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Mail at Christmas Time

picture of Christmas mail

The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is hectic for most of us, even in the best of years. There is so much going on and so much to get done that, if we're not careful, Christmas will find us more Scrooge-like than we would ever want to be. Today's post is about three people who had problems at Christmas time, problems mainly of their own making. And all three problems involved the mail system in one way or another. (Boy, how long ago was the stamp on the right valid?!) 🙂

A grandfather bought a hobby horse by mail order as a Christmas present for his granddaughter. The toy arrived in 189 pieces. The instructions said that it could be put together in an hour. However it took the old man two days to assemble the toy!

Finally, when the hobby horse was all put together, he wrote a check, cut it into 189 pieces, and mailed it off with the bill to the company.


Here are two lessons on being careful preparing your Christmas cards.

There was a woman who had waited until the last minute to send Christmas cards. She knew she had 49 folks on her list. So she rushed into a store and bought a package of 50 cards without even looking at them.

Still in a big hurry, she addressed the 49 and signed them, still without reading the message inside.

On Christmas Day when things had quieted down somewhat, she happened to come across the leftover card and finally read the message she had sent to 49 of her friends.

Much to her dismay, it read like this:

"This card is just to say,
A little gift is on its way."

Suddenly she realized that 49 of her friends had been expecting a gift from her — a gift that had never come.


A kindly 90-year-old grandmother found buying presents for family and friends a bit much last Christmas. So this year she wrote out checks for each of them to send in their Christmas cards.

In each card she carefully wrote, "Buy your own present this year" and then sent them off.

After the Christmas festivities were over, she found the checks under a pile of papers on her desk!

Everyone on her gift list had received a beautiful Christmas card from her with "Buy your own present this year" written inside — without a check!


Do you have any of your own tales of woe to share about mail mishaps at Christmas time?


"Jesus had a special connection with children because He knew what it was like to be a child." — Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Beware if you think you're doing OK with your mail — the e-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail.

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7 Comments on “Mail at Christmas Time”

  1. #1 Carrie
    on Dec 20th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I love the “buy your own Christmas present” story. 😮 I’m still chuckling….

    Rob adds: I do too, Carrie. It’s a good one for sure.

  2. #2 Ron
    on Dec 20th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for the chuckle: ) This was a pleasant escape from the holiday craziness that also hits about now.

    Rob adds: My heart goes out to you. We opened our Christmas presents last night, and our kids from Michigan headed home this morning because of work demands. 🙁

  3. #3 Caroline
    on Dec 20th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    well, i have a story about the mail. one year we didn’t get one of our Christmas packages until February or March! it had been sent to the wrong country! in some ways it was more fun to have Christmas at a time when there usually is none. for several years after that i remember secretly wishing that one of the packages would come late again, but i don’t think one has, at least not that late!

    Rob adds: Thanks for your story, Caroline. I wonder if the mistake was that of the postal system or of the person who addressed the package. 🙂

  4. #4 Vikki
    on Dec 21st, 2010 at 8:26 am

    That stamp dates back to Christmas of 1977.

    The “Buy your own Christmas gift” was great! It actually sounds like something I would do. In my haste to get my Christmas cards out, I have been known to send them out unsigned.

    Rob adds: Thanks, Vikki, for the info on the stamp. I loved your story of sending unsigned Christmas cards. Hopefully they figured it out from your return address on the envelope. 😀

  5. #5 Kathleen
    on Dec 21st, 2010 at 11:02 am

    We once received a Christmas card, unsigned, with no return address! If I remember rightly, though, we figured it out from the stamp. That’s one to definitely avoid….

    Rob adds: That’s an amazing bit of detective work on your part! 😀

  6. #6 Marilyn
    on Dec 23rd, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Over the years we have had 10-15 mail items reach us here in Australia via Austria. Well, I can understand that confusion. But other mail has been redirected from Costa Rica, Argentina, and Antigua. We have also received unsigned cards. I pray I haven’t sent any!

    Rob adds: I can understand the Austria/Australia confusion too — when I taught German, my students were constantly getting the two countries confused. But those other countries? I don’t get it. Thanks for your comment, Marilyn.

  7. #7 Dan Olinger
    on Dec 24th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    After my parents moved from Boston to New Mexico, my Dad grew tired of getting mail forwarded from Boston, from people who didn’t even know them well enough to know they’d moved. So he filled out a change-of-address card that read “Mel Olinger, General Delivery, Seward, Alaska,” and sent it to the Boston post office. Of course, it had to go through the PO in NM first, and unbeknownst to Dad, the postmaster in NM “updated” their address there too. That was just before Christmas, and they wondered why they didn’t hear from anybody that year — until they figured it out and got the problem corrected.

    Rob adds: Interesting story, Dan.