We're completely obsessed kindness during the holidays, so it'll sound shocking when we tell you that you shouldn't reward your mailman for their hard work!

According to a new survey, 74% of employees admit that they plan on shopping for Christmas gifts during the workday this year.  Someone, like our friend Kristen that we talked to this morning, has to carry all of those packages to your front door! She admits that sometimes the boxes we're ordering are quite large or shaped in a way that makes them difficult to carry around.  Kristen and all the other mail carriers in Idaho are saints for bringing us those precious gifts we bought for our loved ones or impulse buys that we made for ourselves.

I know all of us appreciate postal workers' allegiance to the unofficial United States Postal Service Creed of "neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" and we'd love to show them how grateful we are the service they provide us not just during the holidays, but year round!

Believe it or not, you SHOULD NOT tip your mail carrier or give them a gift card this Christmas. Because postal carriers are federal employees, they have to follow the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch.  That's the wordy way of saying they're never allowed to accept cash, check or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash from the people along their routes.

If you love your postal carrier as much as we love Kristen, that's a huge bummer.  The good news is there's a loophole that allows you to thank them! They're are allowed to accept small gifts worth less than $20 (but can't receive more than $50 of those in a year.)

So what does your postal carrier want? Thought Co recommends the following:

  • Goodies like coffee, donuts or cookies
  • Plaques or trophies
  • Food, candy or fruit that they can share with their fellow postal workers