What is it about receiving regular mail that makes it so exciting?

Last night, I received mail. I am talking about actual real regular mail. The type that arrives to your mail box, not your inbox. You know, after being delivered by a phenomenon called the mail man.

I was fascinated by my own response. You feel it, you shake it, you wonder. What is it? Who is it from? A spark of true excitement before opening the envelope.

Receiving regular mail: What makes it so exciting?
Receiving an actual envelope, real regular mail, all the way from the Netherlands!

I have been almost non-stop away from home and my home country for almost 10 years now. In all this time, my mom – and some of my friends – has never stopped sending me little birthday presents, letters from my grandma, or other goodie packages she thought I really needed in “Far Far Away”…

Receiving regular mail: It comes with your own name on the envelope!
Receiving regular mail: It comes with your own name on the envelope!

Every time I receive regular mail, I find myself super excited about its contents. Last night was no different. After fighting the initial natural urge to rip the letter to shreds by sticking a finger through the glue line and recklessly start pulling, I ran to the kitchen to grab a sharp knife to carefully and efficiently open the envelope. You know, the adult way. 😉

As I sat back down, with an open envelope in hand, I started wondering…

What is it about receiving regular mail that makes it so exciting?

You've got mail!
I’ve got mail… and this envelope came with cute earrings! 🙂

Does it have anything to do with seeing your own name written on paper? Being directly and literally addressed? The fact that someone is thinking of you?

Or am I just greedy, and is it knowing that their will be a little present inside?
[The sound it made when I shook it instantly gave that secret away. 😉 ]

Probably none of the above. Or actually… all of the above.

I mean, let’s think about this for a moment.

Receiving regular mail is awesome, especially when it comes with chocolate!
Finding a present in your regular mail is great, especially when it’s chocolate! An “M” for Marly, can it get more personal? 🙂


1. The sender knows your full physical address

First of all, receiving regular mail means that the sender cares enough about you to know, investigate, or inquire about your physical address. And who can say that about their friends nowadays? Sure, we know where they live. Where the house is located. We even know to get there. But do we know the full address?

[Giving you a second to scratch your brain] …I didn’t think so.

Sending a card for Halloween or other special holidays is fun!
I love writing cards for Halloween, X-mas or other special holidays and occasions. It’s fun!

2. The sender picked up a pen and actually wrote some words

Second, the sender took some time to think about what to tell you before picking up a pen, and starting an ancient physical activity on the brink of extinction called hand writing.

He or she has tried to fit the words on the card, or to appropriately formulate sentences to establish a letter.

Valentine Cards: a good example of the excitement of receiving regular mail
I’ve even managed to receive a Valentine Card from two little girls who couldn’t quite write yet!

3. The sender took the effort to buy & post his or her creation

Last but definitely not least, at some point this person has had to leave the comfort of their own home to buy the card (or the paper to write on), acquire stamps to pay the appropriate postage fee, and eventually leave the house again to go to the post office or nearest mail box to send it out.

And, in the case of my mom, you can add endless testing and adjusting the package to stay within weight and size regulations to that list. 😉

Receiving regular mail is even more amazing when it's a big box!
The best regular mail package I have EVER received: Dutch design toaster, coffee machine, and water cooker… Thanks mom… 🙂

So there you have it. The sender went to quite a bit of trouble to buy, create, and send their message to you. All in the name of a personal greeting.

Wouldn’t you say that beats hitting a few mouse clicks and keyboard keys anytime?

A small post card with a personal goodbye message
A small post card from a friend ‘saying’ goodbye before I moved to the United States

4. The receiver – you! – gets to keep your mail as a gift, a souvenir, a long-lasting memory

I have tried to find pictures of some of the cool stuff I have received (or sent) over the years, while living in Argentina, United States, and Australia.

Receiving regular mail: my very own business cards!
A VERY exciting moment: The night I received a box of my very own self-designed business cards!

But regardless of whether I was able to find evidence of your contribution (which I was most likely not, since my track record of photo storage is less than hopeless 🙁 ), or whether I have been able to keep your gifts in my possession throughout my many cross-continental moves, I promise you that I will never forget your kindness.

[I kind of have a scarily large and accurate memory. Just saying.]

Sending a birthday card is so much more personal than an email or a message on social media
Sending a birthday card is so much more personal than an email or a message on social media. Sometimes I’d vote to go back to the good old days! 😉

Thanks to all of you who took an effort over the years!

I appreciate it, and you’ve made me smile. ?


Do you live or have you ever lived far away from family & friends?

What is the coolest piece of mail you have ever received? Please share!

Have you ever been one of my ‘senders’ and you happen to have any evidence of your “creation” process? I want to see those pictures!