There have been suggestions, ideas, and conversation on Christmas next year. I wanted to offer a few suggestions that I hope may add a renewed spirit to our holidays. I think money issues and shipping costs have added to the idea of doing away with gifts for the adults, However, I think if we eliminate this tradition we will lose a lot of the Christmas spirit. (Not so much for the getting of a gift, but the excitement we all feel of giving.)
I would like to see us all attend Mom and Dad’s on Christmas day, but perhaps we can have it a little later in the day. This allows us all to enjoy more of our Christmas morning with our own families and yet celebrate with each other as well. I also find I do not get hungry at 1 pm as we have a Christmas morning breakfast at our home. I would like to see us move to a more informal dinner and move to appetizers or a later repast of soup and bread and things we can all contribute to. This takes a lot of the work and cost off Mom. We do a Christmas Eve dinner of clam chowder, or fish chowder, homemade bread, and an antipasto, but I would be willing to do something else on Christmas Eve for after mass enjoyment. Maybe we can all take turns bringing the main dish, dessert, libation, (wine or a yummy holiday drink like eggnog martinis.) Kay and Bob do great Christmas cookies so maybe they can bring those as dessert. Maybe the Culver’s can bring an antipasto or a shrimp platter etc. There are lots of yummy appetizer recipes that should be easy ones to whip up. All we need to do is coordinate with Mom and maybe this becomes our gifts to each other. For those who are not able to come home we need to find less expensive ideas for them to help with shipping costs. A lot of us have annual gifts we give every year, so maybe we can continue this but maybe add fun twists to our gifts like your gift has to fit in a mason jar!! (Any size mason!) (This would not work for Lala and Beth and Dee….hmmmm)
The day after Christmas has fallen by the wayside the past couple years and it is one I look so forward to. Most of us have outgrown the after Xmas. sales but we can still have lunch together at Biaggi’s. Let’s set a time to meet and if you want to shop just meet the gang at a reserved time.
My family has done some things the past few years that we enjoy and wish to share with the family. We do an evening to go see Christmas lights. We pack a thermos of hot beverage and enjoy a night of awe-inspiring lights! Syracuse has it’s Lights on the Lake. We could take a few cars, pack some goodies and go see them! We also find a house to go see it’s décor for the holidays. The first year we visited the Biltmore. I am sure we can find a place to visit like Sonnenberg Gardens or maybe we can spend an afternoon in Skaneateles. (Maybe the Eastman House.) I am sure there are other places in our area we can find to visit.
I think we have all gotten too caught up with time issues (or lack there of.) Maybe we need to find the joy in simple things like baking Christmas cookies together and sharing liqueur coffee drinks and Christmas music… or spending time together playing games. Maybe we can start a weekend we shop together and then stop to get a seasonal latte at Starbucks. Please give it some thought and share suggestions to help make it a simpler holiday and less stressed out one. If we look ahead at our calendars maybe it will allow us to peg in priority time for family fun.
Happy Holiday 2016!!
Info on the 2016 USPS Postage Rate Increase
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will implement new postage rates on Sunday, January 17, 2016 for several mail classes and special services.
Summary of the 2016 Postage Rate Increase:
First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.) rates will not increase and will remain $0.49 when purchased at the Post Office. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22 (same as 2015).
The discounted “Metered Mail” category for First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.), which includes online postage providers and postage meters, will not increase and will remain $0.485 in 2016. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22 (same as 2015).
First Class Mail Flats (1 oz.) will not increase and will remain at $0.98 in 2016. Each additional ounce will cost $0.22 (same as 2015).
Postcard rates will not increase and will remain at $0.35 (same as 2015).
Priority Mail Express will see an average rate increase of 15.6% in 2016. Additionally, the Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Box will be discontinued in 2016.
After three years without a shipping rate increase, Priority Mail will see an average rate increase of 9.4% in 2016. Additionally, Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C will be discontinued in 2016.
First Class Package Service will see an average rate increase of 12.8% in 2016. Additionally, the maximum weight for First Class Package Service Commercial Base pricing (online postage) will be increased from 13 ounces to 15.99 ounces. Also, Commercial Plus pricing for First Class Package Service will be eliminated in 2016.
Parcel Select Nonpresort (purchased online) will be renamed to Parcel Select Ground in 2016. Standard Post will be renamed Retail Ground in 2016.
Priority Mail Express International will see an average rate increase of 11.6% in 2016.
Priority Mail International will see an average rate increase of 10.2% in 2016.
First Class Package International Service will see an average rate increase of 21.6% in 2016.
Other USPS News:
Click-N-Ship Pricing: Starting in 2016, Commercial Base Pricing (online discounts) will no longer be available for the Click-N-Ship program for shipping labels printed on USPS.com. All pricing for the Click-N-Ship program will be Post Office/Retail Rates.
The U.S. Postal Service will discontinue the Critical Mail service in 2016.