Nice gift for a snow plower?
February 15, 2015 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Give me some ideas for a nice gift for our lovely neighbor who snowplows our driveway.

My wife and I live in Eastern Connecticut and we have a wonderful across-the-street neighbor who always plows our driveway along with his when it snows. In fact, we live on a dead-end that our town gives short shrift for snow plowing, so if it weren't for him, most of our street would be dreadful. Needless to say, he's been busy these last few weeks. He even took a bit of a spill with his truck when he misjudged the edge of our parking deck--no damage was done (to him or us) but it was a little hairy and he was a great sport about it.

I would love to give this guy a nice gift at the end of the snow season but I don't quite know what it should be. We always say hello to him and his wife if we happen to be outside at the same time, and occasionally small-talk, but we don't really know them very well. He and I also sing in the local community chorus together. They have two dogs which they adore, and they have beautiful matching Harley-Davidsons. They're an older couple (I'd say late 50s or early 60s; they both still work) and most of their family live fairly close (his mother and his daughter have both done stints in the chorus as well), so they pretty much stick close to our town.

Any suggestions? ($50 to $75 range, maybe? We're not flush, given heating bills at this time of year, but if I budget for it in our "disposable" income I can swing it.)
posted by dlugoczaj to Human Relations (19 answers total)
a bottle of whiskey better than they'd buy for themselves.
a fruit box from some place like harry&david, to remind them that things are growing elsewhere in the world and winter will one day end. :)
posted by nadawi at 8:38 AM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

"Something to keep out the cold" - bottle of spirits.
posted by Leon at 8:38 AM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Having people over for dinner can be a nice way to say thank you.
posted by bunderful at 8:47 AM on February 15, 2015 [5 favorites]

My husband plows our neighbor's drive regularly. At Christmas, she gives him a gift card to the local grocery store (the one with the really good meat counter!). Can't go wrong with that - everybody needs to eat, right?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:47 AM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'd make homemade cookies and pies throughout the season as a thank you. If they would enjoy them, spirits are a fine idea.

A gift card to a local restaurant for a night out.

Invite them over for dinner one night.

Knowing your neighbors is a lovely thing!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:48 AM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]

A certificate for a massage.
posted by sammyo at 8:49 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm always leery of giving alcohol to people I don't know very well, and if they're not big drinkers a supernice bottle of something might go to waste.

Maybe a gift certificate for Harley-Davidson stuff? The offical store seems to ship to local dealers if they want some accessories, etc.
posted by TwoStride at 8:49 AM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

A gift certificate for the nicest restaurant in your area.

Don't buy them alcohol - they may be in recovery.
posted by essexjan at 8:55 AM on February 15, 2015 [7 favorites]

Ha, I just ran over to my neighbor's with dog treats and cupcakes since we're in the middle of the third major Boston-area snowstorm. Where we are, it's typical to give something EVERY time a neighbor helps you out.

In the past few weeks I've given (and received from other neighbors):

store-bought cookies, cupcakes, coffee-cakes;
boxes of super nice chocolates;
bags of gourmet jelly beans;
big bottles of green juice;
lots of ice cream and sundae fixings;
a couple of Dunkin gift cards;
good coffee and travel mugs; and
grapefruit and oranges.
posted by kinetic at 9:05 AM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

He helps you in the winter, maybe find something to help them in the spring summer. Flowers for their garden? Something for their Harleys? Omaha steaks for the grill?
posted by 724A at 9:07 AM on February 15, 2015

... that name again is Mr. Plow!

With some gourmet hot chocolate mix and marshmellows.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:12 AM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

A gas gift card?
posted by Sassyfras at 9:17 AM on February 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

2nding gift cards to Dunks + restaurant gift cards.
posted by little_dog_laughing at 9:18 AM on February 15, 2015

Home-made baked goods plus a gift card for gas. And a nice hand-written thank you note is always in good taste!
posted by easily confused at 9:30 AM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

A gift card to the local Harley shop.
posted by Talk To Me Goose at 10:23 AM on February 15, 2015

Yes, as others have said, I wouldn't wait for the end of the season. Homemade cookies, a loaf of banana bread, a bag of oranges from the grocery store .. anything like that with a nice note letting him know how grateful you are. It's still a good idea to give him a "lovely parting gift" when spring finally comes but for sure do something small a few times in between.
posted by Kangaroo at 10:55 AM on February 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

My across the street neighbor (in Bostonish, so lots of snow) is much the same, except it's a snowblower, not a full plow. After all the deep snows this winter, he has cleared the snowplow berm of any driveway that doesn't own a snowthrower of their own, including ours, and if we're out shoveling, he'll even clear a bit deeper into the drive. And he looks after ou local hydrant. Great guy! We have always thanked him profusely, and made chitchat; I've watered their garden a couple of times that they've been traveling the last summer, but I know them slightly less-well than you know your neighbors.

Because I know that the wife is a casual jogger/runner and lost a lot of weight last year, I decided not to give them cookies/candy; because I have never been in a position to see them drink (and they seem like a yellow-beer kind of demographic if they did) I stayed away from alcohol. I gave him a few-sentences thank you card, telling him that it felt good to live in a neighborhood where someone like him was looking out for everybody; and a $20 gift card to Dunkin Donuts; and I baked a loaf of beer bread. He seemed very pleased.
posted by aimedwander at 11:11 AM on February 15, 2015

Is there something you can do for them in kind, like raking leaves or mowing their lawn in the summer? Offer to dogsit?
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:32 PM on February 15, 2015

What ever you decide to give them, include a card with your phone numbers. Let them know if they ever need a hand with something to give you a call. People who help others are often oddly reluctant to ask for help themselves. You might even make them a fridge magnet so your number is always handy. I print mine out and stick it to one of those magnets that come stuck to my phone book every year.
Dog treats are a good idea for people who adore their dogs. My guy loves those bully sticks you can get at COSTCO, expensive as hell for what they are, but apparently yum.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:37 PM on February 15, 2015 [4 favorites]

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