Monday, February 26, 2007

My Mail is Still Celebrating Kwanza

It’s almost March and I’m still using the Kwanza postage stamps I bought at the post office last December. Somehow I miscalculated how many I needed to send out my Christmas, Holiday, Seasons Greetings cards.

It feels a little odd using stamps out of season, but I’m afraid if I hold onto them until this December, the post office will sneak in a rate hike. Of course I’d still be able to use them with a makeup stamp, but it just wouldn’t look right. My Mom uses penny stamps to make up the postage for first class stamps she’s had for 20 years. Letters from her have so many stamps on them they look like they’ve traveled over distance and time. That’s not quite the look I’m going for.

I didn’t specifically set out to buy Kwanza stamps, but by the time I finally decided to send out my cards, it’s all the post office had left. It was either Kwanza or Flag stamps. I’m not unpatriotic, but I wanted something a little more in keeping with the season.

Now the holidays have come and gone, and I worry what people think when they get something from me in the mail. Do they notice the postage? Does it make my correspondence look dated? Do they think I’m too cheap to buy a non-holiday stamp? They’d be right. I am too cheap to buy more stamps. I plan to use the ones I have until I run out, but I don’t want them thinking it.

Kwanza, while more main stream, is still a bit of mystery for most people. In the African American community it’s politically incorrect not to at least acknowledge Kwanza, but only the most Orthodox can accurately name the seven daily principles. I wonder if people in the general public see my out of season stamps and think, "Is it Kwanza? I thought that was in December. I guess it changes like Ramadan." And, in the drive to be culturally sensitive, start wishing people a Happy Kwanza.

I am concerned, but not enough to change my stamps. So, until I run out, I’ve still got the holiday spirit.

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