Penpalling & Letters

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Tips on letter writing III

Writing and receiving letters is an exciting activity. How many times have we found ourselves running to the letterbox to check if mail had arrived? In how many occasions the arrival of a letter cheered us up in a grey day and put a wide smile in our face? Isn't it great to exchange written papers and envelopes coming from far away? Don't you feel how special letters and correspondence between two people are?
As the penfriendship develops and you start exchanging more letters in a regular basis you might feel like sending some special stuff to your penpal and try to make your letters unique. Anything enclosed in a letter won't and will never be a replacement of the written words, but still is nice to enclose special features in a letter.
The first point to be taken into account is that you do not need to spend a lot of money in any singular thing you will be sending to a penpal nor be a too elaborated gift. There is no need to. Most of the time are the simple objects the ones which make a difference and make us feel special because our pal thought of us! So, try to inspire yourself and be creative!
And now you find yourself thinking which are the possibilities to send something special in the mail, something which is not too expensive, fits in an envelope, and at the same time, is cute and eye-catching. Just use your imagination as possibilities are endless.

How to make your letters unique? First of all, maybe you are one of those people who like drawing. I used to draw a lot when I was a child and a teenager and really enjoyed it back then. When drawing be sure you are creating the most personal decorated letter you could ever send. You don't feel like drawing? There are still lots of possibilities to personalize a letter: you can use stickers, rubber stamps showing different motifs, glitter, glitter pens, colouring pencils, water colour pencils, colour decorative stencils, quotes...
Another possibility is to design and print your own letter-paper. You can work on a graphics editing computer program until you obtain the wished design. Remember typical features and symbols of your homeland to decorate the letter here. They will surely transmit the essence of your homeplace.
What else is it possible to enclose in a letter? Remember characteristic stuff from your country. Perhaps this is not so easy to think about at first. We are too used to our own stuff and it usually happens that features which are common for us might surprise a person from another land, just because that specific thing cannot be found in their place. Again, it is not about an expensive gift. Have you thought about natural stuff? For example, drying and pressing a tree leaf or a flower? What about sending sand from your favourite beach, dunes or from the shores of a nearby lake?
Some other items which can be part of a letter are: postcards, used stamps, pictures, stationery (letter paper, pens, envelopes, stickers, deco-tape...), newspaper/magazine-cuttings, magnets, key-rings, bookmarks, CDs/DVDs of your favourite music or favourite movies, transportation tickets, telephone cards, maps from the city/place you live, brochures, tea-bags...

Despite it is exciting to send and receive additional stuff by post it should never be expected or demanded. It is very ugly to request specific stuff and gifts to penpals in certain countries, simply because you cannot find such items in yours. If it is a fair swap, it becomes an agreement between two people, otherwise don't be greedy and thoughtless!
Make sure you are sending stuff because you feel like it, because it is your personal decision and you wish to surprise your penpal; not because your penpal is demanding stuff all the time and you don't want to lose this penfriend. Also, consider that if you are sending a gift because it is your penpal birthday or it is a special celebration, don't send expensive stuff through the post. Maybe your penpal cannot afford the same stuff back and might feel embarrassed when receiving your parcel. Also because some packages never arrive to destination...
Finally, be careful when sending stuff to certain countries and cultures different to yours. Maybe the item can be inappropriate or considered of bad taste by your pal.

As you can see the possibilities to send additional stuff together with a letter are endless. You only need a little bit of inspiration, imagination and creativity!

If you are looking for advice on penpalling check: "Tips on letter writing".

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