California's Mary Hunt, author of Debt-Proof Living (www.debtproofliving.com), gave us a little guidance on what to get those service-industry folks for holiday gifts.
* POSTAL CARRIER. Hunt says never give cash. The postal service frowns on that -- looks like a bribe or something. Instead, Hunt says give something worth up to a $20 value. Home-baked goods are a plus.
* NEWSPAPER DELIVERER. If you get daily delivery, give 'em $15 to $25 cash. Just weekend delivery: $5 to $15 is perfectly acceptable... and greatly appreciated!
* HAIR STYLIST. Cash is good. Consider giving what would amount to 15 to 20 percent of your typical visit, plus some small gift of your choice.
* HOUSEKEEPER. Cash worth the cost of one visit ... as long as you're happy with the service!