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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Catalogue Christmas

A sure sign that the holiday season is upon us is the huge stack of catalogues burgeoning by my bedside table; it speaks volumes. There is a satisfaction that comes from turning the pages laden with enticing products and earmarking them for later comparison. If that feeling is good, just wait.... it even gets better. When I move into the purchase mode, I do so online. Shortly thereafter, a confirmation email arrives. I drag and drop it into a folder called Mail Order Purchases. From that moment on, I have the habit of forgetting my good deed. An email verifying that “Your order has been shipped” reminds me of the pending delivery. Once again, however, thoughts of mail order gifts slip from my mind in the bustle and flow of everyday life. When a bright yellow card appears in my mailbox, I recognize the code. It means I have been summoned. The Ruler and Emperor Supreme of the local U.S. Post Office is telling me to come in and get a package --now! The local Post Office is so small that if you blink while driving by, you will have missed it. My Postmaster General needs the space occupied by my deliveries for the next truck load of deliveries in the afternoon. My boxes take up precious floor space in our little post office. When I have the pleasure of picking up my packages from the post office myself, the Postmaster inevitably has my boxes stacked up on the counter ready for my signature before I even open the front door. He catches a glimpse of my car, and he is at the ready, willing to serve. When he sees me struggling with packages, mail and cane, he will even help me out to the car. I feel so special! The post office keeps a recycle box at the ready, under the counter. Occasionally, I open my shipments then and there so I can discard and recycle what I do not need. It is a cathartic way to lighten my load. With multiple large orders, such a small change can make the transportation of the gifts to the car considerably , considerably ddmore manageable. Once I arrive at home, the gifts are inventoried and hidden until I can wrap them. Every year, I do such a bang-up job hiding the gifts, that one or two refuse to come out. I find them sometime before July, usually.

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