Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Frugal Fun: The Envelope, Please

When I was a kid, we used to mail greeting cards for nearly every occasion. Of course, we sent out birthday, Christmas and Valentine's wishes, but we also offered cards for Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day, Easter and Halloween, as well as to our parents and grandparents for Mother's and Father's Day. And don't get me started about a written thank you note. Any gift we received required a personalized acknowledgement, detailing how much we appreciated the specific gift and how we planned to use it.

I don't know about you, but my receiving cards on any occasion has slowed substantially. With the exception of a family friend who still remembers every single holiday, my own list of Christmas cards received has dwindled, and most birthday messages these days come via email --- or even worse -- Facebook.

That's why I was stopped recently by the cheerful display in the windows of The Greenwich Letterpress in Greenwich Village. Shown here, the vintage sentiments burst with colorful, thoughtfully designed animals that remind me of the of notes we used to receive from my grandparents, friends and relatives as a child. Such was the anticipation of what the postal carrier would bring to our house that my sister and I would often argue over which one of us would get reach into the mailbox and reveal its contents.

While I still look forward to my daily postal delivery, it's mostly made up of ads, bills and credit card offers. But occasionally there's an envelope containing a friendly surprise, and when there is, it still makes my day.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. It is true, there's nothing quite like the feeling you get when receiving a card or a package in the mail. It's very special. I feel sorry for today's younger generation, they won't experience that to the same extent!

  2. Oh My...those boxes are just fabulous and totally take me back to a simpler time. Now THAT is something I would like to thrift!
    BTW, watch your twitter, I am tweeting you privately with one of my crazy questions:)
    Hugs, Sonya

  3. I agree... finding a card in the snailmail these days is a lovely surprise.
    I bought a box of antique valentines at a yard sale loooong ago. The detail & intricacy was incredible in the early 1900's!
    Today's cards require hunting for a lovely image, and they don't come close to yesteryear's.
    Send a card to your grandmother or Uncle Larry today & brighten up their day!

  4. Love the's so cheerful and springy. Innocent and sweet, too. Yes, I totally agree with loving getting mail back in the day...personal mail, that is, not the ads and junk and ugh! bills. Up until the 90s, getting the mail was a highlight in my day, since all my correspondence was done via snail mail. I still try to make my own cards for all the holidays and decorate the envelopes for the "special" folk in my life and send them via snailmail.

    When I was a kid, having an international pen pal via snailmail was THE thing. It was promoted in the school systems, too, you know, the idea that children were the key to communications and world peace for the future. And the stamps from other countries were soooo exotic and art work in themselves. Ahhhhhhhhhh, the simplicity and elegance of yesteryear. Thanks for the memories...

  5. You brought back special memories with this one, Stan. I have a box of cards relatives and my parents' friends sent when I was born (my mother saved everything!). Perhaps there were phone calls as well, but I doubt it. That would have involved calling LONG DISTANCE! Cards and stamps were ever so much more affordable. ;)

  6. I adore vintage cards, and I don't usually find them all that often. I do still send greeting cards to friends and family, and I must admit that I will only send my special vintage cards to those I know will truly appreciate them! There are those who would just think I was weird if I sent them an "old" card. They so totally don't "get" me!

  7. My grandmother was my penpal for a long time, writing each other letters and cards, including little drawings and adding cute images from magazines. She passed away recently and i really do miss receiving and sending our penpal mail.
    I must say, moving across the world also makes for a good excuse to send, and receive cards and surprise care packages. Around Christmas i received two huge boxes filled with Dutch treats! And a card. ;)

  8. I love, love real mail, all sorts of cards; vintage & new, especially letterpress and learned the love of writing and sending cards from my grandma & mom...thanks for sharing!!



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