April is National Card and Letter Writing Month, a perfect time to look back on the beloved handwritten notes I count among my most valued possessions. I hope you’re inspired to send someone a card or letter; they’ll surely welcome the thoughtful surprise.
I keep a special box, given to me by a friend, filled with cards and letters I have received throughout the years. In one letter, the writer refers to me as their “brown eyed girl,” referencing a song with the same wording. It was a special comparison that had meaning at the time, and I still cherish the sentiment today. There are cards tucked away from my dad, when I was 9 years old and away at summer camp feeling terribly sad and homesick. I smile when I read his words encouraging me to “have fun and make new friends,” rather than count the days until it was time to come home. He passed away two years later and his loving attempt at encouragement is a timeless keepsake. The box also contains a letter from my grandmother with a recipe included, and a weathered note from my 9th grade boyfriend telling me he liked me better before I highlighted my hair orange (ouch!). Among my favorites are those from lifelong friends, and most importantly, my children. Looking over these treasured pieces of paper becomes more meaningful over time.
What makes a handwritten note so special?
- Cards and letters last forever. The spoken word is often forgotten, emails get lost in the sea of a bottomless inbox, and texts are deleted almost immediately. But, a handwritten note has a long term permanence that can be displayed, saved, and remembered for years to come.
- Each person has their own flair and personality that is reflected in their writing style. The way they swirl their “L,” dot their “I,” and cross their “T”. You can almost see their face as you glance at their handwriting, taking special delight in recognizing their individual imprint.
- A personally crafted note assures and affirms you are appreciated and valued. Time is a limited resource, and knowing someone you care about chose to spend a pocket of the day composing their thoughts, and mailing them to YOU is a real gift. Receiving a handwritten note says, “I am important to another person, and they are thinking of me.”
- A friendship or romantic relationship can develop and grow with an attentive writing gesture.Whether your predominant Love Language is words of affirmation, or one of the other four, written admiration is a gift that is priceless.
- Personalized stationery can serve as a reflection of the writer. It’s always stylish to invest in your very own stationery. Beautiful paper can express who you are, what you love, and how you feel about the world. The choice of a handsomely crafted, quality note card sends the message, “You are worth the expense of my best stationery.”
- Add a thoughtful gift and the memory becomes a story to tell. A friend sent me this piece of artwork she made especially for me, along with a personal message.
- A handwritten note reflects good breeding and impeccable manners. This is true regardless of where you were raised or how much money your family had, or didn’t have as a child. Everyone knows all the money in the world can’t buy class!
The bottom line is… there is never a downside to a heartfelt, handwritten note.