Usually about this time of year I'm frantically packing boxes, tying up loose ribbons and sweating out the details of collecting, wrapping, packaging and sending off Christmas gifts to my distant family.
By "this time of year," I mean December 20 to 23, the last days it's possible to send a package and hope for delivery before The Day. Giving gifts to my parents, brothers, sister and their kids is one of the best parts of my Christmas -- it makes me feel connected to them although they are all a couple of states to the right.
I'm happy to report I went to the post office with my boxes yesterday, the earliest I've ever shipped. And I feel a major sense of accomplishment. Consider:
- I didn't have to pay FedEx a dime to get something somewhere overnight.
- I didn't even have to pay second-day air charges to UPS or Uncle Sam.
- I was able to ship with regular priority mail, the one that takes two to three days and is reasonably priced.
Two or three days? Go ahead and take four, U.S. Postal Service. Don't rush on account of me, I beat the clock. I mailed my packages in the TEENS of December. Yes, it was December 19, but that's in the TEENS.
Now I have time to bake more cookies, watch a new NetFlix movie or add a few more lights to the outdoor holiday extravaganza that will peak right around Christmas Eve. (Whereupon the lights will re main displayed until the following weekend, only to be boxed back up for another year.)