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The Joy of Giving: Who is on Your Shopping List?

He ho-ho-holidays are almost here, so start making your Christmas-shopping list now. Here’s a little cheat-sheet to help you remember all the people who deserve a sincere “thank-you” for making your life easier 365 days of the year.

Neighbors. You wave hello across the lawn and might even take each other for granted. But think of all the times your next-door neighbor has helped you out of a jam by walking your dog, accepting deliveries, and watching your house when you’re on vacation. Surprise your “closest” friends with a well-deserved holiday gift basket.

Co-workers. These are the folks you see at the water cooler day in, day out – it’s your own version of “The Office.” Spread holiday cheer at your workplace, and you may feel an increased sense of camaraderie year-round.

Clergy. You can always count on these spiritual leaders to lend words of wisdom and inspiration during life’s most joyous and most challenging times. On call at a moment’s notice, members of the clergy usually aren’t on our radar screens until we need their services. Celebrate the season of giving by wrapping up a little something special for them.

Mail carrier/delivery people. It would be almost impossible to survive without your morning paper, that monthly magazine subscription, and all those packages that arrive on your doorstep as if by magic. Give the paperboy, mailman, and parcel carrier a generous pat on the back for providing dependable service despite rain or snow.

Hairdressers/barbers. Life wouldn’t be nearly as fun without our occasional splurges – blowouts, highlights, mani-pedis, and waxing. Professionals who help you look and feel your best deserve a little recognition during this special time of the year. If you visit a hair stylist, manicurist, esthetician or masseuse on a regular basis, be sure to say “happy holidays” in your own way.

Snow shovelers/lawn care staff. Where would we be without the maintenance people who clear our driveways during the winter, trim our hedges in the spring, mow our lawns in the summer, and clean our gutters in the fall? Don’t forget to get a gift for those special people who help keep your home and yard in tip-top shape all year long.

Teachers. Grading papers, supervising field trips, and drafting lesson plans can be thankless activities, so show educators that you care. This is the time of year to wrap a thoughtful gift and write a note of appreciation to go along with it. Also remember other staff members like the school nurse, librarian, and the coach, who all take good care of your kids.

School bus drivers. This has got to be one of the most stressful jobs out there — so much responsibility being the only grown-up in charge of a busload of noisy, active kids. All those early mornings on the road call for some serious recognition in December. Present your driver with an unexpected goody, and ask the kids to get in the act by decorating the wrapping paper and signing the card.

Babysitters. Competent, dependable child-care providers help keep everything running smoothly on the home front. Without babysitters and nannies, parents might miss those big meetings at work and would surely have to send regrets to lots of dinner parties. Recognize the trusted person taking care of your child with a personalized gift that he or she will enjoy.

Doctors/dentists. Whether it’s the physician who always works you into her schedule or the orthodontist who gives your kids a healthy smile, show your appreciation with a treat for the doctor and the office staff.

When you make the effort to recognize helpful, indispensable people with gifts of gratitude, you’ll discover that it’s a surefire way to put them — and yourself — in the holiday spirit.

- See more at: http://blog.bedbathandbeyond.com/2014/12/joy-giving-whos-shopping-list/#sthash.QdB27LIc.dpuf

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