Since I live in Iowa, the shopping options are pretty limited. If I want a new scarf from Zara, I order it online. If I want a veritable rainbow of pompom bag charms, I order them online. If I want pretty much any sort of specialty product, I order it online. And that means I get a lot of packages delivered to my front porch. I’ve always loved getting things in the mail (who doesn’t?), but I don’t think I ever fully appreciated the work of the letter carrier until I read this essay about the trials and tribulations of being a mailwoman. The last paragraph really struck me. In it, the author suggests offering various little treats (Gatorade and cookies) and behavioral changes (check your mail every day) that can really help out your local letter carrier.
And so, in the spirit of offering much-deserved thanks to some of the hardest working civil servants out there, let’s all take a moment to celebrate Thank a Mailman Day tomorrow, February 4th. In my case, I’ll be thanking a woman named Mary. She trudges through snow and across icy sidewalks to get my mail to to me almost every day, and I’m so thankful for her. Since we gave her a $20 Starbucks card for Christmas (Postal Service employees aren’t allowed to accept cash or gifts valued above $20), I wanted to do something a bit more creative for this little-known day of appreciation. So, I whipped out my paints to add some vintage airmail charm to a small wooden box and stuffed a few sets of hand warmers inside. Hopefully they’ll keep Mary’s hands nice and cozy on her route for the rest of the week.
Even if you don’t have the time or resources to make a little gift for your letter carrier, I highly recommend writing him or her a quick note of thanks and dropping it into your mailbox on your way to work tomorrow.
For this project, you’ll need the following:
• an unfinished wooden box
• white, red and blue acrylic paint
• clear varnish
• black pen
• hand warmers or treat of your choice
1. Start by painting your box white. You’ll probably need a few coats to get a nice opaque finish.
2. Using a ruler, mark where you want your stripes to be. Paint alternating red and blue stripes and let dry completely.
3. With a fine-tip marker or gel pen, write “Thank You” in the center of your box. Let ink dry.
4. Cover the whole box with two coats of varnish, skipping over the letters if you think the black ink might bleed (try testing this on a separate surface before swiping over the letter with the varnish).
5. Stuff some treats of your choice inside and wrap up with a bow!