‘Tis the season for gift-giving! So, what do you give the people who do so much for you all year round? Here’s the ultimate thank you guide for a year of good service, courtesy of Real Simple magazine.
- Your newspaper carrier. You should give a tip equal to at least one month’s subscription price. If the carrier doesn’t leave a self-addressed envelope, most companies will let you include a tip when you pay your bill. But think about this: Paper boys and girls are all grown up these days. According to the Newspaper Association of America, 80% of carriers are adults. So give more than just ice cream money.
- Your kid’s teacher. Give them a handwritten thank-you note or a small gift costing less than $25 dollars. The national PTA interviewed teachers and found that thank-you notes ranked as their favorite presents, and gift cards for book stores and coffee shops were also well-liked. Edible treats are the least desirable. But if your kids are in middle or high school and have several teachers, a gift isn’t necessary.
- For your dog-walker. A tip or gift equal to one week’s service is appropriate. Tips are more common, but gifts – like a down vest for chilly walks – are thoughtful. Also, dog walking really takes a toll on a person’s hands and feet. So gift certificates for manicures, pedicures and massages are good.
So - what SHOULDN’T you give to people? Here’s the no-no list:
- Fattening foods. Unless someone asks for your homemade peanut brittle, rich foods can be an unwelcome temptation.
- Alcohol. When in doubt, don’t give it. Unless you know the person is a wine connoisseur.
- Avoid cards with religious messages. If you don’t know if someone celebrates Christmas, choose a neutral card. “Happy Holidays” is always a safe bet.