The “Art” of Snail Mail

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After much prompting from someone in particular (my blogging-partner-in-crime, Joy, to be exact) I’ve decided to sit down and try and put together my thoughts about what I’ll call The “Art” of Snail Mail.  ‘Cause, let’s be honest, everyone LOVES getting something special in their mail box every once in awhile – and by special I’m not meaning your APS bill, a letter from your HOA or the worst – all of that junk mail!

So let’s start off with a definition from Urban Dictionary because well, some of you ladies may not even know what the term “snail mail” refers to 🙂

snail mail – Using the regular postal service as opposed to e-mail; suggesting that the service is as slow as a snail.

Yes ladies!  People actually do send cards, letters, packages and postcards still.  It may be shocking to you, but it’s true.

But the question I’ve been asked time and time again is specifically “How do I actually remember to put a card/package in the mail?” So, to answer your question I’ve put together a list – we’ll just call it Steph’s How-To’s of Snail Mail (because frankly, I can’t come up with anything more creative).

Steph’s How-To’s of Snail Mail

1) Keep a Calendar with Important Dates Highlighted. I know, I know…with the invention of the smart phone it seems as if an actual printed calendar may seem like overkill.  It isn’t. Really.  For our calendar I highlight birthday’s in blue and anniversaries in pink.  Choose whatever color you want but be sure to highlight those dates so you’re sure to remember your loved one’s on their special days.

2) Keep your Calendar in a very visible place. Ours is on our fridge.  Why?  Because as a mom, I open that fridge at least 25+ times a day so the dates on the calendar are consistently on the forefront of my mind. Pick a spot that’s one of the most visible places in your home and throw the calendar up there.

3) Think one week ahead. That’s one of the bummers about snail mail.  That’s why it’s called snail mail – it’s just a bit slower than your gmail account “send” button.  Every week I’m looking to what events are on our calendar for the following week as I want to be sure to get cards and packages in the mail on time.  Most cards shipped via USPS will arrive anywhere within 3-5 business days of being shipped.

4) Keep cards on stock. This is honestly the best advice I can give you.  When you buy a card at Target, buy 5 others.  Birthday cards, anniversary cards, thank you cards, just saying hello cards.  You’ll use them if you have them!  Really, you will!  I promise.  When you have plenty of cards available it’s super easy to stick it in the mail to your friends and family AND it will more than likely get there on time.  It simply helps to reduce the stress of having to make a special run for a card.

5) Send just because cards/gifts. Although special occasion cards/gifts are always welcomed, a “just because card/gift” is an extra special treat in my book.  Send a card telling someone you’re thankful for them.  Send a card letting an old friend know you’re thinking of them.  The list could go on and on.

6) Remember the “Other” Events Too. Snail mail isn’t just for birthday’s and anniversaries.  Don’t forget to send something when you find out a friend is expecting, is engaged, got a promotion, is hurting (physically or mentally) or like I said in #5 – just because.

BONUS: Don’t forget all of those baby birth dates.  The day I get a text from a family member/friend announcing the birth of their baby, I mark it down on the calendar.

So that’s’ it ladies!  Nothing overly special – but hopefully something to encourage more simplicity in your busy lives.

Any snail mail suggestions from YOU??!!  Comment below.

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Steph is the Co-founder of Scottsdale Moms Blog and Social Media Director for Family Matters. She is mamma to Nora (July 2009) and wife of Alan.  She loves shopping for great deals, wearing funky jewery and spending loads of time with friends.  Steph gets a kick out of multitasking and loves nothing more than throwing a good party. You are always welcome to e-mail Steph at [email protected].

12 COMMENTS

  1. I love this! I have been known to cave and send the e-card or e-vite occasionally because I just wasn’t organized enough to plan ahead. But these are great suggestions. There’s nothing to brighten someone’s day like an envelope in the mailbox that doesn’t look like a bill.

  2. Oh… keep stamps on hand! And LOTS of them. I have become the worst at sending letters/cards/thank you’s because I get them written (and even addressed) but if I don’t have a stamp right there, it’ll never get mailed.

    • How could I have forgotten that??!! YES – always keep stamps on hand. I generally pick them up at the grocery store…. such an easy way to remember to get a book of stamps.

  3. So do you put all of the birthdays and anniversaries on the old-school calendar at the beginning of the year/when you buy the calendar for the next year? Then, when a baby is born say in 2011, do you go ahead and mark it down on the current calendar so that it’ll make it onto the 2012 calendar?

    Also, do you have any favorite spots for buying cards (in town or online) – I’ve seen the huge box of assorted cards at Costco and have been tempted, but didn’t have a system, so haven’t bitten the bullet – would love to hear whatcha think!

    xoxo
    I’ve been waiting for you to write this forEVER!!! THANK YOU!!!

    • Joy – YES – that’s an important part that I totally didn’t mention! Thanks for reminding me. YES – every year when you buy the new calendar you have to make time to sit down and re-write down (and highlight) all of the special dates – including the new birthdays/anniversaries.

      And in terms of buying cards – I don’t have a great suggestion. HOWEVER, I will say that oftentimes I’ll find cute cards at the Dollar Tree ($0.50/each). When I do I buy LOTS of them!! But generally my go-to’s are Target & Walmart.

  4. Great tips & I think a great message to be sending right now. I was just thinking on the way to work this morning how much I love to bless people. I was determined, though not financially able, to find creative, inexpensive ways to “bless” those people in my life that need it. I think #5 is very essential as we rarely slow down enough to encourage each other.

    This is a timely message! The message in church yesterday at City of Grace was about Kindness. The kindness of God, but also how we share kindness – a rarity in our world. This is a great way! Good stuff, thanks for the reminder. I literally have my cards on my left and will be sending out some encouragement today!

  5. Great tips! I would love insight into sending packages – I can never get everything bought, wrapped, and postmarked in time, even when I do think ahead! I prefer wrapping and shipping myself over sending directly from a website but sometimes that just seems easier…

    I got a box of those assorted cards for Christmas one year and I still use them in a pinch. I also started using my daughter’s fingerpaintings as home-made cards. I just cut the larger pieces of paper to size, fold, use colored sharpies to embellish/personalize the front and Voila!

    Another thing I’d like to do more of is unexpected Thank You notes. I do a pretty good job of getting them out when it’s expected – birthdays, baby gifts, etc. – but I think people feel really appreciated when they get a thank you note for something they didn’t expect to be thanked for!

    Great topic, and great comments! Thanks, Steph!

    • Sarah – thanks girlie!
      Sending packages – awww…. so fun! I also prefer to wrap (or at least tie a ribbon) around the gifts I send in the mail.
      I wish I had some great tips on this one. Probably the best tip I can give you is to always be thinking of gifts to buy people for their birthdays/holidays. I oftentimes will buy gifts WAAAY ahead of time just b/c I thought of something to buy them and figure it’s better to have it on hand come their special day then run the risk of being late.
      I also am “that girl” that just always has a stash of baby girl and baby boy gifts in my closet so come time to visit a friend/family member in the hospital to help welcome their little one, I have a gift on hand and don’t have to go run out. OR even better – if I have to send it as snail mail I can put it in the mail as soon as I get their text/call.

      • Oh, that’s genius! I completely FORGOT that you can do things like buying gifts ahead of time (or a bunch all at once when finding great things)! Oh, how I need a system!

        • um, yeah- I just read this and thought ‘I wish I was more organized and that I’d remember to do things like this.’ I never even thought to have ‘gifts on hand’ mind blowing.

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