When we live away from home, parcels that arrive from family after traveling thousands of miles, carrying gifts, cards and letters are like a whiff of home and a warm hug on a cold afternoon. They are truly one of my favorite things.
When I first moved to Canada, we lived in a tiny bungalow with a huge window that I loved looking out of, as I settled in my new life and updated my resume on the laptop for the umpteenth time. Some mornings, the perfectly perfect, Canadian street of snow covered houses, would rumble into life as a big truck from a mail delivery company would arrive. I told my mother one day as we did our daily phone call that I love watching the truck deliver parcels to houses.
Next week, the truck arrived and the mail man did his usual round, however instead of going back to his truck he turned to our house. My mother had sent me a parcel. I couldn’t contain my excitement as I signed for the package and closed the door. Watching my name and address in my mother’s hand writing made me smile and warm tears rolled down my eyes as I opened one thoughtful gift after another. That one parcel brought the warmth and love of home, right to me. It felt like a touch of paradise.
Since then my mother sends me regular parcels. She packs everything in old pillow covers so that the contents stay safe. The post office staff in Islamabad is now well-acquainted with all of us siblings and where we live. Her parcels contain new seasonal clothes, hand written letters and little thoughtful gifts. As my family has grown, the parcels now have clothes for the children, adorable little shoes and Urdu books. It’s a lot of fun discussing with her each and everything she sent, and ofcourse sharing pictures of us enjoying the gifts.
I love these surprise packages, whether from my mother, sister, my mother-in-law or a friend. Before Eid there are special parcels containing “eidi” for us all. The DHL, Canada Post and UPS delivery guys are now on first name basis with me and no longer surprised by the exotic locations our parcels come from. We get to chat a bit every time, as I pay custom fees on the parcels, a fact my mother is super annoyed at. However I always tell her that her parcels are priceless and a little custom fees is nothing but a formality. We have however learnt to properly declare the contents now, mentioning that they are gifts, along with the correct value to help customs staff. That does seem to help.
Are you expecting a parcel this Eid?