I was a bit over-excited the other day when I received the first piece of mail addressed specifically to me. For the past couple of weeks it's been letters for at least 4 different people, and whether they be the owner or previous tennants, I haven't been able to tell. So when I got it, I was all "Hey, it's addressed to me! Oh wait, it's from [my electricity company]. Dammit, it's probably a bill." And it was.
Even when all the correspondence I make with friends abroad is done via e-mail, a good old letter still grabs my attention. An e-mail nowadays is a couple of sentences and a lol here or there. A letter is a page-turning short story. An e-greeting card is like a 5-mouse-click Christmas fruit cake; it doesn't take a lot of effort, and you don't feel that great about receiving one. An actual card requires a visit to the store, forking over some money, writing something in it, then dropping it into a post box.
With the saying "it's the thought that counts", I think they need to add that effort is a pretty big player too, and then maybe from that you can extrapolate a 'value of the gift is proportional to the amount of thought and effort put into it' equation.
Although there are some things that should stay as e-mails. I don't imagine that a letter version of a Facebook notification that someone has responded with "gaaaay!" to my status, could be made any better.
So yay for the letter, but meh for the anti-climactic discovery that it's just a bill. I'll probably end-up choosing to receive my bills online from now on so I don't face such disappointments in future. Thus, freeing-up the mailbox for general junk mail and niche items to people who don't live here anymore, like a Christian version of Guitar Hero.