In late October, I mailed a note to one of my daughters with a check inside. It took two weeks for her to receive it. I was actually on my way to the bank to stop payment on the check when she texted me to let me know that the check had finally arrived.

Last Christmas, I shipped a package by Federal Express to this same daughter. I shipped it from a Federal Express office. Instead of leaving the package in the apartment complex office, which was the norm in her complex, the carrier set it outside the door of her apartment building. (This is what the driver wrote in his own notes!) It was during a period of time when there was a lot of heavy snow in the Boston area. She never received the box, and Federal Express refused to reimburse us in any way. We lost about $250 in gifts and gift cards, including some handmade gifts.

Tonight on the news I saw a story about a man whose curbside mailbox was robbed of today's mail. He was interviewed on the news and said that he is now going to have to pay for a post office box in order to make sure his mail has a safe location where he can go pick it up.

Some thieves are so bold that they follow UPS and Federal Express trucks and steal the packages they drop off as soon as they leave.

I read a Bubble here a few days ago about a problem that one of our members had when sending a package using UPS. The writer was very upset with the UPS had dealt with it.

What's left?

I feel so discouraged about shipping or mailing anything anymore. I don't feel as if we have a safe mail carrier system, unless we want to spend a ridiculous amount on insurance, getting signatures, having P.O. boxes, etc. Is that what things have come to?

Fortunately, I only have one package to mail this year, to my parents, since we will be seeing all our daughters and most of our grandkids in December and January.

For future Christmas and birthday gifts, I think I will just email Amazon gift cards to everyone who is out of town. I don't know what else to do. I hate to spend as much on postage as I do on the gifts I send, and it has almost come to that.

Pool mail service has certainly affected my Christmas spirit ... especially regarding out-of-town relatives!

Do any of you have any suggestions for affordable and reliable ways to ship gifts?

(Photo credit: www.morguefile.com)

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