I’m an ideas person I’ve realised. Some are good, some not so, but this one I had a couple of years ago, even Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate, thought it was a lovely one so although last year was a bit of a write-off and this year I may have left it too late to spread the word properly, I thought I’d put it out there again to see what people think. It feels like it could be the perfect year for it.
The title is a bit of a mouthful, granted, but much like The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society, it kind of says what it is on the tin. The Big Summer Holiday Postcard Drop 2021. As in a big postcard drop set in the summer holidays! People might be thinking “Well, no-one is really going on holiday this year are they?” but in a way that makes it even better. Perhaps it should be called The Big Summer Staycation Postcard Drop 2021 instead. I appreciate “Staycation” means different things to different people but postcards can be sent from the place you live or from anywhere you choose to visit in the UK (holiday destination or not), and actually definitely not limited to UK residents. It’s something anyone, of any age, can get involved in.
I just think it would be lovely to encourage everyone, and especially children, to pick up a pen and send a little postcard this summer to keep writing relevant and meaningful, and definitely fun. I love the idea that a piece of writing with a pretty picture (or any picture) that is entirely theirs will go on a journey to a place that loves and adores all things postal – to us here at The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society!
We’ve always been about reclaiming letter writing for ourselves whatever age, and this just seemed the perfect, albeit little, way of doing it. As I always say, marking and correcting is massively valuable to learning but so is the ability to express yourself on paper with pen, send a note to a friend or loved one, and write whatever you want, without fear of correction or editing or needing someone else’s approval. To have complete ownership over your words is empowering to the core. I love how it’s not the T’s and C’s of letter writing but the T’s and E’s. Letters are tangible, they’ve travelled, and they transport us through space and time. They are empowering, help us to be more empathetic, and allow us to express ourselves. I thought the #PostcardDrop2021 (for short) would be a great way for kids to keep the handwriting flowing during the summer holidays. I remember coming back to school in September as a kid sometimes wondering if I’d actually written a single word for six whole weeks. The little and often-ness of postcards might just bridge the gap for some pupils.
Depending on where people live might dictate if you can find real postcards but homemade ones are just as fun. A photograph of the back garden or local postbox or play park or interesting building, or anywhere really, stuck on to a bit of card from a cereal box make the best postcards. They can be ordered online too – there’s an amazing array of them out there, or if you’re lucky found in a local shop. Even old magazine pictures would work, again stuck on a scrap of recycled card.
The cost of stamps can sometimes be a tricky one but postcards could be written as a family, or one each then bundled up and put in an envelope (just check the size and weight) and sent together. I would so love Royal Mail to gift a prepaid postcard to every household like An Post and Canada Post did. I wonder how much it cost to do that? I’d understand if they couldn’t but equally I love the idea of inspiring letter writers (and Royal Mail users) of the future. Maybe the Department of Education could help? Blue Peter showed that letter writers make better writers, didn’t they. Build back better (?) and all that.
But regardless of any agenda I just love the idea of lots of postcards heading on holiday to Swanage during the summer. They would all be read and kept and treasured! A Big Summer Holiday Postcard Drop 2021 just for fun! If we get lots I’m going to lay them all out and get an aerial photo of them somehow.
Anyway, like I said I’m not sure I’ve left enough time to spread the word but if anyone wanted to embrace the magic of sending a postcard this summer and wanted to see how many we could amass, our address is:
PO Box 9347
Have a lovely summer and, of course, wish you were here!