To Mail or Not to Mail by Charlene Sands

claim me bannerThe cost of mailing a letter these days is sky high. It’s never stopped me from sending out a Christmas card or letter though. But I will admit that I try to economize, my holiday lists grow smaller every year.  If I send a gift, often I think about the cost of the postage involved and try to give gifts that are smaller and easier to send.   And nowadays we have options, we can purchase a gift online and have it sent directly to the lucky recipient.

I often wonder what it was like to send a letter back in the 1800’s.  How did they decide on cost?  Here’s a list of postal rates from 1815 from Maine to Georgia:

A single letter of any distance not exceeding 10 miles was 6 cents.

Over 60 but not exceeding 100 miles was 10 cents.

Over 10 but not exceeding 100 miles was 12 cents.

Over 100 miles but not exceeding 150 miles was 12 cents.

Over 150 miles but not exceeding 200 miles was 15 cents.

Over 250 but not exceeding 300 miles was 20 cents.

Over 300 miles but not exceeding 450 miles was 22 cents.

Over 450 miles was 25 cents.

Postage Stamps of the 1800's
Stamps of the 1800’s.


In 1865 free delivery of mail was provided in cities of 50,000 people or more. Then in 1873 free delivery was granted to cities of 20,000 or more.  And in 1886 free delivery began in cities of 10, 000 people or more.  Double letters cost the double the price.


Today I buy Forever Stamps, because the cost of mailing a letter seems to increase so rapidly.  There’s so many fun stamps these days to depict a certain person, event or occasion.



postage stamps 2postage stamps 3postage stamp Apostage stamp 4

Of course,  we always have our trusted internet to provide free email and blogs to you. So my question is for all of you:  Do you still send Christmas cards and Holiday greetings through the U.S Post Office?  Or do you send emails to your friends and family? Maybe a combination of both? Today, I chose this blog to send you my holiday greetings!  I hope to see you all next year on Petticoats and Pistols and wish you all a safe and happy holiday!





Holiday card 2015






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23 thoughts on “To Mail or Not to Mail by Charlene Sands”

  1. Merry Christmas, Charlene! What a great family portrait! You must be so proud. Interesting post. You reminded me that I spend too much money on postage and need to cut back.

    The cost of mailing a letter in the 1800s seems cheap but to a person making twenty or thirty dollars a month it probably wasn’t. It’s funny, but I’ve kept practically every letter I ever got from family members. I even have the scribbled notes the kiddies sent from camp. But I never keep emails.

    • Hi Margaret,
      Merry Christmas to you and your family too!! Yes, I thought it was relatively inexpensive until I realized that mailing a letter in the 1800’s may cost more than a family meal! I save letters from my kids and family members. Like you, rarely do I keep emails, although I have about 700 emails on my server right now. Don’t have time to go thru them to delete!! Ha! Life has sure changed.

  2. I wasn’t aware of the price rates back then,,very interesting,,i too buy the forever stamps my husband loves the new Charlie brown stamps

    • Hi Vickie,
      I love the new stamps too. I want the ELVIS one!! But because we pay bills online and I email more than I write a letter, I can’t complain about sending cards through the mail. It’s still fun to receive a birthday or holiday card in the mail. Opening that letter and smiling…priceless.

  3. Yes, I still do send out a few cards! The postage is awful high, but I try to keep forever stamps around for that.

  4. I do still mail Christmas cards. But my list has gotten smaller over the years. I got mine mailed out earlier in the week along with some gifts. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

  5. I do send out cards to my closest family and friends… I have them ready to go… just have to put the stamps on! Happy Holidays!

    • Hi Colleen,
      You are so organized. I attempted to set up a database with all addresses to make life easier, but then I lost the list and so all the work went up in smoke. But when I send cards, I hand write them unless I’m sending a lot, then I print them out on a label.. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season!

    • Hi Connie J,

      Merry Christmas to you too! And we took that pic at Thanksgiving. Luckily we have a few cameramen in the family. The biggest chore, is getting everyone together at the same time.

  6. Hi Charlene, what a gorgeous family picture! Merry Christmas to one and all. I still went Christmas cards…I keep in touch with college friends all these decades later. And since lately we do photo cards, I make sure I hit all the relatives too so they can drool over my dalring grandsons.I really appreciated your info on the cost of postage. It’s still a pretty cheap way to keep in touch. Hugs and love to all of you! xoxox

  7. Hi Tanya
    I am late with my Christmas cards. Life is too busy these days!! But it is fun to send a photo greeting to your family and friends, so they cans see how the little ones have grown. Merry Christmas to your sweet family too! Sending love and hugs!!

  8. Charlene – Thanks for the info on postage back in the old days. I still send Christmas cards, but have cut back like everyone else. I send ecards to those who live far away.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! Looking forward to your next book so I can review it for you, (on your review crew).

    • Hi Lois,

      Merry Christmas to you as well. I would love to have you on my Review Crew if I do one this year. I haven’t decided yet, but you’ll be one of them for sure, if I do.

  9. I don’t send as many cards out that I use to but still send a few Christmas card. I have some of mine ready but haven’t finished with all of them yet.

  10. Oh how your family has grown!

    I still send Christmas cards the old fashioned way through the mail. The number I send to has decreased over the years.

  11. I’m a retired rural letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. Rural Free Delivery was first offered in 1896. I try to get actual Christmas cards mailed. At the very least, I collect the nativity Christmas stamps as well as other sets offered throughout the year. Merry Christmas, all!

    Robyn Echols w/a Zina Abbott

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