Ask the Swag Gal – December 14, 2011

Today’s question comes from a Swaggernaut looking for holiday gift-giving tips:

“Is it really necessary to give Christmas gifts or tips to people like hair stylists, trash collectors, mailmen, etc?  I just don’t have the money this year.”

Holiday season can definitely take a toll on anyone’s bank account.   By the time you’re done shopping for your family and friends, the last thing you want to think about is getting more gifts.  Not only have you completely exhausted all of your gift-giving ideas, but I’m sure you’ve exhausted your wallet, as well.  So how can you show your appreciation for those who help you and make your life easier: the mailman, your doorman, your hairstylist, etc. without going bankrupt?  Well, I’ve compiled a list of ideas for gifts that are thoughtful, meaningful, and not too pricey – hopefully these will help you this holiday season.

Show off your baking skills

-Who wouldn’t appreciate a nice, warm batch of freshly baked cookies?  I can tell you – it ‘aint just Santa!  Everyone loves cookies – bake a batch of your favorites, pick up a festive plate and tie it up with colored cellophane – don’t forget to finish it off with a bow!

Help ’em save

-If you checked out the blog post yesterday, you’ve already seen the clever coupon book made by Team Swagbucks.  Everyone loves a bargain, right?  Select the coupons your recipient will love from our coupon page and print them out.  I’m sure your hairstylist would love some coupons for Bed Head products.  And I bet your babysitter would appreciate some coupons for a good pizza!  Once you’ve got all of the selected coupons printed, trim away all of the extra white space and create a fun, festive cover.  Tie it all together with a pretty bow, and voila!

Tell them how much you care

-Sometimes just expressing your appreciation goes a long way.  For your hairstylist, write a nice note thanking him/her for making you look beautiful.  Include a picture from one of your best hair days, and caption it with something like, “this is because of you.”  For your mailman, place something in your mailbox that will simply cause a smile.  Take a balloon and in big letters write “Thank you for all you do – Happy Holidays” across the balloon.  When he/she opens your mailbox, the balloon will pop out unexpectedly, causing a rush of feel-good excitement.  You can use this technique for your garbagemen also by placing a decorated piece of paper in the lid of the trash can.

Make it crafty

-A handmade ornament is always a nice and festive gesture.  Whether you cut out colored felt in the shape of a heart and cover it in glitter, paste together some popsicle sticks and spray paint it gold, or bend some pipe cleaners into the shape of Santa Claus, handmade ornaments are a very personal gift.  They take time and effort to put together, and they can be personalized specially for your recipient.

The gift that grows

-Pick up some seeds for your favorite plant (it can be herbs, flowers, vegetables, etc.), which can be found at your local home improvement store or nursery for very cheap.  Plant them in a nice flower pot, and decorate the pot to make it more personal.  Wrap it up in cellophane and tie it with some ribbon.  All your recipient has to do is set it on their windowsill and watch it grow!

And now I open it up to our Swaggernauts.  What do you give to your mailman, doorman, hairstylist, etc. for the holidays?


P.S. – Send your questions to  If your question is picked your answer will be featured in the blog and you’ll be hooked up with 150 Swag Bucks!