Now before everyone gets up and arms and says I'm not supportive of postal workers, let's just take a breath.

We all know that mail carriers work hard year-round to make sure our mail gets to where it's going and the workload increases around the holidays. Of course, we want to be able to give them something to show our appreciation, but the United States Postal Service has strict rules about what letter carriers can and cannot accept. They are government employees after all.

So before you slip cold hard cash, a check or even a gift card into an envelope for them, know this, they are not allowed to accept it. According to the U.S. Postal Service, mail carriers aren't allowed to accept cash, gift cards, checks, or any other cash equivalent.

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.

USPS Code of Conduct

Still want to show them some love? Here's what you can do. Since postal workers are allowed to accept a gift worth less than $20 per household, a small box of chocolates, homemade holiday treats, bags of coffee or assorted teas, even an inexpensive bottle of wine are all acceptable gifts.  Just make sure you don't spend more than $20.

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