The last three years I have established a December tradition. To help my readers with their holiday shopping, I present “Brent’s Gift of the Year,” a practical and inexpensive option ($10-$15) that they may consider for their loved ones. In 2018 I suggested an LED cinema lightbox marquee, in 2019 I championed a blanket, and last year I pushed a framed photo. So, what about 2021?
Drum roll please…
Whether you are looking for an item for a Chinese gift exchange, stocking stuffer, or just a thoughtful present, I am advocating that you give the U.S. Postal Service some business and purchase a book of stamps. And yes, I am dead serious.
I stand by my conviction that there is no better deal in the world than paying $.55 for a stamp that will give you the power to slap it on an envelope and send it anywhere in the United States. To have a service that will take your letter and shuffle it thousands of miles to the mailbox of someone living in an obscure town on an obscure street in a couple days for well under $1 is insane.
It is also very underutilized. The amount of first class mail shipped per year continues to dwindle. Sure, electronic communication has a lot to do with that but neglecting to take advantage of something that is so therapeutic for the sender and so joyful for the receiver is a shame.
So this year, buy someone a book of stamps. Folks, this doesn’t have to be boring. Did you know the U.S. Postal Service offers all different varieties of stamps? Go online and order something flashy, pretty, or bold. There is no doubt that you will find something that will fit the personality of the recipient. Trust me, many more options exist than the American flag.
Perhaps pair your book of stamps with nice stationary or glossy envelopes. Or include a contact booklet of the recipient’s family and friends with their mailing addresses. Just make it as easy as possible for the person to actually use the stamps.
I alluded to this a couple paragraphs ago, but an additional reason for why I am promoting a book of stamps as my gift of the year is because the benefit extends far beyond the person who is gifted it. Everyone who receives a letter from that book will most likely have their day made. A book is comprised of 20 stamps so that means possibly 20 different people will be touched by the thoughtfulness of one person. Talk about the value of something extending far beyond its $11.60 price.
I admit it, if you choose to take me up on my gift idea your recipient might not be overly excited at first. But give the person the opportunity to discover the power of snail mail. Chances are, they will use one of the stamps in the book to send you a thank you card for the thoughtful gift and for turning them on to a new hobby. Don’t Blink.