Confession: I am 36 and have pen pals. Truth: I don’t care if you think that’s lame because getting mail, real handwritten mail, from someone you may have just texted back and forth with about your co-worker's flatulence, is still the bossest thing around. 

That gleeful snort I can't contain when I open the mailbox doesn't end with me. This is a legacy being created. In 75 years I want my granddaughter to find stacks of gently crackling letters tied together with that twee as f-ck red and white butcher's twine, and slowly flip through them on a blanket with cheese and dusky red wine. I want her to WEEP and MARVEL at how good I was at maintaining this ancient form of communication despite the horrific distractions of Pinterest, celebrity kid Instagram and nail polish stickers that take about 90 minutes to apply and 3.7 seconds to jauntily pop off.

The ritual for me and my mail is this: after Instagramming it, I curl up with it and slowly pore over every word (why do we all tend to get a little more real, a little more honest and a lot more horny when pens are involved?) This card or postcard or letter represents a small focused blip of time that my friend took to write, seal and mail to me; it's a small sweet alphabet embrace, with nary an emoticon, abbreviation or auto-correct. All spelling mistakes are LEGIT.

In our small clatch of gal pen pals, stationery (creamy papers and crisp envelopes and ahhhhh) is king. So, why am I such a dolt come Christmas when even the crazy busiest lawyer doctor moms get impeccable cards out in the mail? Problem is I get too busy with the big details and then mail out the Charlie Brown of holiday cards. That ends here and now with Minted.

When I saw their website I was a little panicked. Because there wasn’t a button that said “Put Everything in Cart.”

After cruising the Christmas templates (so fun and fresh and HOW AM I GOING TO CHOOSE JUST ONE), I was happily distracted by oh, yes, hello there CUSTOM STATIONERY. (My granddaughter just stopped and looked up at the heavens with a slow smile and knowing nod. She hasn’t been born yet but even she knows this is a great goddamn idea.)

Before I dove headlong into making my own CUSTOM STATIONERY, I gleefully clicked around to see what else they offer. I can’t time travel and send out one of their wedding invites (we did our own, we spelled "village" wrong, ASK ME IF IT STILL SMARTS), or a birth announcement (we Facebooked it – a picture of my daughter’s face with the caption The Great Vagina Escape...not really but that would have been rad.) But you totally can. 

You can create boards with ideas to come back and play with over and over. I'm just a rookie - check out this one that made me want it to be Christmas, like, yesterday.

Mood Board by Robyn, see more Minted holiday photo cards

Mood Board board by Robyn. See more Minted holiday photo cards

If it’s awesome on paper, it’s at Minted - all sourced from a global community of independent graphic designers. In two words – Oh YES.

Choose the templates you love, customize them and 1,2,3, you look like a genius and your friends look like CHUMPS. Ahem, of course good pen pals would tell their friends about the site - how you can submit your own designs for CRAZY prizes and also how once you've signed up, referrals = money off for both of you. We’re entering total smart cookie town now, folks.

Before my caps lock key lights on fire, I’ll leave you with this: Sometimes all you need in life is a little inspiration and thanks to Minted, I am now the greatest pen pal/card sender/life success/future grandmother of all time.



{this is a sponsored post | all opinions (and caps lock) are my own}