Ah postcards… that rustic gift. Receive a postcard in the post, from a place far far away, and you feel, strangely, loved.
Bring the postcard to your nose, and you might even be able to smell the sea from where it’s been sent from. Run your fingers over the gentle card, the ink that’s been scratched onto the surface, and you immediately feel the thought that’s gone towards posting the postcard to you.
Ah, don’t let me continue waxing lyrical about postcards. As a career writer, I write for a living, and write to show my love to others too.
Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, where you can send a few bytes over the internet, the postcard is dying a slow death.
This is a tribute to them.
And to you, the lovely sender of the postcard.
Getting a postcard for someone can be a perfect gift this festive season. But before we go into that, let’s look at how you can make the best use of them.
After all, when you’re spending a few dollars to post it, you want to make sure that it does what you want – show your love.
How to make the best use of postcards
Oh, don’t you hate those postcards that say nothing? Those that scratch a mere ‘Merry Christmas, Mum XX’?
I hate them too.
You don’t have to make yours that way.
Write something that matters
Write something that matters.
I often suggest that you take the time to take a precious memory you’ve shared with them this season, and share it over the card. Tell them how grateful you are for that, and why you are.
I’ve found that these kind of postcards often go much further than the ordinary, run of the mill ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’.
Establishing that emotional connection can often be hard with the written word, especially when so many of us are used to the typed word.
Some typed words can be transactional. Others can just be a little too much, with the many emojis in them.
The beauty of the written word is that it’s messy, imperfect, and spontaneous. You write something wrong, and you have to cancel it with your pen.
There are no neat and tidy ‘edits’ you can make to your text.
For me, that makes the message real.
Know what your loved ones like
You may go to some effort to craft a thoughtful message, only to have your partner sulking. That may not be their language of love.
Knowing what pleases them, rather than what pleases you, is vital towards sending a gift that will make them happy.
I will be the first one to confess that over the years, I’ve written cards because I like writing, rather than the recipient.
Often, I’ve been hurt because I’ve wondered why those I send to don’t seem to send back a heartfelt message.
Then I realise,
Oh they don’t show love, or receive love in this manner.
Showing your love through a handwritten postcard may not be how the other party prefers to receive love. That’s why you need to know,
- what does the other person like?
- What presents do they enjoy?
This will help you pick a more thoughtful gift that makes both parties happy.
Here are the nearly extinct places that still sell postcards
The good ol’ Singpost office at Singpost Centre
Singpost, the Singaporean government-linked corporation that sends out the nation’s mail, still sells postcards at its main office at the Singpost Centre.
They are beautifully designed, with thoughtfully-crafted artworks adorning the postcards.
You can get them online, or at 10 Eunos Road 8, Singapore Post Centre, Singapore 408600.
Crane is a coworking space with a retail arm. At their retail stores in Claymore Connect, and Joo Chiat, they do have some postcards you can buy.
Alicia is someone we commissioned to do a set of designs for us.
We love her style because of how they emanate life, through her art.
She uses calligraphy to illustrate the pieces, and when you look at them, you can clearly see the ‘humanness’ that comes out through the art.
As you spend more time with the artwork, you will also find yourself slowly realising different truths that you see in them.
Live Young and Well
In June 2020, we started writing this series of inspirational messages for those who were struggling through the lockdown.
Sparked by the clients I had worked with as a social worker, these were people who had shared courage, strength and hope with me during our counselling sessions.
We then asked Singaporean calligrapher Alicia to design them.
We love the design on them.
I’m sure you will, too.
You can get them here.
This season, give a better gift
Forget those chocolates.
This Christmas, give a better gift. A heartfelt, thoughtful, gift that expresses your love in a handwritten way.
Remember the last time a personal message from someone caught you by surprise? Left you with watery eyes, and trying desperately to hide them so that no one would see them?
There’s something beautiful in receiving a postcard in the post. Tear open the seal, slowly read through the words on them, and let yourself just feel the depth of love that’s expressed on those cards.
Give a better gift this Christmas, with better postcards.