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Does a Smile Fit in an Envelope?

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Tiaras and Trucks

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Does a Smile Fit in an Envelope?

If you walk into my mom’s house, you are likely to find a few of the same things scattered in their usual spots.

Diet pop (or soda, if you please) in the crisper drawer, the book she’s currently reading on one of the family room end tables, and an addressed card or two propped up on the kitchen counter, waiting to go in the mail.
Lots of people send birthday cards, but my mom remembers anniversaries and new babies, weddings and new jobs, and sometimes just a card to say hello.
For a while, I took pride in having a stockpile of cards on hand for any occasion.  I flipped through my address book and sealed with little stickers and dropped them in the mail.  Then our budget tightened, my supply began to dwindle, and I found myself in front of card displays before holidays, mentally choosing the cards I would send.
Hallmark, of course, is the king of cards.  Wandering through their aisles, you see cards for big occasions and cards for small moments.  They have cards with words you wish you’d thought of and cards beautifully blank inside for you to fill with your own.
And thanks to Hallmark, I had the chance to channel my mom for a week.
Hallmark provided me with a packet of cards and stamps, though some of their cards now come with the postage already paid.  Their premise was simple: send a card a day for seven days.
Once again, I settled into my couch, legs underneath me, and opened my address book.
I sent cards that made me smile, signing my name and sealing the envelope with a flourish.  I wrote a note to a friend coming up to a bittersweet milestone with her child and sent away a smile to a blogging friend who makes me feel special every day.  I wrote to my grandma, who we already miss like crazy, and my best friend, and a friend I haven’t seen in far too long.
I received texts and e-mails and phone calls in return; like me, people like getting something besides bills in the mail.  Those little thank you messages made me smile, completing the circle, a hug through the miles that started with a card in the mail.
I also received silence, and I understand that, too.  To-do lists get long, and time slips into nighttime, and phone calls get postponed yet again. 

Still, watching those smooth envelopes slide into the blue mailbox each day, I was reminded of the beauty of a written note, a tangible thought, able to be tucked into a book or a car visor for a later moment. 
I may have to go out for a few more stamps.
their version of a greeting card

Hallmark provided me with a set of cards and postage to cover their mailing, but no further compensation was provided for this post.  All experiences and opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by Hallmark in any way. 

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22 Comments:

  • At October 27, 2011 at 8:21 AM , Anonymous Alison@Mama Wants This said...

    I used to send cards for birthdays etc, but haven't done so for a long time. Thanks a lot, Internet!

    But thank you for the reminder that it's always lovely to get something other than bills and junk in the mail. So glad you did what you did!

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 9:20 AM , Anonymous Nichole said...

    There is truly nothing like getting a piece of personal correspondence in the mail. That lone card amidst the junk mail and bills is like a beacon of happiness. :)
    It's so easy to text or email or post to someone's FB wall...but a card? So lovely.

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 9:37 AM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    What a fun thing to do! It's been a while since I sent a card.

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 9:39 AM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    I love sending and receiving cards in the mail. There's just something about it.... someone took the time to find that perfect card for you, put thought into it and cared to send it. It's so much more personal than a text or email.

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    Awww, I love this Angela!! You are so right, it's so nice to get cards in the mail instead of bills. What a wonderful thing to do...I think you've inspired me to go get my own cards :)

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 8:02 PM , Anonymous Kpiccini said...

    I've told you before that I adore Hallmark and I adore sending & getting cards. There is something about dropping those cards picked JUST for someone special in the mail box that gives me so much joy.

    It's like I am sending the hug I can't give them, or tell them I am here and listening when they need it...or even jump up and down with them in happiness even when I can't. Be there.

    I am so glad you got to do this...hope all those smiles were TOO big for an envelope!!! Xo

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 8:15 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Cards are the best.  A & D got Halloween cards in the mail today, and they were sooooo happy.

    It was easier before kids, when I could stand in the aisles forever and look for the perfect card!

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 8:15 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yay!  I inspired myself to get more :) 

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 8:16 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes, it's so much more than a text or e-mail.  Those things are good, too, of course, but there's something about a card that shows a little extra thought or something.

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 8:16 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You should do it :)  It will make you happy, plus the person getting the card is happy.  Such a win-win situation.

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 8:17 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I am also a huge fan of a written note on cute stationary.  Written with a nice pen.  Swoon :)

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 8:17 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    The convenience of the internet is so nice, but there's something about actual mail that just means a little more :)

     
  • At October 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    I adore Hallmark! I love sending cards to people. And when I get something in the mail that's NOT a bill? That completely makes my day! ;)

     
  • At October 28, 2011 at 8:29 AM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    I swoon for anything handwritten- love this!

     
  • At October 29, 2011 at 8:56 AM , Anonymous Liz said...

    It's pop, of course! Pop, pop, pop.

    I worked in a Hallmark card store for many a'year. It's hard to buy anything else.

     
  • At October 30, 2011 at 10:43 PM , Anonymous Elaine A. said...

    I should send more cards. It is so nice to get mail.  Seems we only get cards on birthdays anymore and not that many.  It's all FB messages... ;-P

    Love this. :)

     
  • At October 31, 2011 at 12:52 AM , Anonymous sweetbutterbliss said...

    I sometimes have my kids make birthday cards and send them to people. It's pretty adorable what they come up with.

     
  • At October 31, 2011 at 3:05 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    That's so cute.  Abbey is just starting to get into that idea (sending things to people.)

     
  • At October 31, 2011 at 3:05 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Elaine!  FB messages are fun, too, but getting a card just makes me happy.

     
  • At October 31, 2011 at 3:06 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Pop, of course :)

    I worked in a card store (Papyrus, not Hallmark) for a little while.  I loved that job. 

     
  • At October 31, 2011 at 3:07 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Me, too.  I rue the day that our society goes all electronic.

     
  • At October 31, 2011 at 3:08 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Me, too!  It's getting bad, though.  I even consider catalogs "not junk," since Dylan doesn't "let" me get out shopping very often :(

     

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