With each holiday season comes a list of family and friends to prepare gifts for, but there is also a whole group of people that we don’t think of until the last minute. You know, the pool boy, postal carrier, assistant, or babysitter? Be it your hairdresser, handyman or gardener, remember you never have to give a gift, but sometimes these people go above and beyond the normal line of duty and it’s a great time of year to show them you appreciate what they do.
Try to give your service workers something they would appreciate but still carries meaning. They will receive numerous boxes of cookies and candies, so if you can come up with something unique they will truly appreciate it. Not sure what to give? Here are a couple ideas: for your handyman, find a new high end small tool, like or some need-to-carry tools you can never have too many of (in case he already has them) like all-in-one screwdrivers and heavy duty gloves. It is especially important not to give cash (your postal carrier as they cannot accept cash gifts) instead, give them a pair of warm gloves, a hat, or face protector to protect them from the cold winter weather. Thank your neighbor who lets your kids swim in the pool every day with a pool float or gift certificate to their pool company. If you have a babysitter or full time nanny, give them a purse supplemented with a homemade card from your children. Teachers are always in need of extra school supplies and many times supplement their classroom themselves. Send in a basket of art supplies, Kleenex, and paper with your student.
When in doubt, as much as it might seem gift cards are not unique, they are almost always universally appreciated, and generally far more remembered than cash is by the recipient. If you notice your assistant comes in with coffee each morning, get a gift card to their favorite coffee shop, or if your babysitter always wears a certain brand of clothing get it for her from her favorite store.
Here is another hint -if there is a summer seasonal store open off season there is normally a reason why – go in and see what is keeping them open. There are usually great deals, instructional courses or a winter product line that you never even thought about. There are many gifts that can also be found off season.