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Monday, October 1, 2012

Handwritten Letters

Over the past few months I have been thinking a lot about handwritten letters.  I believe I have already asserted how much I appreciate the postal service here, but that was about packages, today we are talking about letters.  I've had to write about writing letters like 3 times already this semester for my English class so I feel like I'm pretty qualified to blog about it now.
When I was in 1st grade, my best friend moved to another state and since we didn't have cellphones (like several 1st graders I know now do) we decided to keep in touch as pen pals. We kept this up till sometime in middle school when we both got busy with school and extracurricular activities. I wish we could have kept it up though, but at least now we are friends on Facebook. Recently another good friend of mine left for college and I've had a shot at pen pal redemption.
Not a lot of people I know write letters any more. Some families send Christmas card which I love to get by the way. There is also Thank You notes and Birthday cards. Still not many people remember how truly special it is to get a real letter nowadays.
Here are a few reasons why I believe more people should take the time to send notes through the mail:
A handwritten letter is sacred for many reasons. For one thing it is a tangible note, something that can be treasured for years and years to come. Unlike an email which will eventually be lost in cyber space, a letter is something you can hold onto.
Every person has a unique style of handwriting and with each letter sent a part of their personality is left imprinted on the sheet of paper. Writing letters is a wonderful way to interject creativity and individuality.
A letter is much more personal than an email or a text because it means someone took the time to sit down and write their thoughts down and send it through the mail. I mean don’t you just feel so much more special when you get a letter through the mail vs. a cyber-message filled with abbreviations and sideways emoticons?  Plus it means they got off of their lazy butt to go buy stamps!
It also allows a person to sit and compose their thoughts, expressing how they feel better than on a typed message. Most people only get bills and advertisements with pizza coupons in their mailbox which makes the rare sight of a personal letter all the more special.
One of my favorite movies is 500 Days of Summer and Tom (who if you’ve never seen the movie works for a greeting card company) says this:
“People buy cards 'cause they can't say how they feel or they're afraid too. We provide the service that lets them off the hook. You know what? I say to hell with it. Let's level with America. At least let them speak for themselves, right? ….People should be able to say how they feel, how they really feel, not ya know, some words that some stranger put in their mouth.”
While I see nothing wrong with buying and sending a silly greeting card, (especially one that plays music!) I do agree with Tom that too many people don’t really say what they feel.
So why not send a letter today? Send it to someone who you haven’t seen in a while, or maybe someone you know who is going through a hard time. Tell them about your week.  Tell them how much they mean to you. Tell them that you are thinking about them. It could be a friend or a family member.  I promise it will make their day.
xo ~ Shera

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