How Much Should You Tip the Mailman at Christmas?

Day after day, your mailman braves the elements to ensure you receive your letters and packages on time. His hard work is especially evident in many states during the winter months as he contends with cold temperatures, wind and snow. Although you might be tempted to recognize his efforts with a generous Christmas gift, the United States Postal Service places limitations on what you can give.

Mail being delivered to a mailbox. (Image: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images)

Think Creatively

The USPS prohibits giving your mailman cash, checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash. You're allowed, however, to give a gift with a value of $20 or less, but a gift of wine or liquor isn't permitted. Given the limited options you face, choose something practical or even holiday-themed. Try to notice whether he seems to need anything to keep warm. In this case, an adjustable headband or a scarf are excellent gift ideas. A well-secured bag of Christmas candy, baked goods or fudge can be easy to carry and greatly appreciated. If you wish to buy a gift card, consider giving one for a music download site, especially if you've noticed your mailman listening to an MP3 player while working.

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