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It's strange that there are people you can see once a week - maybe even once a day - and still not consider them a friend. Mailman, milk delivery guy, hair stylist, coffee person: there are people that you interact with regularly for years, that you tell things to (my hairdresser knows more about me than my mother does) and yet the holidays roll around and you're still clueless as what to get them.
Cookies and treats seem like a cop out, money can seem rude and not very heartfelt. So what does that leave (especially if your bank account isn't equipped for a cashmere scarf per person)?
Your hairdresserAfter eight or more hours standing each day, those piggies are going to be achin'. Does your salon also offer massages or pedicures? In a nice note, add a gift certificate or mention that your larger-than-normal tip should go to making them feel as great as you do every time you get out of that chair.
Your mailmanYour mailman can be the most fun because a card addressed to him will be waiting for him right there in your mailbox - what a neat treat! I love the idea of have a little wrapped present sitting inside: a small box of chocolates or a cool mug with cocoa mix tucked inside. Think warm and cozy since he'll be chilly in that little truck!
Your baristaCoffee for a barista? No thanks. Slip her a little gift bag with Bailey's Irish Cream and peppermint schnapps or kaluha inside for a holiday nightcap treat.
Your bartenderBooze for a bartender? No way! Slip her a little bag with a coffee card or freshly ground beans from your favorite local coffeehouse inside for a holiday morning-after treat. (see what I did there?)
Your (or your kids') bus driverDriving a bus can be a thankless job, yet we depend on these people to get our families (and ourselves) from A to B safe and sound. Is a fun key chain for their ring too cheesy? If yes, try the gift card to a yummy coffee shop or restaurant. Avoid bus-driver-themed items. You'd have to imagine that they are getting a lot of those.
Your babysitterAny kid under 25 who is babysitting isn't going to want anything other than a massively large holiday bonus tip. As much as you're willing to shell out. That kid is going to be really grateful. Maybe a ride home too.
Your office manager or receptionistThe friendly face at the front desk is one you see every day but chances are you might not even know her last name. While those fun-shaped sticky notes are calling your name and see like a sure-fire win, think of something she can use every day that is more than just part of the job. A coffee gift card or a gift certificate to the restaurant near your office will be that special treat she can save for when the phones won't start ringing off the hook.
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