Snail Mail Treasures

If my inner monologue on the way to the mailbox every day were to be visible to anyone else but me, it would look something like this:

Mail Gifts

Cards Are Fun Snail Mail

When I went to the Type A East conference in Orlando in October, I met the Hallmark Signature team. The team introduced us to the Hallmark Signature line and treated us to a preview of their new commercial – I dare you to watch it and not cry!. The Hallmark Signature line showcases unique processes, detailed craftsmanship and attention-grabbing dimensions. By unique, I mean things like: this card RINGS. It has a bunch of little bells that RING!

Snail Mail is Not Just For Christmas

I’ve shared before how my friend Kathleen is pretty much the last “snail mail only” person in my universe. A mail day that involves a  missive from Kathleen is reason to celebrate, indeed.

That’s why, when the Hallmark signature team encouraged me to choose a card to send to someone special while I was at their booth during the conference, I chose one for Kathleen (besides, since she is “snail mail only,” her address is burned into my brain and was the easiest to remember!).

Hallmark encouraged us to share via video why we had chosen to send our intended recipients a card (glad I have all that practice with Table Topics in Toastmasters speaking extemporaneously!). Click here for mine.

When Unexpected Snail Mail Comes to Roost

In addition to the fun of cards and letters, can you imagine anything more delightful than an unexpected package full of treats? That’s exactly what I found when this Roost Crate showed up on my doorstep.

I got to know Roost Crate’s proprietor, Kelly Pugliano, when we attended a Shot at Life summit together. Then I had the pleasure of watching her work hard to build this business, which creates a “farmer’s market in a box,” concentrating on the best farmers and small batch artisans in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

Here’s a picture of contents of the welcome box I received:

Mail Gifts

And a rundown of the artisans:

    • The brown sugar fig soy wax candle is from Berry & Birch, a 2-woman team from Springfield, MO, which produces eco- and animal-friendly soy candles “handpoured with love.”
    • The lemon lime lip balm is from T&J Soaps, an artisan soap maker in Troy, NY, who packages the lip balm in vintage slider tins.
    • The oatmeal, milk and  honey goat milk soap is from OMy! Goat Milk Bath and Body, a Virginia Beach, VA, company that makes all-natural products with fresh goat milk. (And while we’re talking goat milk products, allow me to plug another incredible goat milk product, Kid Power Organics, which uses its profits to help children in Cambodia. Meet their goats and learn about their goat bank here.)
    • The chocolate bar is from Barkeater Chocolates, which handcrafts non-GMO and gluten free chocolates in the Adirondacks. (Who’s up for a tasting tour?!)
    • The rhubarb vanilla honey jam is from V Smiley Preserves, a New Haven, VT, artisan who makes small batch handmade jams and preserves and has a vision to “expand the farm into an agri-cultural hub; seed-saving, arts, education, dining and events.” I’m rooting for her to succeed.

Mail Gifts

  • The beautiful handcrafted coasters (thanks for throwing in this extra, Kelly!) are from Oh, Sew Urban! They are available at the Anchor No. 5 Boutique in Troy, NY and can be reached by email at eaurban@gmail.com.
  • The deluxe canvas tote bag is sold directly by Roost Crate, is machine washable, and will be put to use by me year-round.

If you want a bounty of Roost Crate deliciousness to show up on your door (or to gift one to someone who deserves an artisanal sensation for the senses), visit Roost Crate by clicking here. Order by December 15 for holiday delivery, and use the code GIFT10 for 10% off.

Here’s a sneak peek of the next Roost Crate, which features an Adirondack Soy Candle as part of the goodness:

Mail Gifts

NOTE: I also think it rocks big time that Roost Crate donates 10% of its proceeds to Capital Roots, which works to reduce the impact of poor nutrition on public health in New York’s Capital Region.

Your Chance at Snail Mail Happiness

Because every non-bill, non-junk piece of snail mail brings me such joy, I want to spread the fun around with a giveaway.

The Hallmark Signature Team provided a gift pack of three beautiful signature cards (including the one with the little bells!!), and I am sharing forward the lovely Oh, Sew Urban! coasters. Of course a green pen will be included too!

Mail Gifts

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Is there someone in your life who would be cheered up by a piece of snail mail? Why not resolve to drop them a line today?

Mail Gifts

Image Credit: JDurham/Morguefile

NOTE: Hallmark Signature provided the cards for the giveaway, and Roostcrate gave me the welcome crate, from which I am delighted to share the awesome coasters.

In Praise of Snail Mail

Carolyn Gaines passed away last week. Carolyn was a fellow parishioner at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church. I believe we may have met in person once, but our connection was established when we began exchanging “snail mail.” For her birthday (I think it was her 85th), we were all encouraged to send her cards, since she valued snail mail so much. I sent a card and got back a lovely reply. Over the years, every response of mine was returned with a lovely note from Carolyn.

A 2010 Letter From Carolyn

A 2010 Letter From Carolyn

Carolyn’s passing got me thinking of snail mail and the ways in which email just isn’t the same.

Snail Mail Makes Us Think and Process Differently

For me, writing a traditional letter forces me to retrieve a different set of writing tools, especially if I am writing by hand but even if I am typing a letter that will be printed and mailed. I discovered this most recently when I participated in the “Snail Mail My Email” project.  SMME is “a worldwide collaborative art project where volunteers handwrite strangers’ emails and send physical letters to the intended recipients, free of charge.” Admittedly, when I volunteered I focused on the “handwrite” component instead of the “art” part. I hope the recipient who requested a “gray striped cat, turnips, and a gingko leaf” appreciated my efforts which were pretty amateurish!

One of my SMME projects, featuring the turnips and the "gingko leaf."

One of my SMME projects, featuring the turnips and the “gingko leaf.”

Snail Mail Feels Like A Gift

It is tangible. You can hold it in your hand. I still love the thrill of paper in my hands. My friend Kathleen is a true “snail mail only” person. My family knows that if the mail contains a letter from Kathleen, all activity will come to a standstill until I devour it. I am pretty sure Kathleen is this generation’s Erma Bombeck. I hope all her great material gets compiled into a book someday and makes her a million bucks. We’ll be able to say we knew her when (and heck we may be able to sell her old letters on eBay (just kidding….)).

Letters from Kathleen are always a treat!

Letters from Kathleen are always a treat!

Snail Mail Makes Us Wait

Who among us hasn’t tapped out a lengthy email missive to a friend, analyzing the day’s events with its frustrations and high points? Or a lengthy email missive to a friend, written with no filter in a moment of anger or frustration, that went beyond a “venting” session and verged on hurtful and spiteful? When I sit down (finally … it always takes a while) to respond to Kathleen, I am forced to think about what really mattered about the intervening weeks. I think she gets a clearer view of my life for hearing about the things that mattered enough to commit to paper. And the little things that didn’t deserve to have more energy spent on them remain unwritten.

Snail Mail Gives Us Memories

Sure, we could print out the important emails in our lives and put them on a bulletin board. It’s just not the same. Fifteen days after my mother in law’s death, and about six weeks after receiving her postcard from her “bucket list” trip to Rome, I am so happy to have this little memento. She and I sat at her computer prior to her trip and went through her address labels so she could have them with her in Rome. I know she and my sister in law Mary went to special efforts during their trip to apply the labels, write a note, and get the special Vatican stamps. It is so much more meaningful than any email they would have been able to dash off.

Postcard from Raphael's Tomb

Postcard from Raphael’s Tomb

The postcard Barb sent included the poem “The Key to Paradise” by Mother Teresa on the back. One of its lines is “Find the time to be a friend.”

Thank you, snail mail, for being a way for us to carve out time for our friends.

Is there someone you could delight with a piece of snail mail? Why not drop them a line?