OUT: e-mail, IN: Grandma mail

This time last year, crafty grandmas were posting photos and directions for the festive little Valentine's Day mailboxes they'd created for their grandchildren. The marvy mailboxes posted by Nina and Kathy were exactly what I needed for Bubby -- a Grandma Mail box for all the goodies to come from his long-distance grandma year-round, not just for Valentine's Day.

But I was late to the crafty grandma game. I searched high and low for the little white tin boxes. At Michaels, Joann's, Hobby Lobby, and the dollar bin at Target (where others mentioned finding theirs). No little white boxes anywhere.

So I purchased one of the sturdy formed-paper ones from Hobby Lobby, along with cute stickers of things of interest to Bubby, and I made my own Grandma Mail box just for Bubby. It turned out cute -- despite it feeling a teensy bit to me like the Grandma Mail box version of Eddie Murphy's 'house burgers'. One good thing about my version was that it was larger than the little white boxes the on-top-of-things grandmas had used, which would be ideal for the larger envelopes and small packages I planned to send to Megan to pass along to Bubby, lifting the little red flag to announce mail from Gramma had arrived.

Bubby, though, found the larger size perfect for packing the thing full with his cars and trucks and carrying it around the house. And because he loved doing so so much, Megan let him. And the Grandma Mail box -- being made of "sturdy" paper -- turned out not to be so sturdy after all. So much for that.

Well, it just so happened I was in Target the other day and -- glory be! -- the dollar bins beckoned, as they were filled to the brim with the little white tin boxes with red plastic flags, red ones, too. I wouldn't miss out this year! Halleluiah!

I brought it home, adorned it for Bubby, and this, friends and fellow grandmas, was included in the Grandma Bag I toted to the desert with me this week: 

It's adorned inside and out with stickers of things near and dear to Bubby's heart: trucks and emergency vehicles! There's his name on the other side, "Love, Gramma" on the bottom, and the little red flag to announce when mail has arrived from Gramma (placed there by Megan, of course; when the mail is too large, Bubby will find a "Notification of Package" form directing him to see Mommy to pick up the real thing).

This year I was prepared. I thought ahead. And when I say I thought ahead, I mean I really thought ahead: I wanted Birdy to have a Grandma Mail box, too, so I bought one for him, to be decorated later.

But I didn't stop there. Determined to not be caught without a box again, I bought several -- so each and every one of my grandkids to come will have a Grandma Mail box:

Eight should be enough. Megan and Preston plan to have three or four kids and the rest should cover Brianna and Andrea's kiddos. Forget that Brianna is nowhere near ready to have children yet and that Andrea swears she never will have children. Ya just never know.

As a former Girl Scout leader, the motto I once drilled into the heads of my little Daisies and Brownies has now become my Grandma Motto: Be Prepared!

I'm pretty sure I am prepared now. At least when it comes to Grandma Mail boxes!

Today's question:

What's the best thing you recently received in the mail -- USPS mail, not e-mail?