn keepers, pastors and caretakers of the elderly were among some of the other professions on readers' tip lists this year.

  • Beyond cash and gift cards, others give baked goods, candy, cases of beer and bottles of wine.
  • We loved the ideas of giving a Christmas ornament, leaving a basket of snacks or drinks for delivery drivers.

What readers are saying: "I think tipping personalizes the people that help us in our day-to-day lives,” Eileen A. wrote.

  • "Our sanitation and janitorial workers have been so important lately too, they deserve a special thank you for keeping us safe," Eva M. said.

Of note: It's always smart to check employer policies to avoid breaking any rules.

  • USPS, for example, sets a limit of $20 and has a no-cash gifts rule.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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