it’s December 23, and I’m feverishly trying to finish a Christmas thank you gift for our Mail Lady. I designed a cute gingerbread postal theme card. I know it sounds strange, see below for a photo of the card. The idea popped into my head one day, and the thought just made me laugh. Right then I knew I had to sketch it out. This is my first year of offering it, so I don’t know what the mail carriers will think of it. But I have sold a good number of these cards. I’m sure I’ll got feedback after the holidays.
Anyhow, about the gift. I came up with an idea to make chocolates that look like mail trucks. I had done it before with school buses. So why not mail trucks?
I went through several iterations of the design. These are small labels that will fit on Hershey nuggets. So when you’re designing for a small scale like that, there’s a lot of considerations to take into place. And you also have to think about where it will be printed on. If it’s an inkjet printer, you have to be careful of how the lines will print out. I went through several designs to get to this final one.
Here’s a photo of what I came up with. A few things to note. I have a laser printer, but it’s not color. So I printed the labels on white paper. Then I used Crayola thin line markers to make the blue and red lines. The funny thing is I forgot to add the wheels! So then I had to spend time drawing those in. But I like it! It gives it more of a whimsical feel.
I get the “sharing size” bag of Hershey nuggets, it has 27 pieces. The page prints 24 labels so it’s a close match. Then once I wrap each nugget, I hold it together with scotch tape. Then I put them in a cellophane bag and add a festive ribbon. It’s all ready for gift giving. But I don’t stop there.
Now, the final step! I placed the chocolates in a tall mug. It has my gingerbread postal design. And it’s a bigger 15 ounce mug. Tada! All done. I bubble wrap to protect it, then place it in a gift bag with my card. Then off to the mailbox it goes for our Mail lady.
You might be asking – Why do I go through such great lengths to give something special to our mail lady? And why do I design so many postal theme cards?
The answer is – my dad. He was a Mailman for many decades before retiring. I developed an affinity for the Postal Service through that. During the holiday season, he would work long hours to deliver cards and packages. And his customers would give him gifts and cards. He would bring home things like Starbucks coffee and Frango chocolates. We lived in Washington state at the time, and the locals are very loyal to that coffee chain and chocolate brand. Our Christmas tree would be lined with all sorts of goodies. And of course he shared all that with us. I had a steady supply of candy and chocolate, thanks to the people on his route. As a kid, that was a big deal! I looked forward to it every year.
I also saw how hard he worked. The roads could be icy and treacherous, but he still had to go in and deliver the mail. There could be a snowstorm. He still went in. He would leave early morning in the dark, and return home in the dark. The hours were long. And this was before Amazon became as big as it was today. I can only imagine how much more busy the post office is now with those Prime deliveries.
It’s been many years since he retired. But I still make it a point to thank my mail carrier. When I see them, I can’t help but think of my dad. So every year I make a new design in honor of him.
Here are some of the designs I’ve made over the years. They’re all on Zazzle. When I have time I’ll post them on this site too.
This is my very first design published in 2015. I had seen people put antlers and red noses on their cars. And wreaths in the front on the grill. Surely you’ve seen that in your area? So I thought – why not put it on a mail truck? Be kind. I was fairly new to graphic design then. I’ve come a long way since.
This design is more of a cozy winter scene. It has a mail truck driving down a windy hill.
Then I have to share my pandemic design! I sketched out a scene where two dogs are looking out the window. They see the mailman coming in his truck, then they notice he’s wearing a mask. But to them, it’s a muzzle. So they’re feeling a bit of confusion. They don’t quite realize why he’s wearing one. I thought it was hilarious at the time. When I look at it now I think “2020 sure did suck!”
I have other designs. But do you really want to see them all? Probably not. Now you know why I’m so passionate about making these. These postal workers do a lot to keep the mail and packages coming to our homes. A small gesture like a hand written note will brighten their day and they’ll feel appreciated. You don’t even need a special card. Any one will do. Just acknowledge what they do, day-in and day-out.
Do you have an idea for a card? Can’t find what you’re looking for? Let me know, I may be able to create it. I start to develop a concept in the fall, as the weather grows colder and we approach the holiday season. I might have a goofy funny idea, or it may be sweet. I suppose I could try something more traditional. Let me know what you’d like to see!