Chase Leaver, a 7-year-old from Lockport, had just finished writing a letter to his grandmother. He addressed it to his "Nonnie" in North Tonawanda, drew an American flag "postage stamp" in the corner, colored it in with a red crayon, and dropped it in the mailbox.
A few days later, it arrived in Natalie Leaver's mailbox.
"Dear Nonnie, I love you. Love, Chase," the letter read. It included a picture he'd drawn of the two of them together.
Nonnie was thrilled.
"He has been asking me if I got it. He will be so happy it made it here," Leaver said.
Chase had put letters to Nonnie in the mailbox before but, without postage, none had ever made it to their destination.
She said the post office's kind gesture made the Christmas season all the more special for her family.
"I told some friends of ours and they were amazed," she said. "It actually brought tears to their eyes."
USPS representatives didn't know how the letter made it through or who made it happen. There was no stamp and no meter marking.
Karen Mazurkiewicz, a spokesperson for the postal service, called it "a miracle of the season."
"In most cases, items with no postage are returned to the sender," she said. "This appears to be a special delivery."