It never fails. Just when Nicole Hewitt thinks she has her Christmas shopping done, she adds a few more to the list.

“I use the holidays as a way to thank the various people I appreciate throughout the year,” she said. “But every year, I always remember one or two that I’d like to get something.”

The St. Joseph woman said she always gets a simple gift for her childrens’ teachers, her neighbor and the mom she shares carpooling with. The last couple of years, however, she realized there are so many other people she wants to gift.

“It’s not about checking off a box,” Hewitt said. “It’s about making someone’s day, to let them know that they matter, that they are appreciated.”

She plans to give a $10 gift card to her trash hauler because she happens to know his favorite coffee shop. Gift cards and hand-drawn Christmas cards by her kids also will be doled out to her hairdresser, the lady at the kennel, her favorite checker at the grocery store and the school’s secretary.

Hewitt said that while most might consider gift cards impersonal, she feels the key is knowing enough about the recipient to get the perfect one.

For example, Hewitt knows the lady at the kennel has never had her nails done professionally. So she plans to gift her a certificate for a local nail salon.

“It doesn’t have to be a lot of money to make an impact,” she said. “The way I see it, I can spend about $50 to $75 on half a dozen people to make their day.”

Here are a few people to keep in mind:

- Teachers

- Coaches

- Hairdressers

- Nail techs

- Favorite staff at local businesses

- Trash haulers

- Gardeners

- Housekeepers

- Pet groomers

- Neighbors

- Babysitters

- Mail carriers

- Newspaper carriers

- Doctors