A Gift for the Postman?

Updated on December 26, 2018
S.M. asks from Chicago, IL
8 answers

Hello Friends, Do you give Christmas gifts for service workers? Specifically for your mailman? I don’t know ours personally but he’s been delivering on my route for a couple years and seems to work 6 days a week this holiday season. I just thought it would be a nice gesture to give him a little something but what?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I put a gift card for a sub place in a card and left it in our mailbox addressed to “our postman”. I caught a glimpse of him walking away this afternoon and realized it wasn’t our normal mailman. Not sure if they typically pass gifts on to the employees who have these routes regularly or not? Next year I’ll start sooner though.. not wait until Christmas Eve.

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answers from Washington DC on

When I see him in mid December I always ask if he will be working around Christmas. We give him $10 and a kringle from an award winning local bakery. He loves it! I already got my thank you card from him.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Technically, postal employees cannot accept cash and also cannot accept gifts with a value of more than $20. Sure, if you leave cash in your box addressed to them, you think "geez, who is going to know." As a former postal employee, you'd be surprised that this gets outed more often than you would think and it is a fireable offense.

Since values of gifts is a little more subjective, you have a more leeway there. We would get TONS of cookies and treats and in our office we always shared the love with all employees and put treats in the break room for everyone to enjoy (this is office dependent, obviously). If we had a very favorite treat, we might just take it home for ourselves and that was fine, but mostly everything was shared. Technically, gift cards for $20 or less is ok, and is a little more personalized (and not shared).

Don't get me wrong, postal employees love to feel appreciated! However, don't get someone fired over your thoughtfulness :)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Monetary tip, bag of home baked goodies, gift card for a restaurant. Something to add to their collection.. A travel drink cup or coffee mug. Are all things people have given our mailman who has been on this rural route for about 15 years. I have known the mailman for 16 years but have only lived in my house for 6.. We have talked about this on occasion because they are diabetic and share the goodies with neighbors friends and family. There is baked loaves of bread, cookies, pans of brownies, in the summer there is garden produce being given away. Our area loves to share!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think MilitaryMom's advice is interesting where she was a postal employee - good thing to consider. I don't see mine, and our set up is not typical - so haven't in the past.

I type my hairstylist generously in general, and do double that at the holidays.

When I haven't known people personally (like bus drivers, etc.) I do gift cards to places like coffee shops. I always see people with coffee, or someone in their family enjoys them - or they can regift. They come in small denominations, and it doesn't seem odd to give a gift card in a small amount (seems reasonable). I think it's just a nice token of appreciation.

Baked goods they can take back to their office/locale is a nice gesture too and always appreciated.

Fudge .. seems to always go over well.

My friend swears by red pepper jelly (nice little jar). She does that with crackers (nice ones) in a little bag every year - they just add cream cheese. Nice appetizer.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I grew up seeing my parents do that, and I still do it myself. Same reason - they work hard, in rough conditions, and have to deal with dogs as well as mailboxes that aren't shoveled out or that people park in front of. Our carrier has had this route for 20 years, and she always fronts any postage-due money on our behalf, knowing we will pay her back. They are limited, I believe, to $25 in value. I often give baked goods, a gift card to a place everyone can use (supermarket, gas station), or something I know she likes. We also get regular FedEx and UPS deliveries, and they always have a biscuit for my dog, so I give them something as well - something personal as well as a box or 2 of dog biscuits to replenish their stash. We also used to tip the garbage collectors, back when it was manual labor in the summer heat or the winter ice. Now the trucks are fitted with automatic, mechanical arms, so the driver never gets out and we've never met him. I do take a cranberry nut loaf and some air freshener to the woman at the town dump who supervises the recycling area and cleans up after people who just toss things in the wrong place.

I think the "rule" for hairdressers, manicurists and other people you see regularly is a financial tip and/or a small gift in the amount of your usual visit cost. However, I do not give them hairdresser-themed coffee mugs, same as I never gave "world's best teacher" mugs or picture frames to my son's teachers. We went for class gifts so as to not exclude kids of limited means - everyone gave what they could, and the teacher got a bigger gift she/he didn't have to display on the desk.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

We give $20 to the mailmen and to each of the trash men.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I typically give him a package of treats - cookies and fudge - unfortunately this year - I didn't make anything but cookies and his dad died so he was out of the country....I'll catch up with him this week.

I typically give a gift card to a local restaurant to our trash pick up men as well.


I typically give him a package of treats - cookies and fudge - unfortunately this year - I didn't make anything but cookies and his dad died so he was out of the country....I'll catch up with him this week.

I typically give a gift card to a local restaurant to our trash pick up men as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I work in an office, and the postwoman brings me our mail personally every day. She also gave me a card asking for us to remember our postal carriers during the holidays. I find it sad and disgusting that our company cannot even be bothered to give her a little card or something small and instead, I am left to deal with her empty-handed. Talk about awkward! I suggested everyone at the office pitch in a dollar, but that was not welcomed, so I just buy her small things out of my own pocket. Suggestions as to things I have given her: gloves, hot cocoa, a mug, a scarf, a small box of chocolates, hand lotion. I see you already got him a gift card, but maybe some of these might be good ideas to keep in mind for the future, as anyone who works with paper typically has dry hands, plus if you live in Chicago, I'd think winter apparel and hot cocoa would be very popular as it gets super cold there. You could also bake some cookies to hand out to him and people in your office. They sell pretty tin boxes at the dollar store that you could use for gifting the cookies.

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