Pen Pal Pairing

“A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend.”
― Emily Dickinson

I have a friend in my life who sends me cards occasionally. Randomly, and for really no reason at all. An envelope I am always excited to spot sitting sweetly wedged amongst an otherwise uninspiring stack of utility bills and coupon flyers in the mailbox. Recently I started to think about how such a simple, old fashioned endeavor still means so much to us. My boys are equally delighted to find any kind of card or package in the mail, even when it’s not addressed to them. And when my best friend sends them each their own small box crammed full of festive treats and treasures for each major holiday, it’s always one of the major highlights of each season, something they talk about and pine for all month long.

As for official pen pals, Rex is the only one in our family with one. He wears the fact of it like a boxer with a newly gleaned (much envied) gold medal around his brothers who wear their jealously on their faces like sad hungry dogs when his packages arrive cooly decorated, with hand written goodies from his same aged buddy, sometimes accompanied by little bottles filled with beach rocks, or bookmarks, small pamphlets identifying sea creatures, cowboy postcards, and unqiue leather trinkets. They are small, well thought, and mean the world to him. Which is why I thought it was time I put together a pen pal pairing here. For other kids to engage in. To help lend some efforts towards securing the age old allure of a hand written letter where the mystery attached to a new envelope from a person you’ve never met but come to really like and wonder about might very well benefit our kids who’s ways of modern communication are already severely blighted by easy, instant means of communication apparent in their increasingly text heavy, overly abbreviated, strangely inflated, emjoied childhood.

The way it works is easy:
Deadline: Feb. 10th
Include participating child’s (children)  Name, Age, and five facts of interest you feel might benefit their new pal and your address and I will work at pairing them with similarly aged kids and then email you back with the chosen match (and their address) sometime before the end of next month.

From there the extent and frequency of your correspondence is up to you. Please remember the activity it’s meant to be fun and stressless. Contributions should be simple, creative, and age appropriate. Keep in mind things like stickers, drawings, hand written letters and any other kind of small “treasures” you find or make that you feel might be especially suited to your pen pal and their interests, or something your child them self enjoys and wishes to share.

Once the packages start to make their rounds I was thinking if might be fun to share photos of what they make or receive using a custom hashtag on Instagram. Though this is not, by any means a requisite in the least. Just a fun way of keeping tabs on our kid’s new, old fashioned ways.

Sound good?

4 Responses

  • Oh my goodness, what a beautiful idea. Letters are so special and they are quickly becoming obsolete. I lived in rural Alaska last year and receiving letters/packages was so exciting. It was like Christmas every time someone sent us a card or a box! If I had a child, I would sign them up for this pen-pal program right now. Is there such a thing for twenty-somethings? 🙂

    Circus & Bloom

    • I recently set my 30 year old sister up with a pen pal and we initially did not tell her about it. She was excited about the first letter but scared (rightly so) to correspond with a stranger who just randomly wrote her and even sent stickers, ha ha! Of course I told her I had arranged it, she punched me in the arm and then proceeded to enjoy the coolness of pen pal-ing. It was something I did for her as a gift because I knew it would bring continual happiness rater than another knick knack or doo dad.
      I had a pen pal growing up, a distant cousin. My daughter had one at age 7 but they tapered off. She’s a little older now and I am very appreciative that you would take them to arrange this! Thanks 🙂


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