Writing Letters, A Lost Art?

21 03 2007

I got a brightly coloured green envelope, covered in glittery heart shapped stickers from my mom yesterday in the mail.

Inside was a St Patrick’s day card with a urine soaked leprechan on the inside with a warning heeding me to watch out for “Wee People”.  Sadly the card came a few days past St Patrick’s day, but all the same I much enjoyed it.  Even the pee-pee part.

As I held it in my hand, reading the little message my mom had written, I got to thinking about how much I enjoyed the act of receiving this letter.  Going to the mailbox, turning the key and pulling out something other than real estate ads, coupons for shampoo and bills.  Did I mention bills?

Even with the cold and frigid wind blowing at my face I stood outside beside the mail box clumbsly trying to open the emerald pocket of paper while keeping my gloves on.  Its been a while since I really felt a smile come over my face like that.  I smile all the time, but you know that type of smile where you become aware that you are doing it because the joy of whatever made you smile can be felt in more than just the corners of your mouth. 

I receieved an email yesterday from J in England, she is an older lady who was basically my mother and family while I lived there.  She is very much a letter person, so I was very surprised to receive the email.  I thought to myself how much J must love me to go out of her comfort zone and email me.  That in itself was a lovely gesture, so in appreciation I wrote her a thank you card, printed off a few pictures, wrote a quick little note and popped it in the mail this morning.  I know she’ll enjoy receiving mail from Canada.

I’ve become very aware of impact of a written letter in past few years – people really do appriecate the time and effort that goes into mailing a personal letter.

At Christmas I blogged about Christmas Cards (or the lack there of in this case) 

Don’t you just love opening your mailbox seeing all the brightly coloured envelopes, fancied with stickers and other glitter. . . . .I love getting mail!

I’ve been quite disapointed this year with the number of Christmas cards I’ve received. . . .but for the record, its not that I have been forgotten. . . .

I have gotten a HUGE number of ‘Email Greeting Cards’ this year. . . .

WTF!

Do people just not have the time, the money, the resources? Man, if I can find the time to do them, it should be easy-peasy for anyone really. . . .Or should I be proud that the special ‘older’ people in my life choosing to embrase the internet revolution?

I pride myself on having personalized Christmas cards made, (with pictures of the moggies of course) each with a quick little handwritten message.

Each card stamped, sealed, stickered. . . . I even have Colin sign them. (I sign for the cats)

My opinion is that email Greeting Cards are an “extra” you send your family or friends, or something you send to your ‘cyber’ friends. . . .They shouldn’t be sent in lieu of a card to your family and friends . . . . .

I’m sitting giving my message on an online forum of sorts, so I know I am guilty of choosing the ‘easy’ way than the appreciated and ‘old fashioned’ way of commincation, so although I am a firm believe and avid lover and user of email, I really do think there is still a place for the paper letter and written word. . . . . 

  • Birthday & Anniversary Wishes
  • Holiday greetings
  • Condolenses
  • Congratulations & Thank yous
  • Invitations

I believe all of the above are WORTH a paper letter.  Using websites like www.evite.com are a super supplement to any party plan, and when used with a real invitation I think its a perfect combination!  Same for E-cards, I think they are a superb add-on.

What makes letters so hard to write? 

  • Is it the time it takes to actually get pen to paper? 
  • How about how crap everyone’s cursive handwritting and spelling has become (mine included)
  • The cost of stamps (Canadian’s have no excuse with the introduction of permenant stamps!  hint hint), paper, evelopes and greeting cards?
  • Going to the post office to mail the letter
  • The convienence of email and instant messenging services
  • The convienence of cell phones and text messenging.

Colin used to write me the most beautiful love letters in high school.  Actually often they weren’t love letters at all, but I was in love (and with him) so therefore they were love letters.   Colin is one of the most gifted wordsmiths I know.  Oh how do I long for another love note on a 8 1/2 x 11 ruled sheet of school paper.  He says to me that anything he needs to tell me he can call or email me about it.  There is nothing heart pounding and joyful about email.  Blah.

I’ve sent a few little notes over the past few weeks, one to Nikki and Greg congratulating them on the birth of their new baby.  Another to Mrs Graham, thanking her for the sewing machine (I’m a lean mean sewing machine. . .wait. . . that didn’t make sense).  I also sent a quick little note to Kate just after the wedding.

I endevour to send more.  I know how much I like receiving them, so I can only expect to receive letters if I send them – right?

Of course with all this talk about writing and receiving letters, I must pose the question – what makes a good letter?   I think that answer is simple, how ever you can make the person you are sending it to know you were thinking about them and that you think they are worth something in your life then you’ve written a good letter.

So my challenge to the faithful four (and any other new readers of my Blog if your out there) is this.  Write a quick little note or letter for someone you know would love to receive a letter, stick a stamp on it and post it off.

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2 responses

22 03 2007
newhoosier

Funny you mention e-vites, as I was going to do e-vites for my wedding. As you would imagine, that didn’t fly. So, we printed them on our Epson InkJet and got still got compliments (nobody knew they weren’t professional). A friend even copied the exact invitations a few months later for her wedding.
/offtopic

22 03 2007
Joey

For the record, I’m not aganist evites. . . . . .I think they are a great suplement to any invitation. . . .

I suppose it depends on the audience. . . . there is still a ton of unsavvy computer people who might not like, understand or appreciate the simplicity of an evite. . . .

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