'Tis the season to show your appreciation to everyone that makes life easier.
"Tipping is for the services you received through the year and a way to guarantee good service throughout the year," says Laura Rowley, a Yahoo! Finance columnist.
Despite an economic climate that has sent the real estate and job markets spiraling downward, holiday tipping is recession-proof. Tipping the babysitter or newspaper carrier is a way of showing your appreciation for services received. It's an act of appreciation that does not depreciate because of economic stressors.
"There's no one more important in a parent's life than the person taking care of a child when they're not home. You don't want to be a Scrooge when it comes to holiday tipping," says Wendy Sachs, editor-in-chief of Care.com, a family care organization. And that's even if you don't celebrate Christmas.
ABC News talked to Sachs and Rowley for our Comprehensive Guide on Who and What to Tip:
What's the rule of thumb for a person who takes care of the children? One week's salary. "Aside from the one-week salary, it's really nice to give a gift from the child," says Sachs. A drawing, brownies, a card, or any token of appreciation from the child should be included in the nanny's tip.
"Tip right before they take off for Christmas," says Sachs. "If they leave without a tip, they may be very disappointed, and may not come back."
A part-time babysitter will cost you less than a nanny in tips this holiday season. Instead of a week's salary, our experts say the bill for one to two days of service is a fair holiday tip option. If the babysitter is a teenager who watches the children on an occasional Saturday consider an iTunes or Target gift card between $25 and $50 in lieu of cash.
There's no minimum or maximum for the teachers responsible for educating your offspring, but a median gift price is about $20. Skip the pound of apples and consider a more forward-thinking gift like a gift card from a gourmet coffee spot, a scarf or a candle. But don't forget the gift receipt, which our experts recommend for any item with a personal touch.
The Daycare Provider
A daycare provider should receive a gift or a tip similar to that for a teacher. Just remember, "You absolutely want to show the love. These are the people that will be showing the love for your little ones," says Sachs.
Avoid! Giving your boss a gift could look too much like a bribe, says Rowley.
The Office Assistant
A gift for the person who helps the office run smoothly is a little tricky. It depends on how large your office is and how frequently you work together, says Rowley. "But, for someone who is below you in the chain of command, it is nice to give them a gift."
The Hair Stylist
Tip your hair stylist based on frequency. If you only visit the hair salon every 6 to 8 weeks, then don't feel the need to pay out an exorbitant tip. "If you have a hair appointment in the month of December double the tip," says Rowley. A $20 tip on a normal dye job will spread holiday cheer if doubled to $40.
The Newspaper Carrier
It shouldn't take much to keep the newspaper carrier happy. A $10 tip should keep you in his or her good graces.