(photo credit: Vibrant US Air Mail Stamp by Nicolas Raymond on flickr.com. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.)
When I was a kid, I loved mail. Especially in the summertime when a lot of us were away at camp. Letters were everything. When the mail guy came around and dropped a stack of letters off at our bunk, everything stopped.
We waited for our counselor to call our name. If the letter was from Mom, that was good. If it was from a friend, that was great. If it was a care package from home, that was the best possible thing that could happen.
It wasn’t the same for my parents. My father would go through the mail quickly, tossing half the letters without even opening them. I remember asking him once how he could do that. Didn’t he want to know what was in that envelope he threw in the garbage? He looked at me like I was from another planet.
Now I understand.
I take a quick peek at the mail as I bring it inside, but I rarely open anything. I put the stack on a table in our kitchen, a stack that often becomes quite large or several stacks before one of us (usually the husband) goes through it.
Occasionally, we are surprised with a handwritten thank you note or a beautiful invitation to something. But mostly, the stacks are full of bills and advertisements and pleas for charitable donations.
The only time of year it is fun to open mail is around the holidays. So many photo cards of children looking happy.
Occasionally, somebody doesn’t get their holiday card out on time and we receive a surprise in late January or February. Those cards make me smile the most, because they usually turn out to be the only card I’ve gotten in weeks.
Here’s an idea: why don’t we spread the holiday love throughout the year instead of the concentrated way we do it now. Each family gets a month, based on where they live or the first letter of their last name.
I’d rush to the door as soon as the dog barked to let me know the postman has come, and I’d flip through my mail immediately and rip open any colorful envelopes before I even made it to the kitchen table.
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