I had a discussion recently with my sister about purchasing postage stamps for our Christmas cards. We take our stamp purchases very seriously. Making the stamp choice is a very important part of the anatomy of the perfect envelope. Now, I recognize that on most occasions, the need for perfection of an envelope is simply not important. But it is a special treat to open the mail box and see envelope perfection. It invites a moment to sit on the porch to see what is inside. And as such, I love attempting perfection of the Christmas card envelope. Some years I care more than others. For instance, the absolute perfect envelope has the following features:
- hand written name and address
- colored envelope
- an artistically placed return address
- a stamp that has good color and is placed inset in the envelope far enough to allow the paper of the envelope to act as a bit of a border of the stamp. An over-sized stamp is the best kind. It makes more of a statement.
There is one exception to the colored envelope idea. Wedding invitations. And ironically, that is the one instance where envelope perfection is a must. And it brings the added requirement of a hand cancelled stamp. And THAT requires a relationship with your local postal worker. He will need to tell you his lunch break hour so that you can swoop in and use his hand canceler stamp. Most of the time he will not be willing to do the cancelling for you.
Some years, for Christmas cards, I just don’t find the time to hand address each envelope. But some years I do, and while I am doing it, I wonder whether it is really worth it to be an envelope snob.
I will have to elaborate on envelope perfection when I have good examples. But for now, stamps are the focus. And there are some good ones out there right now. With the Forever Stamp increasingly available, it is now easy to stock up on pretty stamps without fear that they will be out of date soon. Here are my current favorites.
All can be purchased here and sent to you for a buck. Not bad.