Who Do You Gift?

About a month or so again, I was amused to dump the newspaper out of it’s plastic sleeve and notice a printed note on holiday paper.  Had I been more with it, I would have saved it to scan it in.  But I was not with it, so you’ll have to deal with an approximation of what it said –

“Dear Valued Newspaper Client –

My name is so-and-so, and I’ve been your newspaper delivery person since late October.  I wish you the happiest of holidays, and a wonderful New Year.  My address is blankety-blank-blank-blank.



For a moment I was kinda shocked to remember that in our age of automation, newspapers are still delivered by hand.  I can only remember one newspaper boy – a kid named Gary (I think) who was our newspaper boy when I was in junior high.  I knew him because in those ancient days, in addition to actually reading the scroll with the king’s notice to every household, the newspaper boy was responsible for collecting payments, trying to upsell subscriptions, and the like.  I never saw him deliver the paper, but I knew him from these other contacts.

I guess I assumed that newspapers were now airdropped, but I was mistaken.  Human hands still had to lovingly toss them about 5 feet from the street to the very very edge of my driveway every morning.  So-and-so had only been handling this job for about a month at the time they thoughtfully included their little note. 

The insinuation was clearly that this is the time of year to give little gifts to those people in your life that provide you with niceties like delivering newspapers or mail or what-have-you.  However, I missed the class on which folks you’re supposed to gift.  In fact, I’ve never gifted any of the people who cut my hair or hook up my wireless Internet or do any of those other essential niceties that I already pay them to do.

I’m sure this tradition of gifting people hearkens back to days of smaller communities, when you actually knew the person who delivered your paper (as well as the person who printed it), or your mail, and other such essential tasks.  You probably went to church with them or saw them in the market.  I live in a relatively small town of 63,000 people.  But I have never met nor heard of my newspaper delivery person.  Or for that matter, my mail carrier. 

My question is, who do you gift this time of year?  How do you gift them?  Am I the only Grinch out there?  What are the current guidelines on these practices?

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