We have a sweet family friend who sends a card to each of my daughters for practically every holiday and birthday. They are chosen to match each special occasion, of course.
When we open the mailbox, these greeting cards, complete with color-coordinated envelopes, are a welcome visual treat jumping out among the assortment of plain white bills and other letters.
They are what you call happy mail.
I love receiving happy mail, even if I am expecting it, such as a package from Amazon that I have tracked for days and happen to know is out for delivery.
Checking the mailbox, whether it is at the end of a driveway, at the post office or in a cluster at an apartment building, is a routine part of life. To me, it is like opening a present every day.
Just like unwrapping a box, sometimes I like what I get. Sometimes, I don't. Sometimes, I just want to return the item to where it came from as soon as possible.
A lot of days are like this when I open our mailbox. Day after day, I find only a power bill, a mortgage payment due or a MasterCard statement. Then, there are the insane amounts of credit card offers, insurance plans and donation requests.
Finally, on a day when I dread going to check the mail for fear of more junk, the happiness arrives tucked neatly into the black metal box.
It is a hand-picked birthday card, a long-awaited package, a favorite magazine, a cute party invitation -- things I have to restrain myself from opening as I walk back to the house. These are the days when it doesn't matter how many bills are also stuck in the box.
Some of the best happy mail days for me are when thank-you notes show up. It is nice to be thanked for a gift, but the fact that they are typically handwritten is what I enjoy about them so much. In a world of email, texts and Facebook, reading someone's print (or cursive) is interesting and meaningful.
It may seem silly to get so excited about a piece of mail, but sometimes that is all that is needed to turn a ho-hum day into a really good one. It really is the simple things.
A shiny, new catalog can inspire hours of entertainment and dreaming. An unexpected check made out to you will boost anyone's spirits. And, a heartfelt greeting card, like those sent to my girls, are sure to make you feel special.
It wouldn't be happy mail if it didn't.
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