How to tip your mail carrier during Christmas, holiday season

Stacks of boxes holding cards and letters are seen at the U.S. Post Office sort center December 15, 2008 in San Francisco, California. On its busiest day of the year, the U.S. Postal Service is expecting to process and mail over one billion cards, le

As the Christmas holiday quickly approaches, many may be wondering: Can you tip your mailer carrier?

While you can give your mail carrier a gift as a holiday thank-you, there are certain rules federal workers must follow when it comes to receiving gifts, per the United States Postal Service. 

The bottom line: less is more.

Consider gift that is $20 or less

Under federal regulations, you can "tip" your mail carrier with a gift that is worth $20 or less per occasion, this includes Christmas, according to the USPS.

RELATED: Starbucks fans furious over new 'awkward' tipping system

Federal employees are not allowed to accept gifts that are worth more than $50 from any customer during one calendar year period.

But don’t use cash

You cannot tip cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, in any amount, according to the USPS.

So if you do plan to show your appreciation to your mail carrier this holiday, you may want to consider a small gift. 

Other tips

A survey conducted last year by found that trash collectors and mail carriers are tipped an average of $20, but only 19% of adults plan to tip their waste management workers.

Housekeepers and childcare providers are tipped the most at an average of $50. 47% of adults plan to tip their housekeepers and 41% plan to tip their childcare providers.

Landscapers are tipped an average of $30, while teachers are tipped $25.

The survey found that restaurant wait staff would experience this most with 27% of people planning to tip them more than usual. Hairstylists and barbers follow at 19%, food delivery personnel at 16%, and bartenders at 10%. Coffee shop baristas were expected to earn the least at 9%.

"All of these service providers have dealt with unique challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have likely lost income," senior industry analyst Ted Rossman said in a statement. "If you can afford to do so, giving a little extra around the holidays could make a big difference."

FOX Business contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.

Editor’s note: A version of this article was published on Dec. 6, 2021.