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Do You Tip During the Holidays?

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Reader, Karrie, emailed with this question:

Now that Christmas shopping is underway, do you or any other readers have any suggestions on what kind of frugal gifts would be acceptable for people like our local postman, paper delivery person, hairstylist, teacher exc. I just read an article where it says to tip them but was wondering if we would save our pockets by making something homemade or going through our stock pile or something?

What are your thoughts on this? Do you give your Mailman a huge tip this time of year (and they definitely do a lot of work for all of us that love to request those freebies! 😉 )? Or do you bake cookies and other yummy treats for your Hairstylist/Teacher/Mailman etc…? Please share any creative and frugal ideas you may have to show your appreciation for these special people. Thanks!

Join The Discussion

Comments 525

  1. Flying angel

    I am a nurse and working in a nursing home. I usually cook my special dish for all the nursing assistants just to say thank you for taking care of our patients. They work really hard to provide good care to these residents that needed care. And they really appreciates it, more so if the family members that visit their loved one could only take time to tell them how they appreciate the care they provide. SIMPLE THANK YOU would be great!

  2. leanne

    As a teacher of Junior High Students I would have to say that we do appreciate any and all help throughout the year but around the holidays is especially nice. It does not have to be a gift or school supplies but helping decorate the room, helping with a party, or volunteering 20 minutes of your time to run copies, or quizzing students for finalscoming up would be a huge help. Most all parents help when their children are in elementary but the older ones love to see their parents every once in a while also. Even if it is around there friends..lol. Just don’t embarrass them!

  3. Lacey

    I have always done stuff for teachers, Pastor and family, but other than that that is it. My hairstylist is my Mom. We cook meals from her throughout the year and invite her over. To be honest, if I used someone else, I would not tip. The only way I would tip a hairstylist is if they were hourly. My Mom rents a station and does quite well for herself! Just because a person doesn’t tip, doesn’t mean they are not appreciated. I hate the pressure you can get from t.v. and some (not on here) to tip. It feels like you would have to tip everyone. To be honest, we are usually trying to provide presents for family. My husband is self-employed. He does not get tipped, and he doesn’t expect it at all. He does his job. If he does well, they will call him back. The work is his tip.

  4. Dani

    I only have one child in school and he has three teachers, two bus drivers and I have seen four different mail carriers since I have lived here. I’m not sure I can do much for all of them. I was thinking of making baskets for the teachers with some freebies and small gems, but I can’t decide if its weird to give someone toiletries. It also would be an insult to expect someone to eat my baking!

    • Lacey

      Did that last year (the baskets with toiletry items from coupon shopping) for 4 Mother’s Day Out teachers. I felt stupid, but the response was great. I even had one teacher hug me around the neck immediately. It left me feeling like she really needed some of those items. It made me feel so much better about it. Now, I don’t really have a problem with giving stuff like that.

      • Dani

        Thank you Lacey, I had asked my husband and he did not subdue the weird feelings! I think I’ll do a “Pre-school Survival Kit” and include aspirin, cough drops, lotion and some other name brand items that I have a surplus of. Hubby will be glad to see some of the Nivea lip care leave, it’s a little out of hand. 🙂

      • kcrewfive

        Our schools around here require the parents to buy all the office supplies, tissues, paper towels, paper, pens, penscils, dry erase, markers, erasers, pencil shrpeners, clorox. ECT,… when they run out we get notes home and we have to buy more and send them in with the kids. So I am not buying those things or even gift cards for it cuz me and the other parenst already do all that. So baking it is for our teachers. I make good candy.

    • Kris

      This is an interesting question.. I actually am a hair stylist myself! Being in the business, we don’t expect all of our clients to give us lavish gifts! No one has tons of money to spend and we know that. However, I will say this- It is always nice to know that someone actually thought of you during the Holidays. Even just giving that little bit of an extra tip- It’s SO appreciated! A lot of us that work in salons, we don’t get anything extra around the Holidays from our boss.. so it’s almost our way of getting a little “holiday bonus”! I’ve even had clients give scarves, candles, gift cards, etc.. Any kind of gesture no matter what, really is appreciated 🙂

    • jennifer sanchez

      Dani, I am a teacher and every year end up getting one or two gifts. I know I should not expect anything but….. it is nice to be thought of. Especially since teachers are with your child all day and play so many roles in your child’s life. It is definitely the thought that counts. Do not give mugs, decorations, or pics of your child. With budget cuts and lack of classroom supplies, I would even appreciate a box of kleenex and some cleaning wipes! I am sure whatever little trinkets you give will be greatly appreciated!

  5. betsy946

    I am a teacher and I truly believe that gifts are while appreciated, not necessary…I would love for a parent to send a nice note to me, and especially my administrator. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease, no food! So many teachers spend their own $$$ on classroom office supplies, so markers (dry erase), really nice pens, stapler, art supplies etc. would be wonderful.

    • April

      I’m a teacher too and I completely agree!!! I love getting small gift cards to so I can go get the things I need for class, etc.

      • Amber

        I teach also, and I completely agree. Classroom supplies are so useful. I don’t think a lot of people know how much time and $ we spend on your kiddos.

        • Kelly M

          I sell Tastefully Simple, which is unprepared gourmet food, and this is what we give as gifts to everybody (mailman, teachers, trash service, etc) and they all seem grateful. Since they prepare the food and it is easy, I think it is a little more acceptable. No little hands in the prep!!! I say give a gift you would like to receive.a

    • Tami

      Teachers thanks for the tips!!! My daughter is now in highschool, so we tend to give gifts to her “favorites”. So, I think I will give a gift card to an office supply store and a note of appreciation.

    • Sherri T

      Every year I send a bag of school supplies in to my daughter’s classroom. I include crayons, pencils, glue sticks, erasers, etc. for the kids and things just for the teacher like pens, dry erase markers, staples, paper clips, post it notes, etc. I put in a little token gift, something personal for the teacher as well but I would rather supply the class room with things and let the teacher spend her money on something she would like instead.

      My son’s preschool always says NO teacher gifts. My kids pick an ornament or something small for their teacher each year but we don’t present it as a Christmas gift. We DO purchase something for the preschool…. we’ve done mega blocks, play doh, etc. in the past. We’ve done that ever since my oldest was in preschool. Now, during our 4th year of attending this preschool there was a note in the newsletter saying, again, NO teacher gifts but encouraging classroom gifts. 🙂 It made me feel good to know that the gifts were appreciated enough that they suggested the idea to other parents too.

  6. Stephanie

    Every Christmas I leave the Garbage men and Mailman a little Christmas goodie bag full of chocolates I bought really cheap using coupons, then I attach a little $1.00 nip of liquor I got from the liquor store and tie it around the bow on the bag…and to the bag I tape a $1.00 scratch off lottery ticket…
    I have done this for many years and let me tell you, I NEVER have any issues with them taking any of the items away during the year that I put the the curb, unlike the rest of my neighbors.
    I think even though I spend so little, they remember that I thought of them and they remember that year round!!!
    The mailman told me last year that I was the only person in my neighborhood that gave him anything (and I live in a gated community)..so sad! This gift costs me like $5 bucks, but trust me it’s the thought that counts here!!

    • Aimee

      Love this idea! I have been trying to figure out what to do for them all year! Thank you!

    • Liz W.

      good call!

    • O wil.

      Lottery ticket!!! thats a GREAT Idea!!!

      • Leigh

        Scratch off lottery tickets are a very good idea. My mother loves to get those in a card or stocking. I buy the more expensive ones for her. She has won $1,000.00 on one before! A man at Publix told me that he has won $25,000.00 and $50,000.00 off of the $1 and $5 tickets. I, myself have won $500.00.

    • Willa

      Living in a 4 season state—-I try to “tip” our garbage men throughout the year. I had trouble at first with them taking my coolers with them in the summer, so I bought a cheap cooler and put a big sign on it that said “take the contents and leave the cooler”. In it each night before trash day we would put ice and bottles of water and cans of soda. The trash guys told us we never had to leave them anything at the holidays———-they loved the cold drinks on hot days. In the winter we would get gift certificates to a couple of 24 hour places so they could get coffee or hot chocolate.
      Being a teacher and having several teachers in the family, gift cards are great, but a “classroom” gift basket is fabulous. Things like Kleenex, glue sticks, pens, pencils, construction paper, zip lock bags, crayons, chalk, markers, etc are always needed in the classroom. Most of those items can be purchased in the Fall for very little with the back to school sales. A couple of our schools now have the Wish tree at the entrance. It has a star with each teacher’s name and a list of things they need for their classroom. If there is a larger item, several families can go together.

      • Tami

        GREAT IDEAS!!!!!!!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!

    • mldezso

      what a great idea!!

      • Heather

        Great ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

  7. tina b

    We usually give a gift card to a grocery store to the mailcarrier and garbage men…

  8. Kristin M

    I always tip my garbage collectors with homemade cookies or candy….our mailman gets the same. The teachers we usually do a whole class gift that is a Visa gift card so they can decide what to do with it! My neighborhood Mom’s & Dad’s usually gather up some cash to get our bus driver a gift card to Wawa or a local eatery! My husband installs heaters in the Winter & sometimes people even tip him around the holidays! I think they are just grateful to have heat again!!! lol!

    • Anonymous

      I LOVE the whole class idea!!!

  9. Anonymous

    I think that gift cards are the best. I would be leary of recieving food or booze. If you are close with your neighbors, you can all get them the same restaurant gift cards, like Applebee’s or Chili’s and then they can take their families out !

  10. footballchic73

    I love to give gifts, and have taught my children to give gifts from their hearts for years. In a world full of yuck, to take the time to give a gift, card, etc.. of appreciation can mean the world to someone!
    For teachers, one gift I really like to do is a movie night box-I put in a $5 gift card to Blockbuster, popcorn holders, microwave popcorn, the boxed movie candy (yay 50 cent wags last week!) and 2 liters of pop. This works great for the guy teachers! I’ve also done candles or lotions/etc from B&BW when they are b3g3 for the gal teachers, since they can exchange for other scents if they’d like. I’m also lucky in that my best friend owns a chocolate store, so I often will just pop in a cute lil’ box of truffles for someone here and there. We have a wonderful school receptionist that we also buy for, and 2 incredibly awesome bus drivers. My kids always make handmade cards (love to see what they come up with!) and I usually get them gift cards for pizza places or Cold Stone-our local radio stations have a “shopping on the radio” thing where you get certificates to local biz’s for reduced prices-like a $10 Papa Murphy’s for $6. LOVE to use those for gifts too! I’ve also made caramel corn in cute bags for the bus drivers. This year my UPS and mail carrier are both getting gifts-there are so many times they’ve taken extra care to bring me my mail/boxes personally since I order so much online and get SO much mail now, thanks to H2S~and living in northern MN with all the snow already, a thank you is well deserved!!

    • Christy G.

      Great ideas and I love how giving you and your family are! I think it is nice to show our children that giving is better than receiving and you are right, it’s nice to just show our appreciation to those who go out of their way for us all year long … we also have a wonderful mail carrier and UPS driver!

  11. Elisa

    My family always bakes a ton of cookies and Mom packs them up in twos or threes and carries them with her when she is shopping for each of her cashiers and keeps them ready for each time a pkg. is delivered. All year long they leave a goodie in the mailbox once a week. The mailman says their place is his favorite one to stop at!

  12. Camie

    We leave a box of chocolate sticks in the mailbox every year for our post-lady. They always leave a sweet pre-made card to say thank you. I’d like to do the same for the garbage man, but can’t figure out how to place it out without making him have to get out of the truck. Teachers we usually buy gift cards to a local “teacher shop”. We usually add a gift/treat of some sort (apron, chocolate, etc.). I love all these ideas!

  13. BethF

    How do you leave a gift/tip for the garbage collector? Ours comes so early in the morning.

    • Brittany

      This is the first year we will be financially able to tip our garbage man, but my mom always has and just tapes a card to the top of the trash bin with some money for the guys. I think she calls in advance to find out the names of those on her route so it’s specific. We live out in the country and the owner of the company is the one who collects our trash.

    • Willa

      We would tie a bag to the fence above the trash cans with gift cards in envelopes (there are 3 men on our truck) and put a large note with an arrow pointing toward it. We would do that in the late afternoon before trash day since they were always collecting by 6 am.

    • Tami

      We tape an envelope to the garbage can! I generally just write “Garbage Man or Garbage Engineer” or something to that effect.

      I can tell you that I know many garbage guys and they truly look forward to the tips and use it for the holidays. Trust me the people that tip are taken care of!!!

  14. Kelli

    ok teachers, Thank you! I really want to do something special for the teacher and their family. I know you spent your own money on school supplies but dry erase markers don’t seem like a cool gift. What would you like that would be something cool for you and your family to share or do together?

  15. Leah

    Wow, I’m shocked that some people are so vehemently AGAINST gifting. I completely understand just not doing it (because you can’t afford it, have put greater importance on gifts for other people, whatever the case), but to be outright OPPOSED to it? Who cares if you do a job and don’t get tipped– that means that it’s not ok to want to brighten someone else’s day or even month?? That’s just silly.
    Anyway, I’ve never done this before, as, until now, I’ve been in college or living with my parents. I’m on a tight budget (as a single mom), but I’d love to leave a little something for my mail carrier (and probably UPS, too, since they deliver stuff all the time and I have some things coming this month!)…would a nice Christmas card and a $5 GC be sufficient, or would that be insulting? What about for the newspaper delivery man, again, is $5 an insult? I don’t have to worry about hairstylists or any of those services since I don’t pay for them. I’ll probably leave extra large tips if I go out with my girlfriends this month, but I already leave 25-30% as it is, so it will depend on where I go.

    • Keri

      I do not at all think a $5 gc is insulting. When I was a teacher, I was thrilled to receive $5 gift cards to Starbucks, etc. I think anything will be appreciated.

    • hannah

      I agree, shocking how opposed people are!

      $5 is what we are able to do, Starbucks or something usually along with a fun handmade card…everyone is always thrilled! I think people here are like some commenters today…because our recipients seem so surprised and like it is such a huge deal, just our little tiny gestures;-) have fun, merry Christmas!

    • Tami

      No, I do not think $5 is insulting at all! There have been times in my life I have left $5 because that was what I could afford and there are times I have left quite a bit more.
      It is showing appreciation and the thought! Your heart is in ther right place!

    • Olivia

      If anyone is insulted then I personally would never buy them another thing again. Its the thought not the $$.

  16. Susan M.

    I always tip–for the garbage collector (and recycling person–two different services in my town), I give them a box of candy, plus a hand-written note with cash. I put it all in a clear plastic bag (in case it rains) and tape it to the top of the appropriate can. They never seem to mind getting out of the trucks. 🙂 I also tip (candy and money + always a handwritten note of appreciation) my hairdresser, and any other folks providing regular service (usually something small for the mail delivery person). And the teachers in my daughter’s school get a group gift from all of us parents (I mean, we each chip in and then we divide the $$ among all the preschool teachers, so each gets the same amount). Usually gift card or crisp cash!

    • Mo

      Well why didn’t *I* think of the zip-top bag idea?! THANK YOU! You have solved my problem; I was worried I didn’t really have anywhere to leave anything that wouldn’t get dumped into the trash by accident… but hopefully – this’ll work!

  17. vanessa

    i definatly say tip your hairstylist well or even bringing them a card and a hot coco or coffee is nice. im a hairstylist and i appericate it so much when people do something for me around the holidays.

  18. Kimberly Harris

    My mail carrier gets a candle and a photo Christmas card. It makes her day a little brighter and I enjoy that. Sincerely your Ky. Hillbilly, Kim

  19. Brittany

    A few others have said it, but just in case I’ll say that mail carriers are government workers and can NOT accept cash for any reason other than postage. While there may be some that take it anyway, they are not supposed to and could lose their jobs.
    I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do for little “thank you” gifts for those whose service I use year-round. Lots of awesome ideas on here! I’m honestly thinking about maybe getting some of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover books (on his website, all books are $10 right now!). His plan of action toward financial peace has blessed my family in so many ways, and I’d like to pay it forward to those who may need it. I don’t like the idea of doing baked goods, because although there are probably many people who would eat things from people they don’t really know, I would hate to take the time to bake something for it to be just thrown away.

    • Amy H.

      I too was under the impression that mail carriers are not permitted to accept Xmas gifts? I have never gifted the mail man or trash men.

      • Rebekah

        They can up to a cash value of $20.00, from what I read after I googled.

  20. courtney

    My daughter is in preschool and last year for the end of the school year I made “summer survival kits” I used the free Circo purses from Target and filled it with shave gel, sunscreen, razors, etc and added a $100 restaurants.com gift card (i paid $4) I attached a tag with a note telling them that I had not paid for any of it and that the greatest gift I could give them is the knowledge of how to “coupon” so I typed out some of the basics and my favorite sites…hip2save =) They were thrilled. The other preschool teachers were hunting me down for tips. The teachers were both suprised by the amount of time I put into their gifts and still tell me about new restaurants they tried etc. This year I made all the teachers “flu season survival kits” in trick or treat bags for Halloween with Zicam, Halls Defense, Contac, Alka Seltzer and 3 Nivea lip balm…and of course some of the king size candy bars from Wags. Again they were so happy to have basics.
    I was worried at first that it would seem real wierd, my husband was like “you can’t give deodorant!” but I did and they really loved it. I definately can give them $50 worth of things they would most likely buy anyway for free…win/win in my book.

    • Nicole D.

      I love the Restaurant.com idea. Thanks!

  21. Kiley Taunton

    I hate to sound greedy, but as a Hairstylist…I love being appreciated with gifts, especially tips and especially as a single mom. BUT it really doesn’t matter what it is…even if its just a card, its great to be appreciated! Try to stay away from sweets for me though!! AND gift cards are super awesome!!

  22. Jade

    A FREE tip that you can give someone who provides you great service is leaving a positive comment with their direct manager! This would mean a lot more than a tip or a gift. In these tough times it could help someone KEEP THEIR JOB, get a raise, or even a much deserved promotion.

    I work in a VERY competitive environment. I get compliments from clients directly but management is never aware of it. I often wish that clients would instead call in to leave positive comments for me because it would greatly help my career. With the cutbacks everyday I’m worried that I might be cut next because management isn’t aware of what a great job I actually do. So if you’re happy with someone’s service please do leave a positive comment with their manager. It’s FREE and they would appreciate it more than you realize! =)

    • Leah

      I’ve just started doing this! Especially for retail personnel. Management always seems surprised that I’m calling to say I’ve had a good experience instead of complain!! lol

    • Tami

      Awesome!!!! Yes, I have done this! I literally send emails or notes for great customer service because it is so hard to find.

      I sent a great email one time about an employee at the “Dollar Tree” because she did an amazing job!!!! I have no idea if she ever found out. But, I hope she did.

    • Megan

      Great point Jade. I worked as a Walmart cashier for a brief period of time. I’ll never forget the two customers who immediately went to customer service asking if they could fill out a comment card because they thought I did a good job. Let me tell you, the CSM on duty was shocked someone would want to do that, but it left an impression for sure. 🙂

  23. Shelley

    I always make some homemade cookies to share, and the recipients all seem to enjoy them! There are not as many homemade cookies floating around anymore,,,,everything is purchased from the store.

  24. cindi

    I volunteered in the school system (when my kids were younger) and would always bake and bring treats like homemade jam or get the students involved in creating and then singing a special song for their teacher. Sometimes I just don’t even have the money to go to a garage sale but I always have the time to write a nice thankyou note and give a smile.

    • sarah

      “but I always have the time to write a nice thankyou note and give a smile.”

      SO TRUE!!! Such a small amount of time can make such a HUGE amount of difference in someone’s day/week!

      • Alicia

        As a hairstylist, anytime someone remembers me with any kind of gift or kind gesture, it means a lot! Clients these days don’t tip as often (I am sure it is because of the economy) so any gift of $ or gift cards is appreciated. Trust me, we do remember :).

        • Jason

          I love how everyone says “we remember” what’s that mean…..if we don’t give a gift you’ll not teach our children….or do a bad job cutting our hair.

          While we are at it….don’t forget the Utilities man, the plow guy, The water meter reader, your cashier at the grocery store, all the waitresses or waiters that wait on you, store clerk, your attorney, your accountant, the principal, the lawn service, the roofer….

          I have a cash savings idea…just give a thoughtful gift to the people that are close to you – everyone’s gift is that they have a job (all of them paid directly by you or through your taxes)

          • Leah

            Again, why so viciously against giving a gift? Maybe by “we remember” she means that she is touched by the thought. Who knows?
            And all of the people who are arguing against “tipping” or “gifting” service people- consider it a holiday bonus. A lot of people with salaried positions receive holiday bonuses. Some even expect it (*gasp* how EVIL of them), and count on it to pay extra bills. I don’t see why it would be any different for those who receive their “Christmas bonuses” in the form of “tips” or “gifts” from customers, like mailmen or hairstylists.
            If you don’t feel lead to tip, don’t. But being nasty about it is just uncalled for. I want to teach my child to be giving and generous and thoughtful, not to have an attitude about giving that we should only give to those who “deserve it” in our eyes.
            BTW, I’m not a hairstylist or mailman, but this attitude just really bothers me. I don’t have a problem with people who don’t tip, I don’t think it should be an obligation. But to be nasty about it just boggles my mind. I try to never have an attitude about things that I wouldn’t want my son to have, and if I heard my son say some of the things people have said here I’d really be upset.

  25. Tami

    I just wanted to say that I love all the gift minded and compassionate people that have commented! You are awesome and are making a difference in the lives of others.

    I also loved hearing from professionals in different service industries. Thanks for your feedback!

  26. Jess

    I have never left a tip/gift for our garbageman/men before. But my neighbor told me that she leaves out a case of beer for each of them. I think that is a cute idea. I think a 5-10 dollar gift card to Starbucks would be nice too.

  27. Linda Ritchey

    I think it is so important to let others know you appreciate them. All the idea’s here are great! I really like the cooler for the garbage workers idea, and will use that this summer!

    I do a number of inexpensive gift ideas. For Christmas each year I get the teachers Bath and Body works antibacterial hand sanitizer. Thanks to Hip2Save, this year I got the huge bottles for really cheap! With cold and flu season coming into full force in WI they seem to appreciate the gift.

    Another idea I use often is a coffee mug (from a dollar store) filled with office supplies (pens, pencils, markers, note pads…anything that will fit in the mug. I usually get these during sales throughout the year. You can specialize the mug for whatever holiday. Add some chocolates for a nice touch.

    I also bake a lot during the Christmas season, and leave goodie bags for the mail carrier and bring some to our neighbors. I don’t think it is the cost of the gift that matters, but the thought behind it.

  28. Kristen

    I have no idea who my postman or garbage collector is, have no teacher gifts to worry about, don’t consistently go to the same stylist, and don’t get a paper. I saw an article in Consumer Reports that rated how often people tip or gift these people, what the average value is, and how it varies among profession (e.g., teachers more likely to get a gift, mail carrier more likely to get a tip). It also pointed out some federal regulations about what kinds of cash/gifts mail carriers can accept (I think it said gift cards under $20). It seems to be rarer to give something, maybe because other people are in the same boat I am.

    I would probably bake cookies and/or do a cookie exchange with friends and give people an assortment packaged prettily on a plate from the dollar store if I had such gifts to give. A tip is for outstanding service, and since my service people have never done anything that I’m aware of beyond emptying the garbage can or putting mail in the box, I don’t feel obligated to do more than that. Additionally, there is seldom only one person doing trash pickup – generally a team of two or three, and routes may vary – so giving something that can’t be shared doesn’t really make sense. Of course, if anyone ever gave me memorable or extraordinary service, I might do a little more, including a letter to their supervisor praising their efforts, but I can’t think of what kind of service particularly would qualify as extraordinary.

  29. Kathy

    I bake homemade chocolate chip cookies, stack them and bag them in a clear goodies bag. I add a ribbon and a card and give them to my postman, hair stylist and nail tech, etc. My pharmasist gets a huge jar full as he raves about my cookies! He always tells me to make sure to add him to my list of recipents. He thinks I should market and sell them, but they are Nestles Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe with a couple of changes!
    My daughter is a teacher and she always tells her students that they do not have to get her anything, but if they do, she loves Starbucks and that’s something she can use! She gets a stack of gift cards every year to Starbucks!
    Last year, I gave one of my grandson’s teacher a large box wrapped and left open on top. I filled it full of color tissue paper and then added lotion, shampoo, cond. toothbrush, toothpaste, deot, and more of my stash and called it a pamper box. That teacher thanked me everytime she saw me! She went on and on over how much she appreciated all of those goodies! So, it is perfectly fine to give your freebies as a gift.

  30. Tiffany Joyner

    My sister and I are getting together on a Saturday and making tons of different goodies(Neiman Marcus Cookies, triple chocolate clusters, candied pecans and so on) we bought treat boxes at Michaels, 50 for $10 with the half off coupon and we will fill those with the goodies to hand out to people outside of our family. There is nothing better than a tasty gift at Christmas!

  31. rachel

    Ladies,
    Don’t forget to take this time to appreciate ALL OVER our military service and their families with organizations like toys for tots etc… These families give so much.

  32. Mandi Y.

    I have always thought it would be nice to give the postal carrier something special during the holiday season because he handles all the packages and my mail so wonderfully!! And this past year he helped my neighbor out of the ditch when she broke her ankle. She was sitting in the ditch hollaring for me but I was inside and didn’t hear her..so when he came by he helped her out of the ditch and helped her to my home where I was able to take her to the ER. So we decided this year to go in together and get him a $25 GC to Walmart. I wanted to do baked goodies and even some of the drug store deals I got but due to all the allergies and such of people I didn’t think it was a good idea. So for $12.50 each my neighbor and I can get him a nice GC value! I’m excited to hand this to him this year. I don’t want to chance leaving it as we occasionally have a sub carrier and as for the garbage men I would love to leave them something but our garbage trucks are automatic trucks with the mechanical arms that lift our trash can and that would be awful to have something attached to it that the driver wouldn’t even notice..so I’m gonna have to get creative for this.

  33. Becky

    I understand that postal workers actually are not permitted – by law – to accept monetary tips…so they won’t be able to keep your cash, gift cards or checks.

    They’re encouraged to accept small gifts – especially food and beverage – my family has always made cookies or fudge for our postal workers. Don’t ever be afraid to give your postal worker edible or potable items.

  34. Jessica K

    One teacher gift and that’s it! I’m all for appreciating people, but I think this has gotten way out of control.

  35. sarah

    I am a mail carrier for the post office and anything we get during the holidays is great but just so you know we will not eat anything that doesnt come from the store there are just too many risks out there.

  36. Sherry

    We have a new mail carrier practically every day. I don’t think our route has a specific carrier. It wouldn’t do me any good to leave a gift for them as only one would get it and it would possibly be a month before he/she was even on our route again. I live in an area where people would probably laugh if you suggested gifting mail carriers and sanitation workers. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, but it isn’t the norm around here. In fact, many people don’t even do teacher gifts.

  37. Stacy

    I think cookies, a mug with a mix for Hot Coco or Apple Cider, is always a nice gift for those who have to work in the cold.

  38. Lindsay M.

    I think I am going to do gift bags for my cleaning people and my lawn guy (a local neighbor that could use the necessities), and some homemade scarves for the staff at my doctors office (I am there every 3 weeks for my allergy shots). I LOVE giving gifts, and this time of year is THE BEST!

  39. Ray

    Yes, as many as my budget will allow. Scratch tickets & Dunkin Donuts gift cards for most. Personalized cards for some. Group gifts for teachers.

  40. Ray

    I thought the law indicated a $15 max. gift for postal carriers. That’s why I get scratch tix so they can potentially get more.

  41. Jane

    Last year I gave my delivery man one of those 12v heated coffee mug, and he was very happy with it.

  42. CW

    Being a part of a huge family of delivery drivers and service people I can tell you first hand that most home made food gifts do not get eaten. So many of the family are diabetics and have health issues and the home made goodies are much appreciated but not eaten. Even when they say thank you for them it is hard to take them as they cant be eaten. Gift cards or just a few dollars is so much easier to make use of. All tips and gifts are appreciated and certainly we are thankful for being thought of during the holidays. Please dont take my post wrong. The home made gifts are so thoughtful but it is heartbreaking to know the time, energy, effort, and cost you put into them and then to not be able to eat them. Just a thought since it was asked of us to post our thoughts about it.

    • Olivia

      I was wondering about the postal people. Can people make a Cookie in a Jar gift idea?? or that as well wouldn’t be used??

  43. TD

    I was debating whether or not to do something for my mail lady since I read this post and today I have decided I will. It’s been snowing for almost 3 hrs today and we received a knock on the door and there she was with our mail. I felt so bad that she had to do that long walk up the stairs and through the snow to my house. Definitely will show her my appreciation.

  44. amdelan

    We do something for our mail carrier, paper carrier, girls at the hair and nail salon and all of the kids’ teachers (which became quite a few now that they are all in jr. high and high school. I used to buy gifts on clearance at the end of the previous year which I got at 75-90% off. But for men such as the male teachers, I found many of those things tended to be more female-oriented. So one year we made white chocolate covered popcorn and everyone raved about it and asked the next year if we were going to do it again. So that has become our tradition. It also gives our family a good time together and sometimes they even invite their friends and teach them how to make it. We don’t have to worry about buying for males/females separately. We have not given to our trash collectors and that is a great idea! We will include them to our list this year. Thanks for that idea!

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