If you shop online as much as I do, your delivery people and mail carrier earn their paychecks. As an extra thank you during the holidays, you may want to consider small holiday gifts for delivery drivers and mail carriers.
Nearly every day, one or more of the trucks stops in front of my house to bring a package of some sort up to my porch. I live away from family, so we get a lot of packages sent this time of year. And, honestly, I prefer online shopping than taking my kids to the store. We do most of our shopping online, and the orders are already starting to show up at my doorstep.
In order to show my appreciation for all of the USPS, UPS, and Fed Ex drivers who come to our house – including seasonal and regular drivers, I leave a basket of goodies on the porch to help them through the long hours and frequent visits to our house.
We also have a Ring doorbell, so I know when they drop something off anyway, whether I’m home or not (and could even speak to them through it, if needed). I’ve even had a few thank me on our Ring recording after they grab a snack.
It was my sister that first told me she was leaving a snack basket of food and gifts for delivery drivers, and I decided that it was a great way to show appreciation to all the drivers throughout the season. They work long hours every day (even Sundays), and I want to show my gratitude and give them a snack or two each day to enjoy.
I try to include a variety of options to account for people’s different preferences. I check on the basket every day or two and top it off, so I thought I’d share the hits and misses of what they seem to prefer.
Snacks and gifts for Delivery Drivers and Mail Carriers
- Snack cakes such as Little Debbie Cakes – definitely the favorite
- Breakfast or protein bars
- Bags of pretzel sticks and chips
- Chocolate Chip granola bars
- Driver suggested: Powder flavor packets to add to bottles of water. Drivers usually have water with them already, so a flavor change is a nice treat!
- Water –most drivers probably have water with them, but with the flavor packets, they can make a different drink.
- Gatorade or even kids juice boxes- may be a nice change from water all day.
- Fruit- seems safe enough, maybe small mandarins, or a banana
- packs of peanut butter or cheese crackers (I stick with cheese, because I am very weary of allergies)
- Small packs of gum or mints (or candy canes)
- Mini candy bars or other candy
If you have kids, you likely have something snack worthy in your pantry. Throw whatever you think makes a great snack in there and set it out, Christmas will be here soon and the deliveries have already begun!
You could always include something other than food in your basket for them to choose from. How about small tree ornaments, or a cozy pair of holiday socks? Visit a dollar or discount store or the cheapy section of Target and grab small things they can easily take with them. Maybe it’s something they can bring to a loved one after a long day of delivering other people gifts and goodies.
You can use any regular box, and just throw a sign on it. I printed my sign on cardstock last year so I could save it, and will laminate it for the years to come. Or, you could get festive and use some wrapping paper to jazz it up. I decided to use my Pizza Hut Triple Treat Box for mine this year. That’s a great (and delicious) deal from Pizza Hut, and a great way to reuse and recycle the box. Win, win!
If you’re planning to give your drivers a gift personally, some popular options are small gift cards (coffee shops, fast food, etc), cash (acceptable limits lifted below), small box of chocolates or some standard Hershey kisses or M&Ms. I’d suggest pre-wrapped or bakery versus homemade, as most people won’t eat homemade food gifts from strangers.
Other options include movie tickets, small fruit basket (you can DIY this), pre-packaged food gifts such as gourmet cocoa mix, tea, honey, candies, bag of coffee, sauces, etc. If you know know your carrier personally, feel free to give them something that suits their tastes according to what you know about them.
Just be aware that you may catch a sub or seasonal driver any given day through the holidays, and some delivery services have two drivers per truck through the holidays.
Rules about Gifts for Mail Carriers and Delivery Drivers
Each delivery service has rules for their employees on what types of gifts they are allowed to accept. Here are the details via HuffPost Holiday Etiquette.
USPS: According to a representative from the USPS Ethics Council, “Letter Carriers are prohibited from accepting cash or a cash equivalent such as a Visa or Master Card gift card from Postal Service customers.” You may give a gift to a Letter Carrier valued at $20 or less or a gift card to a specific retail venue valued at $20 or less, as long as the aggregate value of gifts that you gave to the Letter Carrier do not exceed $50 in a calendar year.
Fed Ex: “Gifts of cash or cash equivalents such as gift cards or gift certificates must never be accepted. Employees are allowed to except a nominal gift valued at up to $75, no cash.” – Steve Barber, FedEx Global Communications
UPS: “At UPS we train our drivers to politely decline tips, however, when a customer insists, we allow our folks to accept nominal gratuities. We do not suggest an amount or range for monetary gratuities. Our drivers do receive heartfelt and sincere gifts of baked goods, knitted items and even invitations to holiday parties. Ultimately we let them use their own judgment about whether or not to accept or decline a gift.” – Justin Luther, UPS Public Relations
Do you have to tip or give a gift ? Absolutely not. As with all other gifting situations, only gift what you can easily afford, and if you wish to express your gratitude in that way. A handwritten note or card is also perfectly acceptable for any gracious gift receiver.
This post was originally published at ColumbusontheCheap.com, republished here with permission. Check here for more food deals in Las Vegas. Don’t forget to subscribe with your email to receive more of Vegas Living on the Cheap. For even more cheap fun, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Check out our other holiday posts below: