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flickr / Donnie Ray Jones

Last year the national average for what to pay someone to watch your kid reached $15.02, up from $13.44 the year before according to And, much like those damn Hatchimals, you could assume that the price for little extra help around the holidays would be jacked up even higher than Santa’s sleigh. But, before you freak out about being labeled the Ebenezer Scrooge of the Babysitter’s Club, there’s good news: It’s actually cheaper to hire a sitter seasonally. So, please sir, just one more lump of coal for the fire?

Based on Care’s user data, the average national rate for babysitters in December of 2015 was $14.40 per hour — a little less than the yearly average. If this sounds too good to be true, it is. The numbers get a little skewed geographically. If you live in San Jose, New York, or Portland, the top 3 most expensive cities, rates are more like $20, $19.64, and $18.69 respectively during the holidays. But they were already paying $3.50 for a coffee, so it kind of evens out.

The biggest surprise is that the cost of a child care on New Years Eve is an even sweeter deal, at $14.34 per hour on average. Portland, San Jose, and San Francisco make up the top 3 most expensive cities for ringing in the new near free from kids, but even those rates didn’t exceed $16.65. How about in 2017 you leave Baby New Year at home?

Of course, those nickles and dimes you’re saving will go directly to holiday bonuses give out to regular child care providers (Care advises one to 2 weeks pay for nannies and au pairs, and a days pay for regular babysitters.) So, be sure to take care of them first, and if you can swing a supplemental sitter go for it. Because those holiday parties only come once a year, too.