Tuck-ins…A letter is wonderful but tuck something in too!

Pen pals love to exchange letters, but tucking something extra in is nice too. A tuck-in can help bring a letter to life, show that you care, or just keep things interesting. Tuck-ins are generally anything light weight and flat/thin than won’t increase postage much, if at all. Optimally the letter can still be mailed at the regular price. However, there are pen pals out there who love “fat mail” – as it was called back in the day – a letter filled with so many extras that the envelope was thick and required extra postage.

I said that a tuck-in can bring a letter to life. How so? For example, you tell your pen friend about your vacation or hometown. Including a tourist pamphlet or postcard adds a dimension to it – allowing them to see photos and learn some other details.

I know, I know – this is the age of google. They could just google it. But will they? But besides, we are pen pals – still mailing things by post – and many of us still prefer tangible items that you can hold and touch!

Perhaps you are thinking that there are not many things that are lightweight, thin, and easily fit in an envelope? But there are more than you think!

Or maybe you think you can’t afford these little extras? Well, some things can be acquired free and if you only tuck in 1 or 2 items the postage should remain the same. Here are some ideas…

⇒Stickers, bookmarks, sheets of notepaper or a notecard

⇒A newspaper clipping that you think would interest your pen pal – perhaps about your town/area, an event you attended, or a topic of interest to your friend.

⇒Same for magazine articles. I am a Christian and write several Christian pen pals and we sometimes exchange articles about our shared faith.

⇒A postcard. When I travel I mail a few postcards, but I always bring a few extra home to tuck into my letters.

⇒Tourist pamphlets. You don’t have to be traveling to find free pamphlets for tourists, look for them in YOUR town too!

⇒A church bulletin. Even if your pen pal is not religious or a church attender, they may find this interesting. I have mailed church bulletins to certain international pals, and they were fascinated by how “social” church is in the USA – lots of activities.

⇒Hobby related items. I have a pen pal that crochets and sews, and she may include a small piece of yarn or fabric from her current project.

⇒If you attend an event of some type, paper related mementos can be out and about. Some of these could interest a pen friend.

⇒Nature related, like a pressed autumn leaf – or seeds. (There could be limitations for seeds with international mail.)

⇒A tea bag of a specialty tea. A tea bag is not totally flat but usually flat enough. I have mailed and received a tea bag, within the US at least, without a problem and with no extra postage required.

⇒Personal photographs

⇒Recipes, recipe cards – If your pen pal likes cooking or perhaps just for cultural interest, to inform about a popular or traditional local food dish. For example, a local newspaper had an article about southern style biscuits along with a recipe. I clipped this and sent it to a pen pal. Grocery stores can have free recipe cards.

Perhaps this gets your creative mind flowing? Leave a comment, and add more ideas!

Many of the items above are free to acquire. But “be good” though! Don’t clear out a freebie just to have enough to send to ALL your pen friends. That is not polite. Take several, and leave some for others.

For example, I come across free bookmarks on occasion, and I take 2 or 3 for the pen pals I know who are readers. If you want to take more than several of a free item, ask first, if it is a situation where there is someone to ask. I have done this before. I’ve asked if it is okay if I take a dozen – letting them I know I will mail them out to others. Usually they welcome me to take as many as I’d like.

5 thoughts on “Tuck-ins…A letter is wonderful but tuck something in too!

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