What do you get when you combine the Grinch, Scrooge, AND Bob Cratchet? 

The U.S. Postal Service, apparently.

It's the holiday season and many of us like to reward those who serve us year-round, like our pizza delivery person, hair stylist, or mail carrier.

STOP.  As much as you'd like to, Do NOT Give Eastern Iowa U.S. Mail Carriers any big cash tips or gift cards. You could be getting them into trouble and even be putting their jobs at risk!

As outrageous as it sounds, it is ILLEGAL to tip your U.S. Postal carrier.

According to the U.S. Postal Service website,

"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."

How about that? Can you believe it?!?

I cannot imagine why it would be illegal to stuff a few extra bucks into their pockets. But anytime you get the US Government involved, you can bet there is no damn good reason for it, other than bureaucracy.

[source: U.S. Postal Service]