Receiving a hand-decorated piece of mail from a loved one is always a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, it is a practice falling by the wayside along with everything else done by hand. You can "personalize" an email but must use freehand software...or all you are doing is selecting a pre-designed piece of digitized junk some programmer thought was cute. And you are probably downloading it from a company stealing your IP address. If it blinks, squeaks, dances or wiggles it is even worse.
Also annoying is when mail art becomes a "movement" with philosophical underpinnings like Dada, Fluxus, Merz, the Mail Art Network and such. I know there are all sorts of rational artistic justifications for the practice but it seems for the most part to be made up of people who are a little too impressed with their own cleverness. (And those who like to tease the post office, which along with the public library is one of the few true bargains left) Want a conceptual foundation from my mother? To get mail, you have to send mail. Not deep, but true.
Group of Handmade envelopes, postcards, etc. c. 1900-1940. Collection Jim Linderman