Whether you live in the city or the country, your local professionals could do with a Christmas tip. But what is the best way to go about giving it to them in a classy way that shows you care?
If you’re an avid watcher of the sitcom Friends, you’ll know not to stop at a batch of cookies. But that doesn’t mean cookies are always a bad idea! Baking some nice treats for your postman, the milkman, and any other regular visiting professional is a great idea! Simply provide a Christmas card with the financial tip alongside, and you’re sure to make them happy and put a smile on their faces.
But it needn’t stop there! If you have passed more than a few words with them over the years, you can of course include something a little more personal. Or perhaps you would prefer to keep things very Christmas-oriented? A beautiful ornament for their home, provided you know for sure they will celebrate Christmas themselves, is a great idea. Just look for less fragile ones as they may have to carry it around for the rest of the day, and having it shatter before it makes it home would be a nightmare!
A bottle of wine or brandy is a nice plan, as well. Don’t buy something too expensive – this will put them in an awkward position. But don’t cheap out, either; stay in the middle of the road and you’re sure to do well.
Flowers, on the other hand, or plants, are a bad idea altogether. They are too fragile and if it is very cold where you live, may not stand up to a day out in the cold before they get to a warm house.
A nice personal card should be specifically chosen. If you don’t know the people in question very well on a personal level, avoid holiday-specific cards and go for ‘happy holidays’ – it’s more polite to cover all the holidays. Not just Christmas and New Year, but also Chanukah and Kwanzaa if required. Take the time to write a couple of lines; a heart-felt message of goodwill for 2012, for example, will really put a smile on their faces and is much more personal than leaving the card’s pre-printed sentiment to stand on its own.
If you know anyone who is working in the cold at this time of year, another way to put a spring in their step and remind them that they are an invaluable part of the community is by helping them get through the cold season. Your local UPS driver, for example, has to spend a lot of time in an open truck; why not invest in some cheap disposable cups and make hot chocolate or coffee for them to take along with their tin of Christmas cookies or lemon drizzle cake? Extra points for keeping some cookies warm in the oven so they’re still toasty when the delivery man takes them outside into the cold!
Delivery personnel is traditionally tipped at the holidays, and as they are professionally bound to put up with a lot of cold and discomfort it is no more than courteous to provide them with that tip. Make it a fun occasion and you’re sure to build a happy relationship with them!