sanitation engineers gifts for the holidays 12 days of shopping

12 Days of Shopping: Garbage, Mail, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning Person, Dog Walker (Day 8)

Best Gifts For People Who Help You All Year

For people who help you during the year, cash is king.  I think the rule of thumb is 2 weeks of what you pay them for a holiday gift.  In the case of people you don’t normally pay — Sanitation Engineers, Newspaper Delivery Persons, Mail Carriers, etc. — I like to enclose the money in a holiday card.  How much for them? I checked with Capability:Mom who really knows this stuff and she wanted to point out that mail carriers can’t accept gifts over $20 and that some towns and cities have ordinances about that.

I actually had no idea that I was supposed to tip my garbage man and she, of course, has been tipping hers (which is also mine as we live on the same street) for YEARS!  Her husband either stands out at the curb waiting for them to come or they tape an envelope to the trash can.  This year will be a curb side wait as our trash cans now get picked up with a robotic arm off the garbage truck.

Gift Card Pairings

Hair Stylist with … Sephora for women, Starbucks for men

Sanitation Engineer with … iTunes (notice how they always seem to have ear buds in their ears?)

Mail Carrier with … iTunes (same reason as above)

Babysitter with … grocery store if in college. Whole Foods for vegetarian or vegans.

Babysitter with … Staples if in middle school or high school

Cleaning Person with … cash (2 weeks pay)

Dog Walker with … cash (2 weeks pay)

Newspaper Delivery Person with … cash ($5-10)

The 12 Days of Shopping

I will be posting The 12 Days of Shopping jointly with Capability:Mom. Please visit her blog to see the other half of each post.

Dec 1: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

 Dec 2: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

 Dec 3: Personalized Gifts (Fancy Address Stampers versus Pretty Papers Giveaway)

 Dec 4:  Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

 Dec 5Tutors/Teachers

 Dec 6High Tech/Low Tech

 Dec 7Hostess/Gifts That Give Back

 Dec 8: Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer, etc. (a.k.a. who else did I forget?) and Emily Post’s Etiquette on this subject.

 Dec 9Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List); Capability:Mom Husband/Wife

 Dec 10:  Dog/Cat

 Dec 11: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

 Dec 12: ‘Cause I Am So Together,  Last Minute Home Made Gifts:  Cookies & Personalized Holiday Tags

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. You are sweet but we haven’t been tipping them for years but now I kind of feel bad that we haven’t…On occasion when there was a bulky item (we have curbside recycling), we have tipped. We have (once or twice) ran out to do this. I know people who taped the envelope to the (outside top of the lid – I’m not sure we went that far – my husband has the better memory). I forget every year what is appropriate – I’m glad we joint posted on this and thank goodness for Emily Post!

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