Over the last six days, Dannii Thomas has delivered 450 parcels in her trusty old Rover.

Working through rain, wind, and ice, you could even call her the Santa of south Wales - except she's not alone.

In the final run-up to Christmas, hundreds of delivery drivers are working around the clock over Wales to get thousands of parcels to their rightful owners.

For many it means getting creative - leaving parcels in chicken coops and dog baskets - while clocking up the miles and hours as the big day looms.

Now, one driver has shared a day in the life to encourage people to be patient - and to spare a thought for their "Christmas elves".

Dannii is working through her busiest period in the run up to Christmas

Dannii, 36, said: "It started back in September when you'd get 60 or 70 parcels a day. Now you are getting over a 100 .

"The rush used to begin at the beginning of November.

"The most I've had is probably about 120 in a day, especially at this time of year because it's Christmas and Hermes have taken on a lot more companies."

Luckily, Dannii is not a full-time Hermes delivery driver. Instead she picks up shifts covering for other drivers on their days off, or when holidays mean they are short of staff.

While she usually covers Llantwit Major, her travels can see her go as far as the lighthouse in Nash Point or over to St Athan.

As someone with both an under active thyroid and hemochromatosis - a disorder which affects the amount of iron in your body - it's a strenuous job.

Not that Dannii minds.

In any day Dannii can deliver up to 120 parcels

"It makes me really really tired but I get on with it. I like speaking to people, meeting animals - especially dogs," Dannii laughs.

"I'm always fatigued but once I get out I'm happy to do it.

"I'm just generally a people person. Especially the elderly, they can get a bit lonely so when you come they like to have a chat.

"I'm 36 and I grew up here. My dad is deputy mayor so a lot of people know me anyway so they just message to ask if they can pick something up.

"I live at a cross roads so if people are not at home I put that a parcel is with their neighbour and say it's at my house so they can come and collect it."

Instead of a delivery van, Dannii chooses her 15-year-old Rover as her "work horse".

Last week she managed to fit 83 deliveries in the back while on her rounds, but on other days she'll come home once or even twice for a refuel and a restock.

On a typical day she can earn £50 for delivering 90 parcels, not taking into account her growing petrol bill.

But it also means spending long hours away from her family at the most festive time of year.

Dannii, mother to 14-year-old and 18-year-old daughters Jessica and Jazzy, said: "The only thing I hate is the wind, it's horrible.

"I don't mind rain or ice because you can stay in the car but the wind is constantly there."

As in any job, Dannii spends a lot of time trying to make her customers are happy. In reality, that means her day is filled with what is essentially a big game of hide and seek to make sure parcels are left safely.

She said: "I hide them under trailers, people get little gas boxes outside thier homes and you can lift the lid [and put a parcel in].

"There's plant pots, dog houses, chicken coops, anywhere you can put on the note because people want their parcels and it saves going back the next day.

"The only thing we can't do is drop it off if it needs signing. A lot of people ask us to put an X for them and as long as you have their permission you can do that."

Dannii is asking people to be patient with Hermes drivers

For Dannii a typical day starts as soon as the Hermes delivery van drops off the goods.

It ends when her last parcel has been delivered, or taken home if that's not possible, which can take up to 6pm.

That's because drivers who don't get around their round can face a fine.

Dannii said: "We try to help people out as much as possible but what really annoys me is people slating us on Facebook.

"People don't realise what we go though, it's taxing on my car, on my body. Go on Facebook but just ask who your local Hermes driver is for the area. Don't slate us.

"But a lot of people say thank you and are really appreciative. The amount that will ask if I'm freezing and say come in for a cup of tea.

"They do respect you but you have the random ones [who don't]."

In a post shared on Facebook, Dannii said: "So over six days I have delivered 450 parcels and that's not including collections. Taken up most of my day, time away from family too.

"I am very grateful I have a job but please understand that over 90 parcels a day in this freezing, horrible weather is a task and a half. My lips are chapped, my back is killing and I am knackered, so please think before you go slating us Hermes delivery people."