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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

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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

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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