It’s not an uncommon tradition.
To honor and celebrate a birthday by mailing a gift.
You know the drill: Shop for something that will fit in a shipping box. Make sure it’s not too heavy. Find some bubble wrap and packing tape. Then head over to the post office where you discover that the cost of shipping is almost as much as you paid for the gift.
Of course, you could always mail something really weird that doesn’t require all those shipping supplies. There are all sorts of funky items that are mailable without a box. Then again, postage is still an issue.
The other option is to go with something that can fit into an envelope. But how many years can you get away with sending the typical birthday gift?
Cash. Check. Pre-paid Credit Card.
How about sending a non-traditional gift that provides an experience. An opportunity to do something new, adventurous, something they’ve been eagerly wanting to do, but just weren’t able?
Lucky for you, it’s easy. An experience that fits in an envelope and is guaranteed to be remembered.
10 Experiences You Can Mail for the Price of a Stamp
You’ll be the favorite!
Your gift will be the one they remember because they will remember the experience.
No boxes or extra postage required here. Each of these 10 fun experiences will easily fit into a card along with your personal handwritten birthday wishes.
Something they get to do rather than something they get to have.
10. Mail a good laugh!
Cut out or print a comic strip that gives you a good chuckle. Or write out a good joke on a blown up balloon, deflate the balloon and put it in the card. In your note, explain why the comic or joke made you think of the recipient.
9. Mail a dose of nostalgia!
Have those cherished memories put on a photo magnet. Download directly from your Instagram account and for less than $20, you can order up to 9 photo magnets from Sticky 9.
Think ahead and order a magnet sheet of photos that capture memories with several friends. You can cut and send a few to different friends on their birthdays instead of one full sheet of 9 to a single friend.
8. Mail a mani-pedi!
No, I’m not talking about shipping nail polish or a boring old gift certificate. You can mail a sheet of nail wraps like these from Jamberry Nails. One sheet is all you need for a complete set of wraps for the birthday girl’s fingers and toes.
7. Mail a chance at the big one!
Lottery tickets are a huge hit in my family since I live in a state with the lottery and they don’t. If available where you live, throw a couple of Mega Millions or scratch off tickets in your next birthday card. It can provide hours of lighthearted amusement for the recipient just to dream about all of the many ways they would spend the money if they actually won!
6. Mail a new identity!
Temporary tattoos can be great fun and are easy to insert into a greeting card. Online retailers like Tattly offer everything from trendy metallic arrows to tough looking knuckle tats. One of my favorites shows a series of scratched out boyfriend names! Some are cheeky. Some are inspirational. All are fun.
5. Mail a date night at the movies!
With websites like Fandango, it’s easy to search for theaters that are in the area of the birthday boy or girl! Just search by their zip code and find a theater near them. You can purchase a gift certificate to a specific theater or a Fandango gift card. Just be sure to include a movie recommendation in your note. Make it more personal by telling them why you think they would enjoy that particular movie.
4. Mail a little indulgence!
It’s not a birthday without cake. Track down a local bakery and purchase a gift certificate. Go to Google Maps and type in the recipient’s address. Click “search nearby” and type in “bakery”. I did this for my Mother-in-Law who lives out of state. A quick phone call to the bakery is all it took to get a gift certificate sent to me so that I could include it in her birthday card. She loved getting to pick out her own birthday treat from a small, local bakery.
3. Mail a night off!
If you live near enough to the birthday girl (or boy), offer to give her the night off! Mail a coupon for free babysitting. Even if all she does is use the time to take a nap!
Edit any of these free templates and print them out to include in your card. Don’t be afraid to offer your baby sitting services for a specific night that works with your schedule. With enough notice, most mommies will gladly accept your offer!
2. Mail a day of hometown exploration!
Check out sites like Living Social and do a quick search of deals near the recipients city. Offers near me today include deals on golf lessons, massages, tickets to an auto show, beer & wine tasting…the list goes on and on! Give them a day of exploring fun activities available in their own backyard. You can purchase as a gift, print out a customizable certificate and put it in the card along with your birthday greeting.
This is also a great idea for a friend who has just moved to a new area. Send them tickets to explore something in their new community. Makes a great long distance housewarming gift!
1. Mail a season of beauty.
Insert a packet of seeds in with your birthday card. Flowers or vegetables – it doesn’t really matter. Just be sure to specify in your note why you think they would enjoy what you chose to send.
BONUS: Include a sheet of stamps so they can pay it forward to someone else!
Give it a go!
Love one of these ideas? Use it! Tweak it. Make it even more special.
Flickr creative commons image courtesy of Matthias Rhomberg.