It's the most wonderful time of the year! Unless you deliver packages for a living.

Yes, all of our online shopping brings in big bucks for FedEx, UPS, DHL, and the US Postal Service. But the employees at those places are under a mountain of work, buried in packages, and it's hardly a season to be jolly. More likely, tis the season to have sore muscles, a headache, and feel run over by the delivery truck each day. FedEx says more than 19 million packages were shipped on Monday. Here they come.

How late has your mail been lately? Don't be mad at the carrier - he or she is drowning in letters, boxes, and catalogs, and after looking at all the addresses, we're lucky his or her vision still works well enough to find our houses.

As an example, like clockwork, my mail is usually delivered around 2pm each day. Yesterday I checked it at 5:30pm and there was still no mail. I was sad. I was expecting a package from I ran out for an appointment, came back at 7:30pm and finally the mail was there. My house is near the middle of the route, so I can only imagine what time it was when my mail man finally reached his own house and was able to have a little recliner time. Package deliverers get up early too.

My Dad was a mail carrier for the US Postal Service, and growing up, Christmas was extra special for at our house because people on my dad's route left cakes, cookies, and Christmas candy in the box for him. We totally scored!

If you leave a gift in the mail box to thank your carrier for the service all year (and apologize for how many packages you ordered this holiday season), remember that the US Postal service forbids gifts above $20. Gift cards are fine as long as they're below that amount. Those little gifts can be a bright spot in an otherwise thankless day.

Hang in there package deliverers; January is not far off.

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