Handwritten Letters: Keeping The Tradition Alive

The practice of hand writing letters and sending via “snail mail” has evolved greatly in the last thirty years.

Before the internet, a plethora of letters flowed in and out of many family homes.

I remember Sunday was always my Aunt’s “correspondence day.”  Each Sunday afternoon, she pulled out her stationary and address book.

Then she got her special pen and begin to write.  Some letters were short.  Some letters were long.

Every Sunday.  One hour of nothing but writing.

It was a time of remembering all the good things of the week and sharing blessings with every long-distance family member or friend who had an address, and asking for prayers for the upcoming week.

Sharing blessings.  Asking for prayers.

Many loved ones wrote her back.  Monday through Saturday, each afternoon she walked out to the mailbox and received the letters sent to her.  In her case, she probably didn’t receive as many as she sent, but it was never about quantity.

Each and every one was a treasure to her.

 

Sure, there was a place for an occasional phone call, but we all tried really hard not to make too many.  It seems with phone calls, one person is nearly always in the middle of something—whether it was a family dinner, study time, or just walking out the door—it’s so very hard to pick a time when both parties were undistracted and in a quiet moment.

Letters are different.  They are written at a quiet, non-distracted time.  They are read at a quiet, non-distracted time.  And they can be treasured and read over and over.

 

One of the treasured gifts we received growing up was a stationary set.  Stores used to be filled with displays of them.  We would save our pennies until we could afford just the right one.  And then…we would write.

Grandmothers were always happy recipients of letters.  As we got older, cousins would start to write.  I had two different pen-pals in fourth grade that I continued to write to.

One continued to write through high school, and the other I occasionally still receive handwritten letters or cards from.

 

Beyond just being a piece of pretty stationary or the perfect envelope, hand written letters today mean

You matter to me. 

You are worth my time. 

I enjoy sitting down and writing while just thinking about you.

It hasn't been that long ago that handwritten letters were a way of life. A way of saying, I'm taking time to sit down and think of you this week. Some thoughts on keeping the tradition alive.

This winter, I encourage you all to find one person in your life to reach out to and write a letter to.  It need not be long, and don’t pressure yourself to make it poetic.

Just as long as you wrote it yourself, addressed it and put a stamp on it, it’s conveying a huge message from your heart straight to another person’s.

 

7 Comments

  1. I remember receiving pretty stationary as a gift when I was a young girl. It always felt so special! My daughter is on the verge of writing age. In another year or two this would be a fun gift for her so she can surprise her cousins with letters in the mail.

  2. I love this idea!! I actually just switched from emailing a dear friend to snail mailing her. Which is so exciting. She is on board with it and we can send little gifts with our letters. I would love to have a couple more like minded friends to write. We shall see if the Lord ever has me cross paths with any. Great post!

  3. Great post, Deborah, and I couldn’t agree more! One of my passions is keeping the art of letter writing alive and thriving.
    Thank you for adding your voice and wisdom in support of this great act and art.
    Write on!

  4. Oh, I do miss writing and receiving snail mail letters. For me, living near poverty made the price of a stamp too costly. Now I realized that it is costly not to write. Thank you for reminding me.

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