Mail for the mailman

I just learned that it is unlawful to tip your mail carrier, since monetary gifts would put USPS employees at risk of violating federal ethics laws. However you can give your mail carrier a gift worth 20 dollars or less.

I am going to buy our mailman some chocolate bars (like those dark chocolate Lindt ones with sea salt? OMG! and the Theo ones with salted almonds?) and tuck those sweets inside a big decorated envelope, along with a handwritten note of appreciation. I am going to address the envelope to my mailman by name and then stow it away inside my mailbox. Hopefully he’ll like receiving mail while busy delivering mail.

P.S. My mailman looks exactly like this guy, except he’s not white and his delivery route is a bit more densely populated.

Holiday mail

So far I have received three Holiday cards by post- a promising sign. Even though Holiday cards can feel like one more obligation in a season of over-extension, Buck Up!

Meanwhile my cards are not yet made OR mailed. So how’s that for practicing what I preach? I did, however, buy Hanukkah stamps, Kwanzaa stamps, and Christmas stamps for this Saturday’s MAKE MAIL! card making workshop for kids. So I’m just half a hypocrite.

Are you sending Holiday cards this year? Give me a pep talk, people!


Ezra Jack Keats

This past weekend we went to the Ezra Jack Keats show at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan. I have always been a fan of Keats’ collage illustrations and his unprecedented choice in the 1960’s, an era of racial segregation and oppression, to portray children of color in his stories. I got a bit emotional seeing his original work. My kids loved spotting panels on the wall from some of their favorite books. Before I was scolded by the security guard I took this snap of a panel from Keats’ book, “Letter To Amy,” which will be a Christmas gift for my daughter. Shh. Don’t tell.

There is also some original Keats related correspondence such as a letter from 1963 to a publicity person for Viking Press, the publisher of “The Snowy Day.”

Dear Miss Crittendon,

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a perfectly charming little book. I wish I had some grandchildren to give it to. Yes I do! 

Sincerely yours, 

Langston Hughes

The show is up until January 29, 2012 and worth the trip.