Thursday, July 17, 2014

on sending fun mail.

I used to be good at sending mail. In fact, sending mail was my thing.

I sent birthday cards, Christmas cards, even Halloween cards to family and friends. I knew the value of a handwritten thank you note and sent them all. the. time. I mailed friends small gifts, just because.

I sent mail to friends living in other countries, other cities, other neighborhoods. I even sent mail to people living in the same house as me. (I lived in residence all four years of my Bachelor degree.)

And then, two years ago, I made the decision to move to China. And I figured that living in a country halfway around the world would mean I'd send even more mail. But I didn't.

I think this is partly because I've lost myself a bit over the past few years. But mostly I think it's because China's stationery selection is not so great (a major understatement), and finding the perfect card has become really difficult.

After a while, the novelty of sending friends touristy postcards wears off. And then all that's left in Beijing are not-so-pretty cards with poorly—but sometimes hilariously!—translated sentiments:

The novelty of these also wears off pretty quickly.

So I was really happy to discover Tiny Prints. I spent hours going through all of their stationery and loved the bright colours and patterns I saw! Seriously, you guys, I didn't know I could get so excited about cards!

Eventually, I chose two options to order and customize for myself:

I've always loved the idea of monograms. It makes you feel a little bit fancy when you have something with your initials on it, but I also think it can be kind of stuffy. That's why I really like the "Monogram Bubble"; it's a little bit fancy, but a lot of fun!

I love the "Cheery Checklist" because I am a sucker for things that can multitask and look good doing it. And I got extra excited when I realized I could customize the checklist!

As soon as I received the cards, I was back to my old self, planning little ways to make people happy through mail.

I used one of the "Cheery Checklist" cards to write a thank you note to my three assistants who helped me teach Summer Camp (Hooray! I'm done teaching and on vacation!) and delivered it along with bubble tea—after all, I'm still in China.

P.S. I once said that instead of sending Christmas cards, I'd rather send New Year cards. Well, not only does Tiny Prints have those, they have Chinese New Year cards, too! This expat-living-in-China-and-dating-a-Chinese-man is super impressed!

P.P.S. If you're living overseas like me and think International shipping is sometimes too expensive, here are a couple of ideas: 1) Order whatever it is you want right before you go home for a visit so that way you can bring it back in your luggage. 2) Order it, have it shipped home, and have someone slip it into a care package for you. Can you tell I've been around the block a couple of times? ;) Of course, if it's something I really want or it's a special occasion, I'll just suck it up and pay the shipping fee.

(Personalized stationery c/o Tiny Prints)

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