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Disclaimer – this is another postal post.  But I can’t resist writing it because I mail-truckam completely amazed.

Those of you living in the States full time are probably accustomed to such miraculous service, but I am left with my mouth agape, saying Gee Whiz over and over again.

I had five Christmas boxes to mail off, and dreaded going to the Post Office.  When I went to the USPO web site to research what it would cost to mail my packages I discovered that I wouldn’t have to go to the Post Office at all; the Post Office would come to me.

That’s not quite true; I had to go to the Post Office to pick up Priority Mail boxes in which to ship the goodies.  But they’re free – which means I didn’t have to stand in the long holiday line to pay for them.  I simply walked in, took what I needed and walked out. I have to admit, I expected bells to ring and policemen to run out to arrest me for stealing.  But no.

AND there is a flat rate for mailing these priority-rate boxes.  A large box costs $12.50 to mail to a US destination, and a smaller box $9.30.  It doesn’t matter how much it weighs, as long as it’s less than 70 pounds (you couldn’t get 70 pounds in those boxes unless you’re mailing gold, which I don’t recommend).

So I packed my boxes, went online, printed mailing labels and postage, paid online with a credit card, attached the labels to the boxes (I used plain paper and clear packing tape), made an online request for pick-up and that was that.  This morning I put the boxes by my front door and when I returned from errands they were gone.  In their place was a receipt from the mail carrier. They will be delivered from California to Vermont and points in between in 2-3 days.  And I can track them.

The only way they could improve the service, I think, would be to do the shopping for me and pay for the presents.  Maybe next year?

n.b. Reader Giovanni sent in a very useful comment which said, in part,

“Shall we tell to ours readers that in Italy we have a PostaCelere? You go to the Post Office buy your standard package and send it for a 10-30 euro. Your package will be delivered in 24-48 hrs in any civilized location worldwide.”

I didn’t want this very helpful information to be buried in comments.  I had no idea this service was available in Italy and am happy to know about it.