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Happy Mail Ideas: How To Send Fun Snail Mail

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When I was a kid, I was captivated by the whimsical lives of the March sisters in Little Women – and what was more fun and enchanting than their post office in the woods? I would have loved so dearly to have my own little key to a secret mailbox, not to mention the charming artifacts it delivered:

“The P.O. was a capital little institution, and flourished wonderfully, for nearly as many queer things passed through it as through the real office. Tragedies and cravats, poetry and pickles, garden seeds and long letters, music and gingerbread, rubbers, invitations, scoldings, and puppies.”

I might not have received pickles or puppies in my mailbox, but the possibilities were still thrilling. Birthday cards from aunts and uncles, activity-filled magazines to which my grandparents had generously subscribed my siblings and me, toy catalogs at Christmas time. I once received a bill of foreign currency from an uncle stationed abroad that made my eyes nearly pop out of my head. As a kid, there was nothing better than taking a walk to the mailbox with the idea that I might find something exciting inside. 

As an adult, checking the mail is a somewhat more mundane task. But every now and then, amidst the bills and advertisements, I find a piece of happy mail from a friend. And when I do, it absolutely makes my day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could reclaim our mailboxes, and make them more about pleasure and personal correspondence than business? Whether you’re into long letters to pen pals or short notes to friends to brighten their day, sending happy mail to loved ones is a wonderful way to make snail mail fun again. 

What Is Happy Mail?

Happy mail is a simple concept, and it’s just exactly what it sounds like: mail that makes you happy. Happy mail can be as small and simple as a postcard, or as elaborate as a care package in a great big box. The whole point is that it’s fun for the recipient to open, and it makes the sender feel good knowing that they’ve made someone’s day that much better. 

Why Send Happy Mail?

Sending happy mail is all about spreading joy and kindness. As the recipient, it’s exciting to open, and as the sender it gives you a warm feeling to know that you’ve made someone else’s day. But beyond that, it’s a way to say, “I’m here and I care.” Sometimes you lose touch with a friend, and it feels good to reach out in a small way to keep the relationship alive. Sometimes you know that a friend is going through a tough time, and sending a small note provides comfort. And sometimes you just feel called to send a little token and say, “this made me think of you.” Sending happy mail is a way to strengthen relationships through tiny, thoughtful gifts and treasures.

Sending happy mail doesn’t have to be just for personal relationships. As a business owner, send happy mail to clients or customers that they’ll love opening to form strong business relationships and encourage loyalty. If you manage employees, strengthen relationships and encourage a positive work culture by sending happy mail to express your gratitude. 

Who To Send Happy Mail To

There’s probably an endless list of people you could send happy mail to. Because it doesn’t have to be any more complex than popping a postcard or note in the mail with a few lines of gratitude or appreciation, happy mail is so easy to send to pretty much anyone. Consider sending happy mail to any of the following:

  • A friend you haven’t seen in a while
  • A friend who could use a smile
  • An older relative who can’t get out much
  • A student who left home for college
  • A friend who moved to a new place where they don’t know anyone
  • An acquaintance whom you’d like to get to know better
  • A client or customer whose business you appreciate
  • An employee who goes above and beyond
  • An event coordinator who made things run smoothly 
  • A hair stylist, nail technician, doctor, dentist, vet, etc. whom you couldn’t live without
  • The first person who popped into your head when you started reading this post

Inspiration For Your Happy Mail

Happy mail can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. All you really need to do is write a few lines on a postcard or in a greeting card, put a stamp on it, and you’re good to go! But sometimes you want to put a little extra effort into your happy mail to make your letter or package extra special to open. We’ve compiled some ideas to make your mail especially memorable and fun. 

Make It Pretty – Inside And Out

Pull out whatever art supplies you have at your disposal and go to town! Even adding just one or two little touches can make a simple card or letter that much sweeter. You don’t even have to confine yourself to the inside of the letter – consider adding some embellishments to the envelope, too, so that your recipient is delighted from the moment they pull your note out of the mailbox. Here are some ways to spruce up your note:

  • Use a colorful writing utensil (pens, markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.)
  • Add stickers or fun tape 
  • Draw a picture or doodle
  • Write on pretty paper, stationery, or a greeting card
  • Use a rubber stamp to add designs
  • Address the envelope with calligraphy
  • Add art to the envelope
  • Use washi tape or a wax seal to close the envelope
  • Use pretty postage stamps

Add Some Goodies

Who doesn’t love receiving gifts? A note in the mail can become a gift when you enclose a tiny, thoughtful trinket with your card or letter. Use your imagination to come up with lightweight items that can fit in an envelope. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Photos
  • Polaroids 
  • Tea bags
  • Stickers
  • Pressed flowers or leaves
  • A clipping from a newspaper or magazine
  • A comic strip
  • Your favorite poem
  • Flat origami
  • A pretty piece of ribbon, string, or fabric
  • A friendship bracelet or a hair tie
  • Paper with a pretty pattern
  • Old postage stamps
  • A crossword puzzle or sudoku
  • A cute sticky note (with or without a little message on it)
  • A bookmark
  • A postcard
  • Cute paperclips, buttons, or other small odds and ends
  • Prayer cards
  • Souvenir pennies or foreign currency
  • Small candies (just be mindful of sending things that could melt in the heat!)
  • Confetti
  • A recipe
  • Business cards from businesses you love
  • A playlist of your favorite songs
  • Sheet music
  • Paint swatches
  • Doilies
  • Embroidery samples 
  • A gift card

Make It Personal

The best way to make mail happy is to send it from the heart. Write a thoughtful note to a friend, or a sincere, heartfelt thank you note to someone who did you a service or favor. A handwritten note always feels more personal, and the extra effort will be greatly appreciated by your recipient. If you add decorations or trinkets to your note, personalize them to your recipient so that they feel known and loved. 

Make It Unexpected

The best feeling is receiving happy mail when you didn’t know it was coming. Keep your note a secret if you can so that it’s a fun surprise when your recipient opens their mailbox. If you have a pen pal you’re in touch with on a regular basis, adding something extra and unexpected can keep the excitement alive. Or if you really want to go above and beyond, sending a surprise care package can really make someone’s day. 

How To Send Happy Mail

Sending happy mail that fits in an envelope is super easy. One U.S. Forever stamp covers the cost of mailing an envelope weighing up to one ounce. For reference, a small greeting card (like the ones we sell!) weighs about half an ounce, and four sheets of printer paper are about one full ounce. If you think you may be over the weight limit, just add another stamp. Pop it in your mailbox and you’re good to go!

Sending small packages that fit in your mailbox is easy to do without even leaving your house these days, too. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh your package and buy postage online at or that you can print at home. 

Enclose Your Happy Mail In A Pretty Greeting Card

Greeting cards, thinking of you cards, and just because cards make the perfect canvas for happy mail. Shop our selection of watercolor greeting cards and have happy mail twice – it’s happy for you when you receive your package from us, and it’s happy again when you put cards in the mail for a friend!



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