Simple Gifts to Salute Your Supporting Cast

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Simple Gifts to Salute Your Supporting Cast
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Every day you're aided by a group of people who help make life easier, such as the newspaper delivery person, the receptionist and your car mechanic. Unlike friends and family, however, it can be hard to know what’s the most appropriate gift for these folks. Julie Kenney, the founder of thegiftingexperts.com, has gift ideas for your life’s unsung heroes.

Teachers
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Teachers

At the start of the school year, Kenney sends her son’s teachers a short questionnaire that helps her know what to give for holidays, birthdays or teacher appreciation week. During the holidays, she coordinates with other parents to create a “gift-card bouquet” to present to the teacher. Her other ideas for teachers include personalized totes, personalized stationery or a pretty necklace.

Coaches
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Coaches

Many sports coaches volunteer their time, so give them a leg up with items such as a dry-erase board that helps plan plays for all kinds of sports, or a water bottle tote that insulates the bottle and has an easy-to-carry handle, Kenney said. Other ideas include a sports magazine subscription or a durable cell phone case.

Neighbors
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Neighbors

Homemade treats are great gifts for your neighbors, and so are personalized items such as stationery or an address stamp, said Kenney. “I gave these to my neighbors and they loved them. You can find great discounts, too, which made these gifts affordable.”

Personal Assistant
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Personal Assistant

A good way to keep the person who keeps you organized organized is an e-reader or tablet computer, according to Kenney. Another option is a movie subscription so he can watch movies online or receive them by mail. Of course, the best gift for a personal assistant during the holidays may be a raise or a cash bonus, Kenney added.

Housekeeper
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Housekeeper

For the one who keeps your house livable, a perfect gift is a holiday bonus, Kenney said, but she also suggested small items, like a candle or personalized stamp.

Baby Sitter or Day Care Staff
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Baby Sitter or Day Care Staff

Your baby sitter or day care provider would probably love getting a subscription to a website that lets subscribers listen and program music, said Kenney. Other options include a gift card to an online music store or a gift card for movie tickets, Kenney added. Also consider getting her a citrus fruit delivery, something day care staff would appreciate during the cold winter season.

Nursing Home Staff
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Nursing Home Staff

A fruit basket delivery is a treat for nursing home staff members. You can also pamper them with a catered meal from a great restaurant. Another lovely and affordable gift is a piece of handmade jewelry from Etsy.

Mail Carriers and Newspaper Deliverers
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Mail Carriers and Newspaper Deliverers

Keep your delivery person warm with hand-knit scarves and gloves, Kenney said. Other great items she suggested include a box of cookies with a gift card or a coffee mug with an instant coffee packet inside.

Trash Collectors
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Trash Collectors

The gift of a small cash bonus would be a well-deserved present for your trash collector, Kenney said. Homemade treats like cookies and brownies and, if you are inclined, lottery or scratch tickets also would bring pleasure, Kenney said.

Dog Walker or Groomer
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Dog Walker or Groomer

Give those whom you entrust with your beloved pets items they’d appreciate, such as an affordable rain jacket that folds into a pouch when not in use, Kenney said. If you want to spend a little more, consider a sweatshirt jacket with built-in headphones for any MP3 player. Or fill a reusable tote bag with holiday treats.

Hair Stylist or Manicurist
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Hair Stylist or Manicurist

Stylists work very long hours to accommodate their clients, so it’s often hard to grab a proper lunch or dinner. A welcome holiday gift could be a restaurant gift card or a foot massager since they are always on their feet. Another treat Kenney suggests is a subscription to a service that delivers a box of high-end cosmetic samples for men or women every month or every few months, depending on the subscription.

Personal Trainer
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Personal Trainer

Treat your personal trainer with a gift card to a spa or massage to make him feel relaxed and refreshed after his long sweat sessions, Kenney said. Kenney's other ideas include a homemade mix CD or MP3 playlist, a music gift card, or workout wear imprinted with inspirational messages.

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