Merry Christmas from die Post, DHL, USPS and Clayton C.!

On December Twenty-Somethingth, 2010, we shipped a carefully weighed and packed box Sarah bought at the post office off to her family in Kansas City. It contained some Christmas loot, and we knew it was not going to arrive in time for Christmas, but we had hoped that the departure late in the season would make a timely, intact delivery more likely. Still, we had our doubts, given

  1. the inclement weather on either side of the Atlantic at the time
  2. the lost box of similar goodies from the previous Christmas package

But lightning never strikes (pretty much) the same shipment twice, right? Just like last time, we kept a close eye on the tracking number. We got more and more nervous as the weather cleared up, the holiday shipment traffic (presumably) died down, the weeks rolled by, and still there was no sign of our package, other than that it had entered the U.S. and was awaiting delivery.

Four days before the two month-mark, it arrived at its destination: my in-laws home in Kansas City. Well, most of it. You can see here it took a beating. We sure as hell did a better job taping it up than that, and if memory serves, the tape we used was brown colored, not clear. Looks to me, based on the identation on the top, that someone ran over our box.

According to the manifest, just one item — a measly bar of Choceur chocolate — was missing. But hey, look what Sarah’s mom and dad got in trade! Some Walmart Nutty Bar knock-offs and Clayton C.’s prescription medication! Who the heck is Clayton C.? Beats me! I hope he managed to get a refill on his pills through some other means.

You can see below that the most fragile parts of the shipment — carefully smuggled Marks & Spencer butter cookies and real Lebkuchen in a beautiful tin — also did not escape unscathed. At least they escaped in an edible state (so they report). The shipment to my own parents — slightly smaller and just under the limit for the next cheaper class of shipment, but without a tracking number — has yet to surface at all.

I guess we’re not shipping presents via the mail system anymore. From now on, it’ll be higher-cost carriers like UPS or FedEx. Or via visitor courier checked luggage. And maybe our families will just do Christmas in July instead.