Our mission? To bring back the art of the mailbox surprise. Note: Make sure to tell them to actually check for mail.

Snail mail has its name for a reason… It’s slow. Like, really slow. Especially at a time when you can order a car, pay someone back for brunch, or find a date for Friday night just by pressing a button. But remember when you used to check the mailbox every day, hoping to find the latest issue of Teen Vogue or—by the grace of the gift gods—a super belated birthday card?

We sure do. And as much as we love our inbox surprises, finding a wrapped, physical gift card among the bills, useless catalogs, and pizza coupons we collect with the best intentions of using (but never do) would surely be a welcome surprise in our book—unlike that surprise party he threw for you last year…

Here’s how to send a stylish snail mail gift card that certainly won’t be tossed aside.


Belated birthdays, last-minute on-the-plane gifts, and presents for the one who never takes their eyes off a screen (we all have that one friend) still call for digital gift card giving. But for more intimate occasions, a perfectly wrapped physical gift card is the most appropriate option.

We’re talking weddings, baby showers, anniversaries, thank you gift cards, and birthdays you actually remember.


For thank you notes, check out our gifting etiquette guide.

For more personal (and less formal) occasions, we suggest writing from the heart, not the head—a gift isn’t meant to be sterile—and including inside jokes and tissue-grabbing sentiment. Plus unlike an email, your giftee will actually take the time to read the note inside an actual gift card. So add your favorite photo of the two of you and write away.


We’ve already shown you how to choose the best gift card wrapping for any giving occasion, but remember to go the extra mile with snail mail gift cards. Choosing a stylish wrapping and adding a radiant photo allows your giftee to reuse the gift card (after they spend it, of course), as a bookmark, a gift tag, or a framed memory. The options are limitless. So send away!

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