Living out here in New Jersey some 26 years, I’m still amazed that a good many residents here don’t tip for the holidays. "Cheap bastards," I'd think!

Tipping the postman, the garbage men, anyone who performs a service for you during the year in my estimation deserves some extra gratuity this time of year.

Especially if they’ve done a job well.

It's the way I was raised. I always remember my dad tipping the garbage men, mailman, etc around the holidays.

And even us kids, when we were delivering Italian bread for the family business, we especially looked forward to this time of year to get a little something extra from all the home customers to whom we’d deliver.

So too it is with anyone who comes to your home on a fairly regular basis. I’m guessing they may not be expecting anything – but imagine the surprise they feel when you hand them an envelope with a little something extra inside.

That was our experience when we’d first moved here.

Tipping the mailman or the garbage men was unheard of. I remember the reaction I’d gotten especially after having given the mailman something. I thought he was going to break down and cry.

His reaction was all I needed to reaffirm to myself that I’d done the right thing when he said, “…I can’t tell you how much this means to me – especially since no one else around here does this.

The reaction from the garbage men is pretty much the same. Year in and year out I leave them a little something – guaranteeing me that I won’t find my garbage pail somewhere around the block.

It doesn’t take much – figure close to a hundred dollars to take care of everyone who takes care of us during the year.

And the feeling we get in return is all the thanks we need.

I know, you probably think I go through my money like water. To me it’s money well spent, and assuming that these are the people I’ll be seeing throughout the coming year, I look upon it as a bit of an investment.