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A Small, Surprising Way to Brighten Someone's Day

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What can you do with just five minutes? Actually, way more than you think! Introducing Food52 in 5: your cheat sheet for speedy, delicious recipes, fun mini projects, and more.

Maybe it’s my old soul talking, but I love sending small notes in the mail, especially postcards. Sure, you typically only send them when you’re on a trip, but life’s a journey too, right? An unexpected letter hiding in a pile of junk mail always brightens my day (when’s the last time you opened mail that wasn’t a credit card application you didn’t request?). Oh, and it only takes about five minutes to write one out and slap on a stamp.

For me, it’s a fun way for me to stay in touch, especially with friends who live more than a thousand miles away in Louisiana. (Sure, there's phone calls and FaceTime, but: busy, late, arrgh.) Rather than letting friendships fizzle, a postcard is a tiny, unobstructive way for me to say, “Hey there, I thought of you.” Plus, I don’t feel obligated to write a novel—just five or 10 lines.

Photo by Julia Gartland

I like hunting flea markets and bookstores for cute cards that fit my friends’ personalities—one friend loves vegetable puns, another historical (badass) ladies, and I always grab anything with cats for my sister. But I’ve also sent those postcards that often accompany restaurant bills—it’s a great way to recommend a place to a friend who lives in the same city (bonus: They’re free).

Most of my letters are freestyle ramblings in which I share my latest funny stories or recommend a new-to-me podcast or recipe. Sometimes, I just write a series of questions: “How are you? When are you going to visit? What’s the name of that book about two brothers you wanted me to read?” There’s no rhyme or reason, I just jot it down, then sign off with an xoxo.

The friends I’ve mailed postcards to tell me they love these tiny notes. And the best part: Some of them have started sending me their own cards back.

Turn Any Letter into a Love Note With DIY Envelope Liners

Turn Any Letter into a Love Note With DIY Envelope Liners by Laura Kaesshaefer

14 Care Package-Worthy Treats for Loved Ones Near and Far

14 Care Package-Worthy Treats for Loved Ones Near and Far by Caroline Lange


What do you do to keep in touch with the important people in your life? Tell us in the comments.

Tags: Back to Basics, Food52 in 5