When these people do their jobs well, you hardly give them a second thought. When they make a mistake, someone hears about it. Yet they continue to provide us with services that we really need, day after day, week after week, and so on. I’m talking about the mail carrier, paper carrier, sanitation workers, and anyone else that provides a public service to us. The holiday season is the time of year to show your gratitude to these people who take care of our needs just because we are on their routes. With little extra money though, it takes a little creativity to make your dollar go a long way towards gifts for these wonderful people. Here are some inexpensive gift ideas.
The Paper Carrier. Let’s get this out of the way, because the only good gift is a cash tip. This is between you and your paper carrier, but do tip what the service is worth. I know people who have done this job and I’m told it is very difficult. CNNMoney.com recommends $15-$25 for daily delivery and $5-$15 for weekend delivery.
The Mail Carrier. CNNMoney.com tells us that government employees like the mail carrier are not allowed to accept cash gifts. In addition, any gift that you give them cannot exceed twenty dollars’ cash value. I don’t know about your carrier, but my mail carrier does a lot, and she is so nice, too. She deserves a special gift. This year I am going to make her a gift basket. It will not contain more than $20 worth of stuff, but I know how to shop, and she will know she is appreciated.
Sanitation Workers. Unless you have your trash picked up by a private company, sanitation workers are also civil servants, and have to abide by the twenty-dollar rule. I give these guys the same thing every year – a great big sack of baked goods and other things like candy and coffee mugs. (I get all of my gift coffee mugs on sale the day after Christmas every year, so I always have a bunch on hand, but if I needed some I would get them at the dollar store.) I look out the window to see how many guys are on the truck, and then take out the sack with a coffee to go for each of them. (I always seem to have a ton of extra travel mugs in the cabinet.) I make sure to throw a little bottle of hand sanitizer and some napkins in the bag, too.
Personal Care. CNNMoney.com suggests the cost of one service if you are a regular customer. For example, I always go to one of the “Super Great Fantastic Places for Hair Cutting,” and my haircut is rarely more than $13. So when I get my holiday haircut, I’ll probably tip about $15 or so, depending on the cut and the service. The same is true for nail care. If you treat yourself to a mani-pedi for $50 every month, you should tip about $50 when you get your holiday mani-pedi.
There are other people that provide services to us on a regular basis, even though they might not be frequent. We plan to thank the pest control personnel, the plumber we use on a regular basis, and other such service providers with Christmas cards, which will be delivered by the mail carrier. How ironic.
There are many people that provide services to us in the course of doing their daily jobs. It doesn’t take a lot of money to provide the appropriate recognition. The smallest gesture can make the biggest difference in someone’s day. Knowing that makes a difference in my day.