Remember handwritten letters? You know, snail mail? Like actual cards that people wrote and sent in the mail?
Even though I grew up during the age of letter-writing, I’ve almost forgotten that that’s an option anymore. We live in such an age of technology that we don’t even think to write letters on paper when we can send a text or a facebook message. It’s really a lost art.
But handwritten notes can be a powerful thing. Owen and I communicated through cards, postcards, and little notes throughout college and even during our time apart. I’ve held onto all of his notes all these years as reminders of our early relationship. Texts just don’t quite have the same significance.
Maybe it’s time to bring back good old-fashioned letter writing. I say this to my own conviction as I recently responded by text to a handwritten card I received (oops!). If you’re stumped about where to start, here are some ideas to help bring back the lost art of snail mail.
Tell Others You Love Them
There’s nothing quite as surprising or special as finding a sweet note in your lunch bag or tucked under your pillow. It can be a long list of the reasons you care about someone or just a simple “I love you”.
I was raised to write thank you notes for every gift I received or special thing someone did for me. As a child I complied begrudgingly, but as an adult I see the value of expressing gratitude in written form. It takes a little more thought to put pen to paper and write the reasons you’re grateful, but it’s an important and beautiful practice.
Tell Someone You Care
I’m a big proponent of care packages (especially where chocolate is involved). These are particularly great for the starving college student in your life, for long distance friendships, or to greet someone who has just moved to a new house or town. Tuck in a little note to say what they mean to you and that you’re thinking of them.
Beautify Your Walls
Okay, this might be a little bit of a cop-out because it doesn’t require you to actually write a letter, but I’ve bought and received cards that were just so pretty I had to frame them and use them as wall art. Cards are the perfect size for filling the little spaces in gallery walls (one of my favorite decorating trends). I especially like looking out for pretty Christmas cards and saving them for decoration the next Christmas. It’s all part of #seeingthebeautyinlife.
Encourage with Scripture Verses
Sometimes there are things that no human words can say to comfort or encourage someone; that’s when writing the truth of God’s word can be the most powerful.
Write a Real Old-Fashioned Letter
Before facebook messages were a thing, I used to write long detailed letters to my long-distance friends. I always looked forward to receiving letters back. Now I’m lucky if I send a decent Christmas card. Maybe it’s time to revisit the days of pen pals and write real letters again.
Make Your Own Cards
I used to love scrapbooking, but nowadays that seems like a complicated process for preserving pictures that are better kept digitally. But I still have a box of scrapbooking supplies that I use to create cards for baby showers, birthdays, and other celebrations. There’s something special about creating a note with a caring message that someone else can enjoy.
I just found out that April is National Card and Letter Writing Month and thanks to Hallmark, there’s a whole calendar of ideas for writing letters for the month of April. You could really pull it out whenever you’re looking for inspiration.
And call it a shameless plug, but I’ve got plenty of cards and stationery in my shop if you’re looking to restock your card stash.
So go on out there and get writing!