by Father Mark Goldasich
Hooray for Scooby-Doo!
For this chronic procrastinator, anything that can motivate me is a welcome friend. Although I use modern means of technology to communicate — like email, text and Snapchat — my favorite way to keep in touch with others is still good ol’ snail mail.
I enjoy the feel of pen on paper. It’s nice to have to think before you write, because you can’t just move a cursor around and delete words as on a computer.
And the fact that it takes time and effort to do reminds me that the person I’m corresponding with is worth it.
So, what does Scooby-Doo have to do with all of this? Well, he’s now on a postage stamp — and he motivates me. I like to keep things fresh. In fact, I don’t think I’d write a single letter if the only stamps I had to use were those standard (boring) American flags.
That’s why you’ll find me regularly at the post office checking out what’s new — as in, the latest commemorative stamps. Right now in my stash are the aforementioned Scooby-Doos, some beautiful reproductions of Andrew Wyeth’s art and even a few colorful stamps extoling the art of magic.
But if you’ve not sampled what the U.S. Postal Service has come up with recently, you might be surprised to find circular stamps featuring the balls used in various sports. What makes these special is that they’re textured.
In other words, if you run your finger over them, you can feel the dimples on the golf ball or the stitching on the baseball.
Even more innovative are the stamps called Frozen Treats, featuring popsicles and other ice cream goodies. The big deal about these is they’re scratch and sniff! Very cool, if you’ll excuse the pun.
Having these stamps makes me want to share them with others. That means I find myself sitting down to write out a card or two, just so I can attach them to an envelope.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve celebrated five funerals. At each of them, I encouraged those in attendance to make time to keep in touch with people who are important to them, especially the ill or elderly.
Sadly, once someone has died, that opportunity is gone. Given all the ways we have to communicate nowadays, we seem to be more neglectful of it than ever.
So, my proposal is to revert to snail mail. Since a physical card is pretty rare to get in the mail anymore, it stands out amid all the junk. It’s something you can hold onto, display and enjoy over and over again. It has “personality.”
This time of year is ideal for sending cards. Thanksgiving is a prime opportunity to let someone who has had an impact on your life know of your appreciation.
And, of course, with Christmas sneaking ever closer, cards are a traditional way to celebrate the season.
As I write this, I’m eagerly awaiting the last components of my Christmas writing kit. After all, if I’m going to spend 50 cents for a stamp, then I’m jazzing up my correspondence with Christmas address labels, stamps and stickers.
Due to arrive soon are the Christmas cards and prayer cards that I’ll insert into each one — along with a handwritten note, of course.
By the way, I’m not getting a kickback from the post office or the Printery House of Conception Abbey (where I buy my cards) to write this!
I’d love to write more, but there’s a note I’ve got to get to. A young man in Rossville named Declan sent this wonderful, encouraging, handwritten note that truly made my day. I can’t not respond.
This 14-year-old already understands the power of snail mail. We could learn something from him.
Why not use these next few weeks to get or stay in touch with those you love and appreciate. Doing so will certainly earn you their stamp of approval.