Snail Mail Challenge

I have a problem. You know how some women have a hard time NOT buying shoes? Or nail polish? Or maybe earrings? For some, it’s scarves. Whatever the item, and for whatever the reason, they’re drawn to these things and have an odd need to acquire more.

snail_mailAnd it’s not just women. Men suffer from this condition, too. Be it fishing rods, guns, baseball-style caps, or antique tools.

Two of my particular items of mysterious fascination are post cards and greeting cards. I’m not sure why, but I just love acquiring those things.

Maybe it’s because I LOVE souvenir shops and the myriad kitschy wares for offer. Post cards are an inexpensive way of buying something, anything, other than a tacky t-shirt (though I love those, too), shot glass, neon-flecked seashell, hermit crab, “my friend went to [insert name of cool place] and all I got was this” [fill in the blank], back scratcher, toothpick holder, etc.

The problem is, I don’t use them often enough.

On my most recent, brief, road trip, I decided I would actually mail the cards I had acquired.

And you know what? All of the recipients seemed to enjoy getting their unexpected post card.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always happy to get real mail. Greeting cards at holidays are always special to me. But even more special is the random, unexpected card, letter, or parcel from someone I know that says they’re thinking about me.

Not only is it a nice break from all of the bills, adverts, business correspondence, and general junk we receive on a regular basis, it’s nice just knowing someone out there cares enough to let me know I was on their mind. For whatever reason, good or bad.

I’m willing to bet many of you enjoy receiving mail just as much as I do, so I thought I’d incite my followers to participate in a Snail Mail Challenge. It’s easy, really. And just think of the smiles you will spread.

To participate, all you need to do is send five or more post cards, greeting cards, or letters to people you know. Family members, friends, old acquaintances, a lonely neighbor… You can even do it anonymously.

It doesn’t have to be a travel-related post card. It could be a simple card with a funny saying.

Or perhaps a card featuring a picture of an animal you know your addressee will enjoy.

You could even affix a personal photo to a piece of card stock, draw a picture, or even print something you’ve found on the Internet. Whatever.

The biggest point is to add a personal note, address, stamp, and actually put the items into the mail.

According to the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Postcards were popular because they were a quick and easy way for individuals to communicate with each other.

If you’re into odd trivia, I found a PDF document describing the history of the postcard.

For those who want to make their own postcards, here are the US postal guidelines.

USPS Post Card Rules
USPS Postcard Rules


If 4″ x 6″ isn’t large enough, you can do a larger postcard (maximum size: 11-1/2 inches x 6-1/8 inches high x 1/4 inch thick), but it’ll cost you more. The $0.49 First-Class rate to be exact.

I’m not doing this to solicit mail for myself. I just thought y’all could have a little fun sharing some smiles with folks. Not that I’d object to receiving a card or letter from any of you.

It would really be fun for me to know if you decide to participate. If you really think it’s a fun idea, you could even blog about it. Feel free to use my Snail Mail Challenge image.

Or, if you don’t have a blog, just e-mail me a pic of your to-be-mailed items. You don’t have to tell me where they are going, who they’re addressed to, etc.

Eventually, I’ll do a follow-up post where I’ll share your links, images, and/or comments.

Come on, have a little fun and spread some cheer. Communicate with the people who mean something to you. And tell me about it. Or not. It’s up to you.

Who is up to this simple challenge?

14 Replies to “Snail Mail Challenge”

  1. Woot! It may take me a bit to do, but I’m in! Kathy FB message me your address and you will be one of my recipients. I am going to ride the bike to a few spots to pick up cards, that seems like the makings of a good adventure!

  2. Sadly I don’t think I have 5 people. I’d love to surprise some blogger friends, but if I have to ask for their mailing addresses first, it isn’t really a surprise, lol.

  3. Great idea. I am in! There will be a lack of surprise though as I would need the participants’ addresses. Please mail to: sonja dot mager at shaw dot ca and I will send a postcard from the Black Forest or beyond…

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