Christmas with Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Last year at this time I did a post about my favorite Christmas-themed movies. This year I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite television series that never fails to warm my heart at Christmas-time.

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” first aired on the Hallmark Channel as a two-hour movie in 2013. In 2014 ten episodes aired as a series. Then, ten more individual two-hour made-for-TV movies aired over the following years through 2018.

I can tell you, I was hooked on this series from the opening credits of Episode 1. For me, it was a special show with unique characters and story lines that never failed to catch and hold my attention. Here’s why:

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” was set in Denver, Colorado, my home town. The opening credits usually feature an aerial shot of downtown Denver streets, or some nearby location that I instantly recognize.

The downtown Denver skyline in the opening scene of an episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

The show’s premise: a team of U.S. Post Office employees in the Dead Letter Office use their exceptional skills to unite misdirected and undeliverable mail with the intended recipients.

The team at work in the Dead Letter Office.

Sound boring? It’s not! In fact, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” is one of the most heart-felt, charming, and meaningful shows I’ve ever watched. It was also a ratings success.

Here’s the promo video for the first episode, which aired in 2014:

Each episode is, at its core, about hope and healing and the difference one person can make in the life of someone in need.

Another thing I love about the series is the quiet faith exhibited by Oliver O’Toole, the leader of the Post Office team, played by Eric Mabius.

Eric Mabius as Oliver O’Toole, the leader of “The Postables” team in the Dead Letter Office

In every episode Oliver’s faith in God is quietly on display, but never in-your-face. Oliver’s faith is simply “there.” When Shane, one of his team members, and someone who resists anything related to religion, is struggling in her life, Oliver tells her:

“I’m not perfect, but through it all, I have learned how to hold firm in a storm, not by holding on to whatever I can find for as long as I can, but by trusting that the one thing that matters in this world will never let go of me. And, Shane … That’s what perfect love is. Perfect love casts out all that pain, all that fear, and replaces it with hope. And hope is what you were asking for in that letter. And every Christmas since, hope is what you have been given. Don’t you see it? It’s right here for you.”

Crystal Lowe, Geoff Gustafson, Kristin Booth and Eric Mabius play the quirky team at the Dead Letter Office.

I have to confess, there’s a point in every episode where I tear up a little, but that’s because the show’s gentle messages of love, faith, forgiveness and redemption never fail to touch my heart. At the same time, I can tell you that each episode leaves me feeling hopeful and satisfied; and there’s always a lesson to be found about honor and doing your best to help others.

The team selects their next project.

So, this weekend, I’m firing up the DVD player and watching “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas.”

And if I make popcorn, I might even binge watch all the other episodes, too!

Have you ever watched “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”? I’d love to hear what you think of the show!

Ready to Fall into Autumn?

It’s finally Fall, and here in Colorado we’re at the peak viewing period to see our trees and foliage change colors.

Watching and appreciating the changing season is a tradition for me and my family. It’s something I grew up with and never get tired of seeing.

The leaves are changing color in my neighborhood.

Another enduring symbol of the changing season: pumpkins.

They’re everywhere at this time of year (are you tired of hearing the words “pumpkin spice latte” yet?).

Many years ago (long before Starbucks was even an idea) we celebrated the advent of Fall by going to local pumpkin parades.

From days gone by: A pumpkin pie day parade float in Longmont, Colorado.

In addition to parades, some local communities awarded ribbons and prizes to residents who grew the biggest pumpkins. Newspaper reporters snapped their pictures and printed them in the evening edition of the paper. It was a proud moment for people.

A blue ribbon for the 111 pound pumpkin on the right.

Another tradition: Without fail we watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on television with the same avid attention as if we’d never seen the show dozens of times before.

The best part about pumpkins—the thing we looked forward to the most every year—was carving them up (under adult supervision, of course).

Like clockwork on October 30, my sisters and I would lay newspapers all over the top of the kitchen breakfast table, and carefully dig out the seeds and pumpkin meat; then we carved faces into our pumpkins.

Then we’d proudly display them on our front porch, lit with candles, and looking as scary as possible.

Today I live in a neighborhood where there are no young children to trick-or-treat on Halloween night (they’ve all grown up and moved away to neighborhoods of their own). So I really miss those traditions we had as kids that marked the change of season.

What about you? Do you have any Fall traditions you grew up with and still carry on with your family? I’d love to hear about them!