Writing to friends and pen pals and telling them about various experiences and events is always fun. It’s also exciting to hear about the things others are involved in, especially if your friend lives in another country. Writing to someone abroad is a great way for both you and your correspondent to learn about a new culture. However, sometimes it’s nice to experiencing a little bit of that world for yourself. Mini gifts are the perfect way for you and your pen pal to make this possible. If you’re not sure what to send, here are a few small gift ideas to exchange:
1. Plant life
You might think that the flowers and leaves that grace your front yard are normal, but to someone who lives in another country, those blooms might be exotic. Share a beautiful piece of flora with your pen pal by pressing a flower or leaf and then placing it in the next envelope you send out. Your friend will have a wonderful token from another country and will get to physically see what kind of plant you’re writing about in your message.
You can choose from a variety of bookmark options to send in the mail. For example, if you want to be creative, make one by hand using personalized stationery that has a favorite image or design on it. Another idea is to find a cool metal or cloth bookmark with a popular quote printed on it. Try to choose a page holder that represents your region of the world well so your friend can enjoy the cultural differences. Along with the bookmark, suggest a favorite book for your pen pal to read.
3. Handmade jewelry
If you’re a crafty person, make a little accessory for your correspondent. This could be anything from a bracelet to necklace or even earrings. Handmade objects are always unique, and they’re a great way to show off cultural trends. However, make sure you don’t create anything too heavy. You don’t want the postage on your letter to increase because your jewelry weight too much.
Magazines and newspapers provide a perfect opportunity to share a little piece of your world with a friend. Stay away from any negative news, but if you find something interesting you think your pen pal would enjoy, clip out the article and include it with your next letter. You can insert anything from a news story or poem to an image or cartoon clipping!
5. Tea bags
Sending a tea bag in the mail is the perfect way to give your friend the chance to taste that tea you’re always writing about. It’s also just an opportunity to share popular regional tea flavors so your friend can compare them to tea types in his or her country.
6. Little pouches
Find a small, clear zip lock bag, and fill it with something you think your friend will find useful or fun. For example, if your pen pal likes to craft, send a package of multicolored buttons, beads or sequins. Other items you could try sending include:
- Mini magnets.
- Paper embellishment packets.
- Temporary tattoos.
Pictures and images of the area you live in are always good envelop gifts. Print out a photo of you in your favorite location or of a popular attraction. Your friend will enjoy seeing a realistic snapshot of your world and will have a visual for the next time you write about the spot.
All of these gifts are also great conversation starters. If you’ve been struggling to come up with new topics in your letters, try adding a gift to spice things back up.