The 1900s Called! They Want You to Send a Postcard to Someone You Love
According to the Pew Research Center, the average American with a cellphone can expect to receive about 40 text messages and 100 emails each day. The majority of those messages go unread, vanishing straight into trash folders in cyberspace. Even the brick-and-mortar mailbox is depressing, with most folks throwing away an average of six pieces of junk mail every single day.
When was the last time you got a message you were truly excited to receive?
All you need to do to make someone’s day in the digital age is send a postcard! It’s an unexpected act of kindness that’s easy to accomplish, even if you only have a few extra minutes. Best of all, you might get a letter or postcard in return!
If it’s been a while since you’ve last addressed an envelope, don’t worry. We’ve created this guide to help make spreading joy through the post as simple as possible! Keep reading to learn how to send a postcard to make someone’s day brighter!
What Is a Postcard?
We’re sure you know what a postcard is, but are you aware of what a postcard can be? You don’t need to have a prefabricated postcard on hand to send one! You can send almost anything in the mail as long as the address is clear and you have enough postage.
Some intrepid artists have taken this to extremes by sending “naked mail,” ranging from bananas to single sneakers! You don’t need to send a weird object, however. It simply means that you are free to make your own postcards using materials you have at home!
This is a great task for kids to do, especially if you need a rainy day activity to keep them from bouncing off the walls. It’s also a fun way to use old printed photographs. Draw a picture, make a collage, or get crafty and share it with a friend!
If you aren’t the crafty type, you can still buy postcards in the store if you know where to look. You can often find books of postcards in book and card stores. You’ll find cards with inspirational phrases, vintage images, and your favorite characters.
You can buy single postcards at your local visitor’s center—or any gift shop if you live in a tourist location! They often sell individual postcards at novelty stores, too.
Ultimately, all a postcard needs is a spot for postage, a place to write an address, and a spot for writing letters to the recipient.
How To Address Your Postcard
Your average postcard has two sides. The first side will include a photo, image, message, or other visual.
The back of the postcard will have a vertical line down the center. You will see a few lines and often a spot for a postage stamp.
The right side of the vertical line is where you will include your recipient’s address. Put their name on the top line, their street address on the middle line, and their city, state, and zip code on the bottom line. It costs 44 cents to send a postcard, so add a forever stamp or 44-cents worth of postage.
The left side of the line is where you can write your note or greeting. There are no specific rules for writing a postcard, so feel free to include a letter, a poem, a joke, or even a drawing! You have a very small space to work with, so make it count!
Although you don’t need to include a return address on postcards, doing so can give you peace of mind, especially if your postcard is handmade or special. Traditionally, you should include the return address on the upper left of your postcard. Write it small in the same format as described for your recipient, or use a label.
Always be sure to print clearly so that the postal service can sort your card correctly. You can also type an address label if that’s easier for you!
How To Send Your Postcard
The next step is learning how to send out mail. This is going to depend on where you live.
If you live at a residence with door-to-door mail pickup, simply pop it in the mailbox and wait for your postal worker to come! Make sure to indicate that you have mail ready to pick up. Postcards are small, and you want to make sure the postal worker sees yours!
If you don’t have door-to-door pickup, you can use a blue mailbox. Open the door on the mailbox, put your postcard into the door, and then close it. The postcard will be secure until a postal worker comes to gather the mail from that location.
You might also choose to go to the post office in person. If you don’t have stamps on hand, then you might have to do this anyway. A postal employee will help you weigh your postcard, sell you the exact postage, and then place your postcard in a pile for sorting.
You don’t have to do anything after that! If your recipient lives nearby, they might receive your postcard within two days. If they live in another state or country, it might take longer, but be patient!
Send a Postcard, Get a Postcard!
Sending a postcard is a creative, personal, and fun way to connect with the people you love! Postcards are little pieces of joy that, for once, aren’t trying to sell anyone anything! Best of all, if you send a postcard, you just might get a postcard in return!
Are you looking for more ways to add a dose of happiness to your day? Check out the rest of the blog for posts that can help you conquer self-care!