The other week, I got a letter from an old friend back in Kansas City. He wrote about his relationships, his life, and his musings. It was lovely to sit down and read it. Although I’ll be a little late in replying, I’m going to write him a letter back today and get it in the mail tomorrow.

Now, we’re friends on Facebook. He could’ve sent me a direct message or two, and I could’ve responded in kind. But the great thing about a handwritten letter is the opportunity to go deep. You can share details and thoughts. You can slow down.

 

 

 

For many years, I made my living as a writer for Hallmark. People sometimes criticize greeting cards for having a standard, “impersonal” message, but of course, that’s missing the point. The message is often a springing-off point for a longer, personal written message of one’s own. And the card can be set on the mantel, or at your desk at work –wherever you want to have a tangible reminder that people care about you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about letters lately because of our recent move to California. We went through all our belongings and pared down drastically.

We kept two very important collections. We’d never part with them.

One was my written correspondence with my grandma, who died last year. From the time I left for college to the weeks before her death, I sent her letters and cards. She sent them to me, too, although they became fewer in the last few years of her life because arthritis and moving to assisted living made it difficult.

I saved dozens and dozens of letters from her over the years. When my parents went through her belongings prior to selling the house, they found a big stash of my letters to her — like me, she’d saved them all. I have many of those letters, too. They reference things I never would’ve remembered otherwise– a few are even from addresses I don’t even recall.

Seeing my grandma’s handwriting, and even the stationery, cards, and stickers my grandma she chose, says so much about her as a person. The cards and letters keep her close to me in spirit.

 

 

 

The other collection is Mr. Donovan’s, and they’re all letters from me. When I first took a job at Hallmark in Kansas City, he stayed in Tucson for a couple of months finishing up a teaching certification.

I sent him a letter every day. One contained sketches and quick descriptions of the co-workers I’d just met–amazing to see now, because I’ve been friends with some of them for years and years. I wrote about my impressions of Kansas City, how I filled my evenings without him, and how much I missed him.

Nobody enjoys online connecting and texting more than I do. But writing letters is almost a lost art–and I think it’s one worth reviving.

Most of us rarely receive anything meaningful in our mailbox, so a personal card or letter is almost a gift. When it’s saved, it becomes even more valuable.

 

The Magic of Handwritten Letters and Cards #lost art of letter writing #how to write a letter #why do people still write letters

 

Do you write people letters? Do you have letters from others stashed away? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and have a great week!