And what you can do instead to say a giant "thank you!!" for all their hard work all year long.

When the holidays roll around, I find myself wanting to do something nice for my USPS carrier, my garbage peeps, and really anyone that helps make running my household (and getting all my Amazon orders!) that much easier. After all, they are the ones who make sure our gifts get where they need to be, the ones walking across the icy driveways and snow banks to put packages on your door...and doing the same when it's 1,000 degrees in the summer.

But I didn't realize that it is actually against United States Postal Service guidelines for mail carriers to accept any form of cash or cash equivalent tips:

All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Exec­utive Branch... cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount.

Which is strange because I swear I remember my grandmother giving her mail lady and newspaper delivery guy a pretty sizable check each holiday season...Last year, I left my mail person a box of chocolates (with a funny note promising they weren't poisoned and thanking them for being awesome all year) and a $10 gift card to Dunks. But if I'm reading that guideline correctly, it sounds like even gift cards might be iffy.

However, according to regulations, small gifts worth less than $20 are acceptable, as long as they aren't cash or redeemable for cash.

So what can you leave instead? I, for one, am always a fan of treats like chocolates or cookies. Or even leaving the snack bin with water or Gatorade and chips by your door for any FedEx, UPS, USPS worker to grab from can go a long way as a thank you!



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