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Last night, S and I went to WalMart, home of the underappreciated employee, and passed out thank you cards to the staff. It was just a reminder that they are noticed and appreciated even if their pay doesn’t always reflect that. There was one guy in particular to whom I was pleased to say thank you. He wears an oxygen tank in a backpack with tubes into his nose while he stocks the shelves. That’s hardcore. I know a lot of other people who would not have the stamina to do the job who are perfectly healthy, so I respect the hell out of this guy. He was positively giddy to have someone just give him a simple card and acknowledge that what he’s doing is hard. When I handed the cards to people, I tried to say something like, “You have such a great smile, here’s a thank you card,” or, “The hot pink in your hair cheers me up, here’s a thank you card,” when I handed it over.

Anyway, I just wanted to remind you that holiday giving doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. A $1 card to someone who might normally go unrecognized can brighten their holiday season. The cashier at the drive-thru of your local fast food joint, the busboy at your favorite restaurant, the delivery guy who drops off packages for you, the receptionist at your doctor’s office, the janitor at your child’s school. $5 to brighten the day of 5 people. That’s math I actually do like.