For the Love of Handwritten Letters {Part 1}


Do you remember when you were a kid, running to the mailbox on a summer day, with the hopes that you'd find an envelope addressed to you?  There is a certain thrill that comes with seeing our own names handwritten in ink on the outside of an envelope, not knowing exactly who it is from or what the contents might say.  I would rip these envelopes open in seconds, to find a note from a friend, a grandparent, or sometimes, even a penpal.  It was joyous.

And, I've saved more than my share of those tokens of love that made their way to me across states and hearts over the years.  These notes took far more time than a text or email, or even a phone call. They took time, intention, composure, reflection . . . they were a thoughtful act of care.

I remember someone saying to me once, "You can't tie a ribbon around a phone call".  It reminds me of a special box I have in our dresser full of notes from growing up, and it does indeed have a ribbon around it.  There is a sacredness to these notes.  I wonder, will my children have a collection like this?

This article states that the US Postal Service's annual survey showed that the average home received a personal letter once every seven weeks, a huge contrast to 25 years prior when in 1987, a personal letter was received once every two weeks.

Don't get me wrong, I love the ability to reach out to someone instantaneously to share a picture or a thought, or even email a gift card to Starbucks when my sister has a bad day.  Technology has created an amazing and lovely way for me to stay in touch with extended family.  For instance, I follow many of my cousins and aunt & uncle on Instagram and I love being a part of their daily lives.

But you know, handwritten notes are enduring.  They get creased, yellowed with age, folded and re-folded, yet they last.  They are how we know about the past and they way people felt.  They don't drop off a news feed or get deleted to make space in an email inbox.  The ones that mean something are put in a box and a ribbon gets tied around them.  And we take them out later and see the handwriting, read the words, and feel connected again to the writer.

I'm so glad my grandmother didn't have email.  I wouldn't have found this.

What's your favorite letter than you've received?

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