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Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Virtue of Snail Mail

Yes, I realize virtue may be a strong word when referring to snail mail but it's a dying art.  There is nothing better than getting an honest to goodness handwritten letter in the mail.  As a friend and I were looking for ways to reconnect across the miles, I wrote her a handwritten note and folded it up like an arrow like we did back in high school and would pass to each other between classes.  (To see how to do it yourself, go to this video.)

She said when she got it, it made her smile and when I received one back, it did the same for me.  Monday was a good day.  The Mr. made an grocery run without being told, bought me flowers and a card.  As if that wasn't enough, I got not one but two cards from 2 friends.  One was a Halloween card and the other was a thank you card from the friend mentioned above along with a handwritten "school" note.  I think I had a smile plastered on my face for 5 solid minutes.  She ended with how proud she was of me and our health accomplishments and that meant a lot to me.  Sure, it would've been nice to hear in an email (not in a text though...mainly because I don't text!  Yeah, I'm boycotting) but in the end, there is nothing like seeing someone's handwriting.  Just seeing the way someone dots their I's or writes their A's differently than anyone else you know makes it special.  I mean really, how special would a recipe be if it was just printed from the internet or a Word document?  But when written in Grandma's handwriting, it becomes a treasure.  In a time when all we can really expect in our mailboxes are bills or junk mail, how nice is it to get a card or letter to know that someone thought of you and more than just to "poke" you online.  (Gross!)  It could come on a day that someone is feeling particularly down or had a bad day at work or felt like no one cared.

So here's a well being exercise for you.  Write a letter.  To your parents, your child or spouse (and SEND it in the mail to them!), a best friend, an old friend, an old boss, a teacher you loved in school or anyone you like.  It doesn't matter what you say (well, I suppose it does, don't be an a-hole!) but just that you thought it would be fun to write them.  Not only will they feel good getting it, you'll feel good writing it!  I just sent one back to her with Charlie Brown Halloween stickers just like mine were decorated with puffy stickers.  It's a small gesture to let someone know they're thought of and more than just to shoot off an informal email.  It says "you're worth the time and effort and you're special to me!"  And that my friends, is a virtue!

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  1. I love getting mail! I usually ramble on forever and it has a bunch of scratches or side notes, and I never know if the person reading it can ever decipher it, but I love to write and then decorate the envelopes.

    Except, I didn't like the time that my uncle sent me a birthday card (this year) with a picture of us taped to the back of the envelope with me at my highest weight ever...because the entire postal serivce saw it and it was super embarrassing. BUT! other than that, I love decorations.

    And I love texting. I'd rather text than call someone. I hate talking on the phone. It's full of akward pauses because I get distracted easily.

    So, yeah. I also like homemade cards better than storebought ones.

    Did you see that 'Hallmark' has new 'unemployment' cards out? So if someone you know or love has lost their job, you have something to get them? It's like "sorry you lost your job and everything, here, I pissed away $5.00 on a paper card because I can". Lovely.

  2. I just did this myself, too! I had written a friend a long letter and popped it into the mail to her and she said it totally made her day to be come home and be able to open up something personal (besides a bill) and just sit back and read at her leisure--all without having to get on the computer. I use decorative paper when I write and I'm a sticker girl through and through. Rarely do I ever give a card without stickers. And if I have a lot of stickers (say for fall), I decorate the inside of the cards as well. I'm a bit of an oddball because I send out Thanksgiving cards all because I like to decorate with the pretty leaves and acorns. LOL!! When I receive something in the mail, I so appreciate it and I can really take my time with it and savor it a bit more than an email.

  3. This is a great post. I have a friend who hates "snail mail" so I send it, just to tick her off, hehe! The recipe remark made me get a little misty eyed, gotta say. I have a hand written recipe from my grammie that I will hold onto forever. It's a super simple noodle recipe, that I've never actually made, but but those noodles remind me of her. Love the written word!

  4. I too love snail mail. I think I will take you up on your challenge to write (and send) a letter to someone. I just don't know who.

  5. There is nothing quite like a handwritten letter or even just a note in a card. It's why when I do scrapbook layouts, I journal in my own handwriting--it means more that way. Your comment about recipes is so spot on; I have a collection of recipes from my mother and grandmother that I doubt I will ever make, but I treasure them because they are ones they took the time to write out.

  6. I love snail mail too, so you'd think I'd be better at sending it--I'm not. I really did think of sending you a card this week but now I can't, cuz you'll think I did it because you told me to!! :-)

  7. I just did this a few weeks back. I sent a card to my sister for no "real" reason (like birthday). It's an inexpensive way to perk both yourself and the recipient up.

  8. I was so happy for you when you shared your Nice Surprises on the other site! Those things DO make a difference.
    I am going to take your suggestion and pop a few cards in the mail myself this weekend! THESE are the things that can make such a difference.
    Thank you for the story and the push to try it out ourselves.


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