It's not that they don't deserve it...but here's why.

The motto of the U.S Postal Service is "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." As we all know, as much as the weather changes in Iowa, a mail carrier could experience all of those weather elements in one day!

We definitely appreciate their hard work and dedication, however, before you slip some cash or a gift card into an envelope in your mailbox to thank your mail carrier, there's something that you should know. They are not allowed to accept it! Here's the official statement from the USPS:

 
 
Employee Tipping and Gift Receiving Policy

"All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Exec­utive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period."

None of this means you still can't be nice to your mail carrier this holiday season. Just keep the gift to $20 or less. I have a good friend who is a veteran mail carrier, and I'm pretty sure he would be perfectly fine with some homemade Christmas cookies or other treats left in your mail box. P.S. - Make sure to shovel your side-walks, drop some ice-melt and keep your mail box clear of snow, I'm sure they would appreciate that just as much as a gift!