When I was growing up, my mom made me send letters and cards to people for literally everything. I mean, every single holiday, every birthday, every school assignment, everything. When I was little, that was still a pretty big way to communicate with people because I didn't have a cell phone until I was almost 14 and even then, calling long distance was expensive and texting wasn't unlimited until I was close to the end of high school/in college.
Now that I'm older and the internet plays a more prominent role in how we connect with other people, I have to say that I hardly write letters anymore. The last time I really sat down and sent things in the mail was after the wedding when we did all of our thank you notes.
While I appreciate the fact that I don't have to wait a whole week to hear back from people anymore, I still enjoy receiving letters in the mail because now they feel more like a surprise or an extra effort on someone else's part for me. A friend of mine sent me a package in the mail towards the middle of quarantine full of these beautiful handmade cards her mom made because she was thinking of me. Ugh, the way to my heart for real.
Letter writing isn't a necessity anymore, which, in my opinion, makes it that much more of an incentive to do it. Here are the top five reasons why I think you should be willing to take the time to write and send letters to your friends and family.
You Can Make Someone's Day
My mailbox alternate days between packed full of bills and junk mail to completely empty so it's always a pleasant surprise to open up my little mailbox and see a letter from a friend or family member. You can easily make someone's day with an "I'm thinking of you" card or a birthday card. If they just moved to a new area, you can send them a letter or a "I miss you" care package.
Who doesn't like knowing that other people think about them and are sending them tangible proof of it?
Letters are also great vessels for tiny but thoughtful gifts! Most people send money in letters for things like holidays and birthdays, but you can also put in stickers (I have a bunch of fun ones), recipes, or pictures you took during things you've done recently.
Also, if you send me a letter, I am twenty times more likely to write you one then if I just decide to write you one out of my own volition so then you can also get your day made. It's a win win for everyone involved.
It's Basically a Mini Art Project
It's a great way to be creative and express yourself! If you're trying to learn calligraphy or get better handwriting, it's really good practice. You can draw pictures or make your own stationary or cover the envelope in sticker or decorate it with paint.
I am OBSESSED with stationary and pens so for me, writing someone a letter is a chance to pull out that fancy foundation pen I bought that I rarely use or that super pretty watercolor stationary sitting on my desk.
Not to mention, there are so many different stamps out there. If you're anything like me, you can match them to your stationary, or you can just get all the fun ones and make someone smile with the dog in a banana costume stamp. That's probably one of my favorite parts about getting a letter is seeing the type of stamp each person chooses.
It's a Nice Way to Slow Down and Relax
After Ryan and I got married and returned home from our honeymoon, we had about forty thank you cards to write and send out. I ended up doing most of them on my day off from work and really enjoyed just putting some music on, going through the list of people, and just having a minute to think about and write something special for each of the wonderful guests who came to our wedding. It was very therapeutic.
Sometimes when I get anxious, I like to write. Granted, most of the time, I just channel that energy into writing posts for this blog, but occasionally, I'll write a letter to a friend or a relative I haven't seen in a while. It helps your brain slow down and think a little bit longer about what you want to say instead of just instantly typing it out.
You're Creating a New Piece of History
Unless the person you're sending the letter to throws it away or shreds it (I hope not), your letter could be talked about in the future. Historians nowadays read old letters and diaries to piece together what life was like in the past.
Your letter could be used to describe what life was like today to a future elementary school class or could end up in a museum of what day to day life in the 2000s was like. You. Never. Know.
You Can Pretend You're From the 1800s
I don't know about you guys, but whenever I write a letter, I feel like a Victorian lady writing letters to her loved one who is across the sea. "My dearest one, I'm afraid things have become dull in your absence. The cats are sleeping on the back porch and I've just inhaled an entire package of double stuffed Oreos. Much love from my home to yours."
Now I don't actually write like that lol but could you imagine if I did? That would be hilarious. But yeah, it's fun to pretend you live in olden times and like you're not going to go text that person like you didn't just send them something in the mail.
Now this post isn't to bash social media or texting or anything along those lines; like I said in the beginning, I really appreciate the convenience we have today to stay connected with people we don't necessarily see very often.
I'm just saying every now and then, maybe send your mom or a close friend something in the mail.
Take a shot for all of the mail lost and toast to the postal workers who deliver mail everyday,