I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of folks out there who do some mighty important things which we kind of take for granted as we go about in the flurry of our various activities.

The first group of people I would like to praise are the sales people at retail stores who have to take back all of the Christmas presents which did not fit, or were the wrong color, or otherwise were unacceptable.

This year I had a few exchanges to make, and did not look forward to the process. However, in all the stores I visited, every single sales person was courteous and helpful. I was in and out of the stores in what I thought was record time, still smiling.

Now, I don’t know how it all went down at the “big box” stores where, even on a good day, there is no one around to provide service. But, that is not the fault of the salespeople but rather management, which pretty much feels that with low prices on items predominately from China, we ought to feel blessed that we are even allowed in.

I guess that it still pays to patronize the small stores, the mom and pop stores, and the stores which still have a reputation to keep and value it. And, has anyone recently found anything made in America, even when we would like to be patriotic and buy items manufactured here?

Next, I would like to honor my postman. Why that man does not have major back problems, I don’t know. He is now carrying bushels of catalogs around to deliver to me, and during the Christmas season, there were boxes and piles of cards.

Assuming he provides the same, good service for everyone on his route, we can only be grateful that he takes his job so seriously. I have a mailbox which chews things, but with the care that my postman uses on my mail, it all gets through with nary a scratch.

To the folks who do the recycling and who collect the garbage so that our homes can be maintained all clean and nice, many thanks for the service. Oh sure, the recycling’s a mess every once in awhile, with some of the items not quite making it into their truck. But, by and large, they help with conservation and keeping our landfills clear of those things which can be used again.

My uncle was a garbageman, so I am quite familiar with the hard work they do and the miseries they put up with in every kind of weather. Sometimes, our cars zip around their trucks and we give them very little thought.

Yet, without them, just think how awful it would be for us and our families. Many of them have to retire early because of back problems from carrying heavy loads. They work long hours in adverse conditions. I think they are wonderful.

To my plumber and electrician … you’re as dear as one can get when the heat goes on in the winter, the cold air blows through in the summer, the lights keep shining, the sink drains and the toilets flush and there is no water where there ought not to be.

Many thanks and accolades also go to the gal who cuts my hair, the checkout clerks at the Jewel, the friendly dispenser of medications at Walgreens, the cleaners who keep my clothes in order and the gal who alters them when they don’t fit.

When I stop to think of all the folks who help me get through a day, and do so without fanfare, I just wanted to get the new year off to a good start by acknowledging them and saying thanks. That is going to be my New Year’s resolution?”to be as grateful as I can be on every and all occasions, so that they know just how meaningful they are to me and to everyone.