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Eight ways to show you’re grateful during the holidays

(Public Domain Photo)

Lots of us give contributions to our favorite causes and charities at this time of year but what about the rest of the world?

Should you tip the gardener who keeps the chollas and prickly pears from eating up your yard? How about a gift for the neighbor who puts up with your noisy dog? And what about the mailwoman or mailman in your life?

My feeling has always been that gratitude should be our attitude all year, not just for the holidays. But tipping certainly seems more important at this season.

Here are some issues that about tipping to consider as well:

1. Contractors, like an electrician or a carpenter working in your home, do not expect a tip. But if they’ve become regular visitors or friends of the family, a gift card might be nice.

2. State, county and city governments often have strict regulations about their employees accepting gifts. Check online at the Arizona handbook for state employees to learn what the rules are. Employees of larger home services or home improvement companies could also be breaking company rules by accepting money or gifts.

3. You can do something when a home repair employee does a big favor, such as visiting your home during a dinner party to unplug the sink. A little cash might be appropriate on top of paying the bill or maybe keep a little stash of gift cards handy for those kinds of emergencies.

4. Years ago, everyone brought a holiday gift to school for the teacher. Some schools might forbid those gestures, so check with the administration to find out what the rules are now.

5. The size of the tip probably depends on the cost of living in the area where you live, of course.

6. Etiquette experts suggest cash gifts for babysitters, house cleaners, barbers and hair salon staff, personal trainers, dog walkers and pet groomers. Live-in helpers, such as health care workers and housekeepers, may deserve considerably more – maybe a week’s pay.

7. One specific individual landscaper may deserve a tip if he or she comes to your house all the time, but if the crew keeps changing, it’s probably up to their bosses to reward them.

8. If you know someone really well, such sa the mailman, leave a card in your box with something special inside. And don’t forget the man or woman who delivers your newspaper on those dark mornings before you head to work.

Always be grateful to the friend or neighbor who serves you a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Be sure to offer to bring some coffee or a salad or the cranberry sauce to contribute to the festivities. You could even stay a little longer at their home to help with the dishes.

For more homeowner advice, DIY tips and videos, and information about all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

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