When I was about nine I got my first mailbox. I think it might have actually been a coin bank, although looking back I guess that wouldn't be a very good bank would it, if it was like a mailbox with a door that opened so you could get the money any time you wanted. Obviously my parents were not that concerned about teaching me about saving.
But I digress. My dad, who worked for the postal service, had a HUGE mailbox. The kind you can put packages in. He could have put ME inside the mailbox for that matter. In one of his rare moments of family participation he was kind enough to actually cement a post in next to the family mailbox and install my mailbox right there like it was a "real" one. I was so excited.
I started leaving notes for the mailman. One time I left him cheap cologne. I think he might have left me a note once. It didn't really seem to matter -- it was just so cool to have a mailbox of my own. Bright blue, red flag. Six inches long at the most. Ridiculous looking on a huge 4x4 post. Didn't care.
Over the years I've always decorated my mailboxes in fun and funky ways. (I've always wanted to get a fancy one like whitehall mailboxes but could never afford one.) Once I covered one all in postage stamps and then covered it in UV-safe shellac. (It faded anyway.) Most of the time I just paint them funky. My current one used to have lady bugs and ivy on it, but all the lady bugs either fell off or were stolen by neighborhood hoodlums. Custom mailboxes rock.
Have you made any personalized mailboxes for your own house? (See comments for a link to some really artistic ones!)