Holiday tipping in France?

It's that time of the year again when darkness falls, the doorbell rings, the dogs go insane, and I head out to the gate to donate to the Fireman/Garbage Workers calendar fund as we struggle to understand each others accents (me-California, them-Southern French/Catalan).

I really don't mind doing this every year but as I understand it, it's illegal for municipal workers (garbage/sanitation workers) to solicit for funds during the holidays? What about the La Poste? Our mail lady is always on time, never strikes and just seems to love her job putting around in inclement weather on her scooter. I'm guessing they'll accept a €10-20 holiday tip? Is there anyone else I’m forgetting? Your experiences with holiday tipping in semi-rural France?

The Calendrier de la Poste dates back in one form or another to the 18th century when it was more of an almanach. So who are we to break more than 200 years of tradition. The rural postman traditionally offers far more than just mail delivery. Though it is now frowned upon the rural postman often brought the odd bit of shopping and above all prescription medicines for some of the oldest people on the delivery round who couldn't get out and would have been lost without this help. I seem to recall a recent report on the TV news about postmen now being actively encouraged to look in on old people to make sure they are OK. So maybe the tradition of providing more than just a mail delivery service is being revived. All this to say that of course we buy the calendar as did my wife's mother and her grandparents.

As for the firemen. they are mostly, as someone has pointed out, volunteers who give a huge amount of their time and take risks for us all. On the odd occasion when I've needed to be rushed to hospital they have arrived quickly and provided care and reassurance. So yes, we buy their calendar too. Our local brigade saves up the money and then every couple of years they spend it on a well-deserved holiday they might otherwise never be able to afford. Money well spent in my view.

As for the bin men -- they don't ask and I don't offer because we never see them.

been working as a bin collector in my country and we got fired it we accepted one penny from people ---- where does it end if u start accepting money ???

la Poste in our area doesn't offer the Christmas calendars--only the santitation workers and firefighters. I believe the cost of the calendars is paid by the local business buying all the small advertisements within its pages and I'm sure some businesses also donate the printing and photography. I'm assuming the money for the most part is used as a Christmas bonus?

u re not really paying for the calendar , because the calendar most prob costs a lot less then what people give , they re printed on high amounts and very low costs ...

We always donate to the old Soldiers, (is a old neighbour who collects) so I feel obliged, also La Poste and the Pompiers, who all give us a calendar but I always thought the monies went to the postman and the local Pompiers, not to pay for the calendars! Have I got this wrong??

Pompiers is a different matter as most of them are volontary and in a way you support the payment of the services by giving a little amount for their calendar

the thing the french explain about it , refusing to give is , why should you give tips pay or gift people that are allready on the payroll of somebody ...if french are not that willing ---why should we be ...on time or weeks too late it doesnt make a difference , they re not allowed to take tips or what ever

they re not allowed to get tips , but the calendar there you give whatever you want to give them even if it s only 50 eurocents--bin men ths same they re not allowed to take tips

We don't 'donate' really, we buy their calendar :) I never gave it a second thought, really, and think the pompiers and La Poste truly deserve a token of our gratitude. We do buy the calendars, but also buy them something nice, a little but very personal present.