Be nice to your mail carrier this holiday season

christmas seals

Christmas seals appeared on all my parent’s cards they sent out during the holiday season.

I stopped to chat with the postman as he was locking up the Silver Sage Village mail boxes. I get a few things by 1st class mail, but it’s mostly bills and junk.

Today was no different as the mail ended up in the circular file headed to the recycling bin. The other day I got a letter from the IRS saying I owe a few bucks. Maybe government agencies are obliged to use hard copy and resort to first class mail.

“Things have been really crazy. We made a deal with Amazon and now have 40 percent of their business,” he lamented. “That, plus everyone has started mailing a lot earlier this year.”

Like November 1.

The post office, unlike FedEx and UPS delivers on Christmas and Sundays. He said some days he starts at 7am and doesn’t get finished until 10pm and mail is getting delivered at odd times.

What about “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

“Oh, that’s still true, but this month the mail just gets delivered later! We’ll get it figured out eventually.”

I’ve been selling a bunch of stuff on eBay which also must have a deal with the postal service. On all packages, I get a postage discount, plus I don’t have to go to stand in line at the post office and can have the occasional chat with the postman.

Every year, I plan to send out hard copy Christmas cards, and every year I don’t get around to it. Fifty cents for a stamp and fifty cents for the card – a buck to send a greeting and well wishes is a pretty good deal.

I remember when I was young, my parents sent out Christmas cards every year. That tradition included going to the post office and picking out just the perfect stamps for that year’s mailing.

It was also a time to make donations to fight tuberculosis and putting those on the envelope was also signs of the season.

I don’t even remember mailing packages. Once in a while something would be sent to my aunt in Washington DC, but she generally came back to Cheyenne for Christmas. She always brought with her “big city” gifts like Godiva ch0colate, sweaters from Lord and Taylor.

These days, all that fancy stuff is now very common and available in malls.

We’ve become mass society.

The Baby Boomer diaspora also contributes to the package shipping explosion. When my grandparents died, my uncles and aunts didn’t come around as much any more. That meant my cousins didn’t come to town much either.

Any presents had to be mailed. That was all before FedEx and UPS. When all the cousins were in high school, the unwritten rule was, no more gifts.

I really don’t send stuff out, but now that I’m getting to the point in life that I’m downsizing, I’m selling stuff on eBay. Why on earth I held on to that Charlies Angels lunch box, I’ll never know (although I still have a crush on Kate Jackson) but someone will enjoy having it gathering dust on their shelves.

The few holiday greetings I’ve sent out are gift cards to or event tickets. As long as there are kids, there will be a demand for unnecessary stuff. The cycle seems to keep going and going.

Even if I don’t get around to sending out cards this year, I’ll at least be nice to my mail carrier this holiday season.

By the way, I learned that this quote which has become the US Postal Service motto was written by Greek historian Herodotus, 503 B.C. The words are inscribed on the General Post Office facility on 33rd Street and 8th Avenue in New York City.

It’s beginning to look a lot like …

Grumpy Cat wants you to give up commercial Christmas by fighting MCS.

Grumpy Cat wants you to give up commercial Christmas by fighting MCS.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style … deck the halls … Yes, the hustle and bustle of the festive season are upon us once again.

One of the radio stations in town has been blaring holiday music for weeks, the iphone Christmas music playlists are set on repeat mode.

The pleasant aromas of fruitcakes and mince meat pies drifting from grandma’s house add to the yuletide atmosphere.

Norman Rockwellian scenes appear as woolen-clad youngsters anxiously peer into candy store windows while the tintinnabulation of the Salvation Army Santa bells rings in the background.

Although the times are filled with happiness and joy, many are stricken by a serious condition known as Merry Christmas Season — MCS, the crippler of young adults.

You may be stricken by MCS if you get in a fight on Black Friday.

You may be stricken by MCS if you get in a fight on Black Friday.

MCS is caused by the receipt of 10 or more Macy’s catalogs a week before election day and over exposure to large doses of Christmas decorations Thanksgiving week.

Early diagnosis will rid the population of this dreaded affliction. To combat the spread of MCS the American Merry Christmas Season Association has issued these four warning signals:

1. Coughing or shortness of breath while running across the store to take advantage of the pre-Black Friday X-Box special. This symptom reveals a deterioration of the stamina needed to put tinsel on the tree one strand at a time and not in clumps of 10 or more. Although this respiratory ailment may be caused by an allergic reaction to mistletoe or mulled wine, it’s best to have a check up.

2. The presence of a lump in your throat or elsewhere when a Craftsman Max Access Power Wrench, the Personal Pedi, or some other gift advertisement with the personal touch pops up on your facebook feed. If overcome by this urge, immediately hurry out and buy an iPad, or the equivalent. If you don’t have that kind of cash, go on Wheel of Fortune and buy a vowel.

3. An eyesore that does not heal after you have decorated your home with more flashing lights than Caesar’s Palace, hired a troupe of actors to depict the Nativity and enticed reindeer into your yard with salt blocks. To aid in the rehabilitation process have a winter garage sale and sell your house – and garage.

4. A change in shopping or mail habits noticed when you’re send out 500 Christmas cards to take advantage of bulk postage rates. After you purchase your plump butterball turkey, did you ask the clerk to have it wrapped in something suitable for a five year old, chronic signs could be developing.

If any of these warning signs persist for longer than a week past Veteran’s Day, see your counselor. MCS strikes 1 out of 3 people. Think of your two closest friends and if they seem okay, then it must be you!

Remember the American Merry Christmas Association this holiday season and give early and often on Colorado Gives Day.