The U.S. Postal Service handled its business - and mine, too, this year.
I debated for weeks leading up to Christmas whether it would be simpler to just mail a check or gift card to my sister in Illinois and to a sister-in-law in Indianapolis or go ahead and send the Liz Claiborne wallets that I purchased on sale - with them in mind - pre-pandemic.
Normally I make my way to Indianapolis every holiday season, bearing gifts for four of my six nieces and nephews who live there. But not this year. I planned to follow the recommendations of public officials who were warning Christmas gatherings with people outside our immediate household could unwittingly increase spread of the novel coronavirus.
I don't mail many gifts, figuring the mailing expense could help foot the cost of a nice gift card or simply be part of a gift check.
But just a week before Christmas, I decided I would mail the wallets. Otherwise, they'd likely stay in a hallway closet bin for the next 12 months.
The wallets couldn't weigh that much, and so surely shouldn't cost that much to mail. So I packaged them up in gold, bubble-wrap cushioned mailers I already had.
The next bit of concern was timing. According to my own standards, I had procrastinated. I assumed I might have to endure a long line at the post office, but didn't. Just six people were in line at the Dupont Road post office branch a mile from my home when I arrived. In less than five minutes, the line quickly got shorter when two of them - a couple - moved to a self-service kiosk to get their packages out.
My holiday mailing cost was minimal: $5.30 to get one mailer to Indianapolis and just $5.35 to get the other to Charleston, Illinois - about two hours southwest of Indianapolis.
The promised delivery date on the receipt for both was Dec. 22, though the clerk said I could expect Tuesday or Wednesday.
I was surprised to receive a text at 6:56 p.m. ET on Dec. 21 from my sister that said "We got the package today and ..." a few emojis later, a "Thank You" GIF.
When I checked the tracking on the package to Indianapolis, that had arrived there the same afternoon. Ironically, a card with the gift for my brother, nieces and nephew that I put in a mail slot at the Dupont post office didn't make it to Indianapolis until a day later. I could have put everything in the package, since they do all live together, but really assumed the card might arrive the same day or day before.
The good thing is everything got there - and before Christmas.
So thumbs up for the postal service from this happy mailer. Those workers delivered for me - literally, and on time.