Times are tough for the United States Postal Service. You might have seen the recent “Too Big to Mail” Daily Show sketch, making light of the recent and widespread budget cuts, layoffs and office closures. And decreased funding is matched only by Americans' widespread apathy towards sending mail.
So why not send more than one Christmas card this year? Postcrossing is an ingenious postcard crossing service, whose goal is to “allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free.” Well. Almost free. You'll have to send a postcard first in order to receive one.
All you have to do is register for a Postcrossing ID and request your first address. The system will then randomly generate an address from anywhere in the world — the streets of Belarus or the Australian outback. Once your first postcard is received and verified online by your fellow Postcrosser, your address will automatically be entered in the Postcrossing system and you'll be next in line for a postcard.
The groundbreaking project turns your mailbox into an international surprise party. You never know where your next Postcrosser card will be from and the element of surprise when you check the mail every day is intoxicating.
And while the sender might be a mystery, you can customize the postcards from your Postcrosser pen pals by creating a profile online. Tell your fellow members anything — your interests, hobbies, profession, etc. Or request specific information in your postcards. For instance, asking Postcrossers to relate the most interesting details or facts about their hometown or country.
It’s like exploring new countries through your mailbox.