NORTH CAROLINA -- The list of those to give a holiday tip can get awfully long — from hairdressers to teachers to mail carriers, newspaper carriers, garbage collectors and on and on. To help cut down on the stress of figuring out what’s appropriate for each, here are some suggestions.

For people who provide you a regular service — like hairdressers, babysitters, and house cleaners, the etiquette experts at The Emily Post Institute suggest up to the cost of one session.

For folks like newspaper carriers, garbage collectors, or handymen, $10 to $30 is customary.

A cash tip is not appropriate for all. U.S. Mail carriers, for example, are not allowed to accept money. Instead, you can give a small gift, under $20; for teachers, a gift or gift certificate of $25 and under is appropriate; and for nursing home employees, a gift that can be shared by all the staff, like food, is more customary.

Thanking on a Budget

If you can’t afford so many cash tips, try to prioritize. Consider your relationship with a service provider and the frequency and quality of that service. And don’t forget homemade gifts are always nice; cookies, or a tree ornament if you’re crafty, can show you appreciate someone without breaking the bank.

No matter what — all gifts should always include a short handwritten note.

Give within your means

Showing gratitude for those who provide you services all year long is always nice, especially during the holidays, but depending on your financial situation, don’t feel obligated to go beyond what you can afford.

In the end, it really is the thought that counts.