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Finding a letter in the mailbox used to be such an exciting thing. Now, of course, email and various instant-messaging platforms have largely relegated the humble piece of snail mail to those sweet birthday cards from well-meaning grandmothers – whenever the mailbox isn’t overloaded by the usual jumbled mess of credit card offers and catalogs that go straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin, of course.
Friends, it’s time to bring back snail mail. With email and the like taking up so much of our daily communications, why not return to the paper and pen for our more important, thoughtful correspondence? With this laudable goal in mind, here are three simple ways to add a little more pizazz to your not-so-instant messages’ very important first impression: the envelope.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but taking the time to stop by the post office and see what special prints they have to offer is an easy way to add a little something extra to an envelope. You can even go online to check out their postage collections from the comfort of your couch. Even better? Fall in love with vintage postage! Try your hand at finding a local postage store (yes, they do exist), and check out their variety of non-collectable, or “face value,” stamps. Of course, there’s also the online shopping route; just make sure you’re getting postage that hasn’t been used. Another important thing to keep in mind when dealing with vintage postage is their value. Sure, that three-cent postage you found might be super cute, but it’s going to take a lot of those on one envelope to add up to the present-day cost.
Return Address Stamps
Self-inking return address stamps are not only lifesavers when it comes to mass-mailings like wedding invitations and holiday cards, but beautifully designed address stamps can also be another way to make any envelope look special and personal. With so many styles to choose from, finding the perfect design is easy. Is yours a hip, san serif type of family? What about regal and calligraphic? Or, does your family have more of a handwritten, free-and-easy type vibe? Aside from appearance, these sorts of address stamps have the benefit of inkpads that last such a long time you’ll be printing up a storm way beyond your first foray into mass-holiday-card-mailing land.
Okay, remember the scene in “Pride and Prejudice” (the Colin Firth one) where Elizabeth gets a letter from Mr. Darcy, and to open it she has to break the red wax seal with his initials on it? Even if you don’t, you get the idea, right? Wax seals were clearly necessary back in the 1800s (no self-sealing envelopes then!), but that doesn’t mean they have no use today. On the contrary, like beautiful, vintage postage and personalized return address stamps, wax seals add a touch of elegance to the humble envelope.
With an abundance of options and designs available, you will be able to find the perfect seal and wax color to fit your family’s style and budget. With the wide variety of postage options, address stamps, and wax seals, you’ll definitely come across a design you like. The customization of this paper medium means that it’s definitely worth giving snail mail another try.
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write by Alan Gill