For anyone curious why the post office's holiday stamps this year are so, well, truly beyond hideous, I may have an answer: Lowest Bidder.
How do I know?
This morning I trekked to our neighborhood post office with boxes in their brown paper, all my forms filled out properly and walked right up to a window. Amazing. (See? This is what a little planning ahead means...No Lines!)
Usually my post office is staffed by a vibrantly surly lot. But perhaps because of the lack of lines, and that my forms were filled out, in advance, before I got to the window, my usual rude guy was actually feeling fairly spritely. In other words, he talked.
So we chatted for a minute how spectacularly hard it is to actually make a post stamp as supremely ugly as the holiday stamps are this year. And he said that the postal service even asks employees for suggestions. But that stamps are no longer printed by them -- but contracted out to the lowest bidder.
Now, before all you needlepoint lovers start to attack me, I understand that needlepoint can be a lovely craft and art. But to inflict a design on an entire nation that your great aunt Ethel wears on her holiday sweater while eating her third bowl of ambrosia salad is straight up cruel.
I bought the flower stamps. Next year, I'm designing my own even at the premium cost. (And maybe THAT'S what the postal service actually wants us to do..!)