As we draw ever closer to our Sunday wedding, I find myself reading and re-reading the many notes and cards we’ve received over the last few months. Some came during my bridal showers; others were dropped in mailboxes across the country to wish us well (like Melissa’s, which so touched my heart).
When I talk to others about my love of mail, I often get a wide-eyed look and knowing grin. Their little smile says something plain as day: Well, aren’t you just adorable?
I mean, I get it: mail is considered old-fashioned. Stodgy. Outdated. Letters are a thing of the past, really; one step up from antiques or — gasp! — printed books.
It’s not cool to send mail. Or collect stamps.
But I wish I could change that.
I love to write letters — real, serious, tangible letters. Cards. Mail. I write to my grandma, I write to service members, I write to folks who simply need some love and light in a complicated world.
I spend at least part of my day almost every day with a Sharpie and stack of note cards, sending some words out into the world . . . for no other reason than I feel compelled to do so. It’s my small way of sending joy.
I’m not rich. I don’t have piles of money for worthy causes, though I wish I did. But words? Encouragement? I can do that. I will offer that. Which is why I send letters every year through Holiday Mail for Heroes, a program sponsored by the Red Cross. It may sound a little early to be writing out Christmas cards, y’all, but life is going to get super busy very quickly. It’s not too soon to start thinking.
It’s a simple thing, really: a humble piece of mail. Just words scrawled in honest-to-God handwriting in blue or black or red ink. But it means something to someone, I promise you — just like it means something to me.
Don’t give up Facebook or Twitter or email . . . but remembering how much you value your real-life connections, too. Instead of dropping a “how’s it going?” text to a friend, grab a card. A silly one, a funny one, a random one — whatever speaks to you.
Then let it speak to them.
10 thoughts on “Words on offer”
I love handwritten letters…my heart skips a beat when I see one in the mail! I definitely don’t write them enough myself. Something to think about.
We do the holiday mail every year. It’s such a good cause and a small thing that brings great joy.
I always wanted to do this, but I never know what to say to them. Everything I can think of sounds silly, young, so I haven’t done it yet. What do you say? How do you connect with someone you’ve never met who leads such a different life?
That’s an awesome question, Catherine, and a good point. I typically keep it short and sweet. A sample of something I’d scrawl:
“Thinking of you today on a cool fall day in Maryland. Though I can’t imagine all that you have gone through and will continue to go through, please know how deeply we appreciate your sacrifices. I’m sending warm thoughts to you and your family this holiday season and always!“
I’m always looking for new letter writing campaigns. I’m so glad you introduced me to Holiday Mail for Heroes. This weekend I’m going to pick out some new stationary and get writing! Over the years I’ve actually considered starting my own letter writing blog and/or organization, but I never thought others would be interested. It’s good to see there are others out there that love letters as much as I do!
I am going to look into sending holiday mail to our troops, thanks for that nudge I need. I love sending and receiving mail. A couple of years ago I did a challenge, 52 weeks, 52 letters, and it was very enjoyable. One of the perks was the mail I received. I used to send my aunts letters with news of my children, but sadly they have all passed away now. I just need to find a new target audience.
I absolutely LOVE getting mail, always have. I always had pen pals when I was younger, and I’m sad that people don’t write letters or cards nearly as often as they used to. Thanks for the link to Holiday Mail for Heroes – that sounds right up my alley!
I always loved getting letters in the mail. Email seems so impersonal and cold to me, but ripping open the envelope to find a letter means there is thought behind — er more thought. Plus, it makes me happy!
I love getting mail and have tried to do pen pals a few times, but I am terrible about making time to write back. I do keep all of the cards and letters I get though, in a box on top of my desk. I love revisiting them.
I’m only eighteen years old, but I absolutely love to send and receive letters and I often randomly write letters to my friends who have gone to different schools. It just feels much more personal and it’s a conversation you can keep. Thanks for the great post!
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