Gone postal

One of the things I love about the holiday season is that it’s an excuse to make everything special. You bust out your fancy dishes, you put your big-girl heels on. And if you’re lucky, or simply an optimist, everything around you shines a little brighter than usual. As a designer, that’s how I want everything to be, always.

It vexes me when things we have to use (tissue boxes, sock packaging, etc.) miss an opportunity to come packaged in fabulousness. There’s no reason that basic necessities can’t pack a little style punch (or at the very least, nice typography). I grumble about this on most trips to the grocery store, and always, always when I visit the post office.

I’m big on holiday snail mail, and it makes me happy to consider every last bit of what I send out to family and friends, from the cards themselves (which I usually make) to the pen I use to painstakingly hand-write addresses. The one time a year I send mail to everyone I know, I want it to be extra-special.

Then I come face to face with the USPS collection of meh seasonal postage stamps… and… ugh. The mind reels.

I’m all for a cute gingerbread house in a pinch, but I’m always amazed and dismayed at the dearth of well-designed, contemporary options in the world of postage stamps. So this year I was delighted to discover the custom postage stamp option on Zazzle. Design your own! Ingenious. All that stood between me and my dream stamp was the input of a PayPal password.

I’m the only one of my family (and most of my friends) who lives in southern California, so I wanted my special stamps to have a little LA flavor. And if they happened to show off our sunshiny climate, well, that would be ok, too. I used to walk to a bus stop for a New York commute in the snow uphill both ways, so I’m totally entitled to rub it in.

I am, admittedly, obsessed with the end result. Zazzle is bananas. My stamps arrived right on time and the color and printing were spot-on. Best of all, they fall into my favorite category of everything: non-ugly.


I may have accidentally created a custom-postage-stamp-ordering monster.  Hopefully, she is the lovable Christmas-muppet kind of monster, whose family embraces her eccentricities while refilling her spiked eggnog as her holiday dreams come true.

Cheers to a season of extra-special, all around. I am sending some to you, with a foxy-looking stamp.