Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Another Snail Mail Blog!

I've come across a very nice snail mail blog recently. I'm not sure who's responsible for it, but they are promoting snail mail with lots of photos of cute letter and envelope ideas, pen pal listings and more. The blog is simply called Snail Mail Ideas. Take a look.


Back when I was a young girl, it was romantic to think of getting or sending letters that were "Sealed With a Kiss." Alas, I was only about 12 when I first started writing real letters to friends I had left behind when my family moved, and most of my friends-turned-pen-pals were girls. So, I didn't have much opportunity to mark my letters as "SWAK."

In our funny pre-teen ways, we would make up our own acronyms, such as SWALCAKWS. Did you ever use that one? Can you figure it out? It stood for "Sealed With A Lick 'Cause A Kiss Won't Stick."

But, being able to seal a letter with a kiss is a great reason to write a letter today! If you don't have a sweetheart to send a SWAK letter to, send a funny letter that is SWALCAKWS.

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Holiday Stamps -- Winter Fun!

Winter Fun postDo you follow the USPS Stamps blog? If you're interested in postage stamp news, it's the place to go!

Today, the blog features a look at the upcoming "Winter Fun" stamps to be released on Oct. 23 at the American Stamp Dealers Association show in New York, N.Y. They are so cute!

The booklet of four designs includes images of a couple ice skating, kids making snow angels and building a snowman, and of a beautiful red cardinal. Art Director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps using illustrations by Janet Atkinson, Jing Jing Tsong and Christine Roy.

In addition to these Winter Fun stamps, which will be great for everyday mailing or for holiday cards for just about any winter religious observation, the USPS is also coming out with the Christmas Magi stamps, which will complement last year's Holy Family stamps, and the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of the beloved TV special. I can't wait!

USPS Winter Fun Stamps

Reason #6 to Write a Letter: Care Packages!

Last week, I started thinking of reasons for people to write letters...and the ideas just keep coming!

We started out last week with the thought that you should write a letter because it's the next best thing to being there, and we rounded up the week with the reason that writing (and mailing) letters supports your local post office.

Let's start this week off with the idea that a good reason to write a letter is that you can send it along with a care package!

Who should you send a letter and a care package to? How about:
* A college student away at school
* Military personnel far from home,
* A family member who doesn't live near the rest of the family
* A spouse or other kin who has had to go work somewhere else
* Someone who's sick or feeling down,
* Someone who's right there in the same town as you but is going through a rough time,
* Someone who goes out of their way to do things for other people
* Someone with something to celebrate, such as a birthday, an anniversary, a new marriage, a new baby, a new job, etc.
*Anyone who needs to know that you care.

What should you put in that care package? Well, the first thing you need to think about is who you are sending it to and why. If it's a friend who's been sick, you might pack up some chicken soup, a nice bowl, a soup spoon, a pretty cloth napkin, a good book to read, a small vase of artificial flowers, and, of course, some stationery, stamps and a pen.

Are you sending a package to a college student? Consider food! Homebaked goodies are still popular with that crowd. Look for recipes for sturdy cookies or breads that will be able to take the trip through the postal system. Bar cookies, oatmeal cookies, banana nut bread, brownies, etc. typically make good care package goodies. Also, think of things the college student can cook in the dorm room with the few appliances that are allowed (sometimes, that's only a hot pot for boiling water), such as ramen noodles, mac and cheese cups, cup-a-soup, flavored coffee mix. Or, opt for food that doesn't have to be cooked at all, such as cheese-and-cracker packets, peanut butter, mixed nuts, pre-popped popcorn, sturdy chips, etc. If you can, you might throw in a gift card to a standard retail store, a roll or quarters for the laundry room, a package of quirky socks, etc.

One thing to keep in mind when mailing a care package to a college student, you might want to send them a text message to let them know it's coming so that they can keep an eye out for it.

When planning a care package, always keep the recipient in mind. Try to know as much about the person as possible. Don't send a bag of peanuts to someone with a severe nut allergy. Also, think about the weather and the contents of your package. If it's the heat of summer, it may not be a good idea to send chocolate.

If you're sending a care package to a deployed military person, be sure to find out if there are any restrictions about what they can receive. AnySoldier.com has some great information.

Finally, be sure to pack the package in a way that is acceptable to the postal service. For mailing in the U.S., check out the advice on the USPS website or talk to someone at your local post office.

(Image courtesy of ClipArt101)

Friday, September 12, 2014

What a Find!

A British man is searching for the families of the writer and recipient of a letter written 99 years ago.

According to an article in the Coventry Telegraph, James Bagnall found the letter in an old book he purchased several years ago. It was written by a man named Charlie, a British World War I soldier, to Nancy Roberts, who lived in Hillfields, just outside of Coventry, England.

You can see photos of the letter and read its entire contents on the Coventry Telegraph website. It's a great piece of history!

600,000+ Reasons to Write a Letter

Writing a letter is good for the economy! How so? According to statistics from the beginning of this year, the US Postal Service employs more than 600,000 Americans. That's more than half a million people working to make sure your letters and packages get delivered. (And, if you don't live in the US, I'm sure your postal system supports your local economy, as well.)

A report released by the USPS last month indicates that First Class Mail is down again -- for the 32nd consecutive quarter. Let's boost those numbers by writing more letters!

(Photo courtesy of the USPS)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sometimes, a Letter is the Only Way

Sometimes, a letter is the only way a person knows to express their feelings and thoughts, even in this technologically advanced day and time and even when that person is a 14-year-old girl.

Many adults think that all today's youth want to do is send and receive text messages on their phones. But, fortunately, that's just not true. That point is made poignantly clear in a letter posted on the Madeleine L'Engle website.

L'Engle, the author of "A Wrinkle in Time," died seven years ago, and  Abigail, the girl who recently portrayed the main character in a stage adaptation of the book, knows that L'Engle that the author is deceased. Yet, she felt like the best way to convey her message was in a letter to the writer.

It's a good letter, and you can read it on that website.

Is there a letter you need to write today?
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