Mail A Smile This Holiday Season (Plus A Giveaway!)

We all love making others smile, especially at this time of year. Well, mailing a smile just got a little bit easier with this set of pre-stamped . The booklet of 20 cards features the following beloved Disney•Pixar characters:

The Mail A Smile stamped cards are available from The Postal Store. Click image for more info.

  • Flik and Dot from A Bug’s Life
  • Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) and Dashiell “Dash” Parr from The Incredibles
  • Nemo and Squirt from Finding Nemo
  • Woody, Bullseye, and Jessie from Toy Story 2
  • Boo, Mike Wazowski, and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan from Monsters, Inc.

Each set of stamped cards includes five different designs and early character sketches. Best of all, each card includes a pre-printed Mail a Smile (Forever®) stamp, so you’ll always have the right postage. Simply write a message, address, and send some cheer!

We have three sets of Mail A Smile stamped cards to give away. To enter all you have to do is send your name and address to uspsstamps [at] gmail [dot] com. Winners will be chosen at random. The deadline for entries is midnight, Tuesday, December 11. Good luck!

Giveaway: Go Green Seeded Postcards

The Go Green seeded postcards are available from The Postal Store. Click image for more info.

Keep in touch the “green” way this holiday season with postcards that your friends and loved ones can plant. Each set of includes four postcards that sprout wildflowers when planted, as well as four – no extra postage necessary!

With the release of the Go Green stamps in 2011, the U.S. Postal Service hoped to raise awareness of the simple actions that each of us can take to conserve natural resources and promote the health of our environment. The Postal Service is doing its part to go green by providing Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM mailing and shipping supplies, which meet established standards for human and environmental health and recyclability.

We have three sets of Go Green seeded postcards to give away. To enter all you have to do is send your name and address to uspsstamps [at] gmail [dot] com. Winners will be chosen at random. The deadline for entries is midnight, Monday, December 10. Good luck!

Do You Know About Postcrossing?

If you’re at all tuned in to the stamp-loving and letter-writing communities across the web, chances are you’ve heard of Postcrossing. Launched in 2005 by people who delight in checking the mailbox (not the inbox) every day, this postal-based project connects people from all over the world through the exchange of postcards.

The premise is simple: Create a profile, request an address to which you’d like to mail a postcard, send it, and wait for one to come to you, all for (almost) free—you do have to pay for postage! (For the visually-minded, this video demonstrates the process, set to philatelic music.) The best part is, you never know what you’re going to find in your mailbox.

Because it’s an international exchange, users can receive a wide variety of stamps, postcards, and even mail art. Many Postcrossers upload images of their unique pieces to Postcrossing’s Flickr page as a visual component to the shared communication. Some are truly amazing!

Since the project’s inception, Postcrossers have sent more than 13 million postcards to addresses around the globe. And it isn’t just mail fans participating. The State Journal reported that several homeschool communities use Postcrossing as an alternative method for teaching geography and history. Letters and stamps can be fun and educational!

Have you ever participated in Postcrossing? If you were to send a postcard to an unknown recipient, what would you write? What kind of postcard would you send? Which stamp(s) would you use? Tell us your stories in the comments.

Favorite Links: 52 Weeks of Mail Edition

On October 9, 2011 (World Post Day!), the Etsy Greetings Team—a group of more than 100 artists devoted to the art and promotion of handmade cards—issued a challenge to their followers: Mail at least one letter, postcard, or note to a friend or loved one every week for a year. People around the world took on the 52 Weeks of Mail challenge, including one blog devoted (almost) entirely to the project. (Do a Google search for “52 Weeks of Mail” and you’ll find many more bloggers and penpal organizations doing the same thing.)

The first 52 Weeks of Mail challenge ends two weeks from this Sunday. If like us, however, you follow the official (there’s also a Flickr group devoted to the challenge), you’ll know that a whole new 52 Weeks of Mail begins again the second week of October.

For those of you thinking about joining in for the second year, here are some participation ideas from Handmadeology:

Send your card to Grandma (or whomever), enclosing a second card with a stamped envelope, so that she can send a card to someone else! Be sure to explain in your card what you are doing, so she will know why you sent her a brand new card.

Get your kids involved! Tell them stories of how snail mail was all there was when you were a kid. Let them write letters or send cards to grandparents, friends, etc. This will help keep the “art” of letter writing and sending alive.

Encourage friends, relatives and co-workers to join in on the fun, and challenge each other to see who can stick with this challenge.

USPS Stamps will officially be taking part this time around! How about you?

Start Your Week With A “Sketchy” Disney•Pixar Contest

Remember last week’s post about the blue-pencil sketches on the back of the Mail a Smile stamp sheet? Well, now’s your chance to show us how well you know the five Disney•Pixar movies featured on the stamps.

Here is the back of the stamp sheet again:

Can you name all the characters shown in the sketches? If so, you could win one set of Mail a Smile postcards, which include the stamp art and five of the sketches.

To enter, send your name and address along with the name of each character and the movie in which he/she/it appears to uspsstamps [at] gmail [dot] com. Three winners will be selected at random from those who answer correctly. You have until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, 9/12 to submit your answers. Good luck!

Disney/Pixar Materials: © Disney•Pixar