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How to Express Appreciation During the Holidays to the People You Rely Upon All Year Long

Get tips for showing them how much you value them — without going into deeper debt.

December 3, 2021

Holiday gift shopping is stressful under the best of circumstances. Even if you know what to give everyone on your list, the expenses of all of those presents can be daunting. This is even more true if you have debt you need to pay off. 

Chances are, you also have a handful of people you want to thank this holiday season, but your budget may make it hard to give gifts to all of them. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t figure out how to show appreciation this holiday season. Here are some appreciation ideas that won’t break the bank.

Write a good review

If you want to show gratitude to someone who provides you with invaluable support year-round, such as a cleaning service, mechanic, contractor, or hairdresser, help them grow their business with some positive feedback. 

Leaving a glowing review for your favorite service provider on Yelp and similar websites can make a huge impact on their business. Spending ten minutes leaving a thorough review or spreading the word about why you appreciate them on social media can help them build their reputation and find new customers. 

Gift a midday pick-me-up

The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they’re also the most hectic time for many. Postal and delivery service workers, in particular, have a tough job delivering mass amounts of holiday gifts. 

Restaurants and stores are packed, beauty services are booked up and even dog groomers have their hands full cleaning Fido before visitors come knocking. Many service workers are running full steam ahead during the holidays, so a midday pick-me-up will be so appreciated but won’t cost you more than $15. 

Bringing your groomer’s favorite baked goods to your next appointment is not only a sweet treat but shows you appreciate their work. Leaving a basket of snacks and water at your doorstep for delivery workers can really help turn someone’s busy day around. 

Book services in advance

After a challenging and uncertain financial year, peace of mind is a precious gift. If you know you’re going to get a massage once a quarter or need a babysitter for monthly date nights, book those services in advance for next year. Knowing they have some guaranteed bookings coming up can make holiday gift shopping a lot less stressful for your favorite service workers. 

While you’re at it, refer them to someone else looking for their services so they can book even more clients for the new year. 

Do a good deed

Is your coworker slammed getting ready to leave for holiday vacation? If you have an hour or two to spare at work, lend them a helping hand. 

Is your next-door neighbor struggling to sneak out to buy presents from Santa? Offer to watch their kids for a few hours. 

Did your hairstylist mention squeezing you in between back-to-back bookings? Bring them a hot lunch when you show up for your appointment so they can take a quick break. Taking some stress off someone’s plate will mean a lot more than a gift card or new sweater. 

Make a charitable donation in their name

If you’re already planning to make a charitable donation before the end of the year — which can earn you a nice tax deduction — consider donating on behalf of someone. For example, you can donate to an animal shelter in the name of your dog walker or a children’s charity in the name of the teachers at your children’s school. 

Kind words go a long way

While the usual advice is to show, not tell, telling someone you appreciate them can make a difference during the holidays. The holidays can be stressful, lonely and quite challenging for some. 

If you can find the words to say thank you and show appreciation, you’ll find that the gift of kind words will mean more than any gift you could buy at the mall. A heartfelt holiday card with a personalized message thanking the person for what they’ve done for you throughout the year and why you’re so grateful to have them in your life is, in many ways, the perfect holiday gift. 

Do you have a bit of writer’s block? We’ve created an appreciation sample letter that you can customize to suit your recipient: 

Dear [recipient name],

I am so grateful for your presence in my life. Your [kind adjectives go here] has made a huge impact on me throughout the year. Your hard work and talents do not go unnoticed. I hope you have a very happy holiday season with your loved ones and a healthy new year. 

With gratitude, 

[Your name]

Don’t forget to appreciate yourself

Now that you know how to show appreciation without breaking the bank this holiday season, you can focus on showing a bit of gratitude to yourself for all of the hard work you did this year and the sacrifices you made to pay down your debt. 


Make sure you carve out some time for yourself this holiday season. A bubble bath and a book can go a long way after dealing with all that holiday hustle and bustle. Being refreshed when you start the new year will help get you ready to tackle new challenges — like finally paying off your credit card debt. 

Tally† is here to help make paying down credit card debt simpler and faster so you can save money and pay off your debt sooner rather than later. 

​​†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 - $300.