Snail mail


Has the art of sending letters and greeting cards by post died?  I’m not sure.  When I was younger I remember days like Valentine’s Day, the Christmas season and birthdays being a big time for receiving greeting cards.  It was like waiting for the end of the season to count how many I got; displaying Christmas cards or birthday cards all over my rooms.  It was a source of pride almost.  As I got older, there were fewer cards but more meaningful ones.  At Valentine’s Day it was getting a card/note or something special from someone special and also finding the right card and gift for someone special, with the hope that it was just two people exchanging cards and gifts with one another!  Christmas cards were among close friends and family as were birthday cards.  I’d also get birthday cards from family overseas along with some money!  The best greeting…says it with birthday money!  Then you get older still and become and adult…again there are cards and greetings for Christmas and birthdays but now there are thank you notes for interviews, gifts receives, notes for party and event invitations and so on.  As the World Wide Web and Internet gained popularity, it was exciting to receive e-cards!  Cards that would play a little video, song and dance.  Now I don’t get money from overseas in a card but an e-card singing happy birthday and no money! There are less Christmas cards received and sent; birthday cards are just sent by my parents who are among the few remaining of that greeting card  - hand writing generation and now there is a “thank you” and “you are invited” email or text for everything.  The more “connected” we have become, the less effort we seem to make in thoughtful connection like a hand written greeting card on a special occasion or picking up the phone calling or arranging to meet face to face for a conversation.  

 I decided to do a little searching on letting writing, taking the time to send someone a greeting card.   This article about “4 Times a Handwritten Letter Can Save You Big Bucks”, [1] was interesting.  There was the usual thank you note after the interview, but there was also an example of getting your dream home; helping your credit score and getting better service!  The idea behind getting your dream home was you see this home you like, everyone is making bids on it but maybe you can be the only one that takes the time to write a short not saying how much you really like the home, neighbourhood, how you will take care the home etc.  Something more personal and heartfelt that will mean more than a few extra thousand dollars.  The credit score example was great too!  A sincere letter to the creditor explaining your situation honestly, may not get you out of paying but it may get your penalty for a late payment reduced or eliminated.  And the better service example was specific yet I would think could be modified to suit a particular service situation.  In this example, some service people broke a pipe while doing an installation. The company was very good and making and paying for the repairs.  A thoughtful thank you note was sent.  In a similar vein, if no damages were made during a service delivery or call, which we would expect, perhaps just taking the time to send a thank you note expressing how efficient and stress free the service call was. This could lead to future service calls of equal of better quality.  I think anyone in the service industry enjoys being recognized for their service.

 Then I thought back to when I had a penpal when I was younger.  She was a few years older than me and lived in Bristol England.  I loved getting letters from her!  Then it ended.  I have no idea why?  Life is full of mysteries and that was one of them.  I used to save all my letters from her and be so excited to write to her and tell her all the things I had done and was going to do.  Honestly, I don’t know what I was doing back then that would qualify as interesting now!  But I was excited to share it!  I was thinking about that and wondering if there were penpals anymore out there.  Given people can meet people online pretty easily and we can keep in touch through email, facebook, text with people from virtually anywhere in the world, don’t all these connections kind of count as “penpals”?  Not quite.  There is something exciting about receiving something from someone.  A letter, a card, a postcard..going to your mailbox in anticipation wondering if you’ll get it today??!?!?!  Well, I came across Postcrossing [2].  This is a very interesting idea.  People sign up to send postcards to others who have signed up.  You request an address of someone to whom you will send a postcard and a short note and then you mail it.  You’re in the mix too and hopefully will get a postcard from someone else out there!  I think it’s a great idea! In some ways there is no definitive commitment or understanding that you’ll continue corresponding, but there is that excitement of taking the time to choose a postcard for someone, write a special message to them and then take the time to mail it to them.  To me that is a very thoughtful experience that requires time and focused energy all positive acts that doesn’t happen as often anymore. 

 All this talk about snail mail, what does it have to do with tea?  Well, a tea greeting is that, a chance to connect with a bit more thought and effort put into that connection that just writing quick message and hitting send.  It’s not at the level of taking pen to paper and that’s a habit and art that unfortunately has been lost in many of us, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be found!  But that is another post.  But, for the time being, just taking the time to think of someone special and act on that thought to reach out in a thoughtful way by writing a special message with a little token expressing you’re thoughts about them, is a step towards regaining that habit of taking pen to paper. But, one step at a time and Tea greetings are a great way to take that first step!

 References

  1.  4 Times a Handwritten Letter Can Save You Big Bucks, Ashley Eneriz, March 2018, Url: http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-a-handwritten-letter-can-save-you-big-bucks
  2. Postcrossing, URL: https://www.postcrossing.com/

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