So, I sent my nieces a couple of trinkets for Christmas and – because they are beautiful little socialites-in-training – they did what was expected and sent me a thank you note! But they didn’t send just ANY thank you note, they sent a Kate Spade Crane & Co., multi-colored, trilingual thank you note. I was very impressed, to say the least. My sister has taught them well.
That got me to thinking… people don’t send things in the mail enough these days. With the exception of wedding invitations, when was the last time you received a personal communication in the mail? This year, my parents even complained that they didn’t get as many Christmas cards as they normally do each year. Of course, they didn’t send out cards themselves, so I don’t really see how they had the room to complain.
I typically send out Christmas cards to my friends. But, given our age bracket and financial situations, most of my friends live transient lives. As a result, I set out to buy Christmas cards this year and then figured – what’s the point of buying them when I don’t really have anyone’s street address anyway? Instead, I went digital with the holiday greetings. I sent an e-Card from Hallmark.com. And, while everyone appreciated the sentiment, I actually felt a little guilty for not having to sign, address, lick and stamp envelopes in the days preceding Christmas. It’s become sort of a tradition.
I remember in middle school (before email was readily available) I wrote letters back and forth to my cousin in Chicago. We would buy pretty stationery and basically put into those letters the same types of things that people shoot off in an email on a daily basis. But, it took thought and effort to write down my thoughts onto a piece of paper, fold it just-so, put it into the envelope, address it, stamp it, and put it in the mail. And, I can remember the anticipation I felt when I would go to the mailbox and see the turquoise or purple or pink envelope in my mailbox. We wrote each other regularly for about two years. Then, she got an email address and we started emailing each other instead. But, after about six months of emailing, we basically stopped communicating altogether. It just wasn’t the same. Those handwritten letters added that personal touch that was lost when we took our communication to the internet.
I hardly send anything through the mail these days. I even pay my bills online. I can’t remember the last time I bought a stamp. And Lord knows it’s cheaper to communicate online (FREE) rather than to drop a note in the mail ($0.41) and the price of postage keeps going up and up and up!
Anyway, it felt so good to receive that cute little thank you card from my nieces. I was especially joyful to see the notes they had written in their “little girl” handwriting. I tucked it into my memory box and I’ll probably break it out for them to see when they get older. I hope they never get out of the habit of sending a personal note, just to check up on someone, or just to say – hey, I’m thinking of you. It really helps build connections.
Inspired by their outreach, I went out and bought some cute little cards that I plan to use in the very near future. They are elegant on the outside, but blank inside so that I can add my own personalized message to the recipient.
Now, I just need to buy some stamps! That $0.41 is a damn good investment if it means I can bring a smile to someone’s face by letting them know that I care.