Monday, August 27, 2012

The [lost] Art of Letter Writing

When was the last time you received a hand written letter from a dear friend in the mail?

I used to live for those hand written letters!

As a child, I would sit and watch my mother hand write many letters and cards throughout the week. She had nice stationary and matching stickers and would spread out on our kitchen table to catch up with her loved ones and shared with them the happenings of her life.

She past that habit on to me. I started our with thank you notes and then I'd narrate letters to grandparents, aunts and uncles.  When I finally learned to write for myself, she invested in stationary for me.  I would pick things with flowers or butterflies or other nature-type things.  I would spend time writing to all sorts of people--family, friends and pen pals (who became friends).

Then there was the waiting.
The waiting for that returned letter.

That was tough sometimes.

But on the day I'd get a letter back--oh what joy!!

With the advancement of technology, I see how letter writing has been lost, if not totally forgotten.  If any of us gets mail, it's junk or bills.  It's a rare thing for me to get a handwritten letter.  My mother still writes, but uses a computer now--so although it's a letter, it's no longer handwritten.

Just a couple months ago I was without technology for about 10 days while my husband went out of town (with our laptop) for a conference.  I decided then to find some paper and write some letters.  I went through my address book and picked out 10 people to 'surprise' with a letter.  I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.  In each of the letters and told the recipient not to feel in pressure to write back--for I was writing because I had the time (not being on the computer).

I got several calls of thank you and a few emails, from those who wanted to do more, but couldn't. But, to my surprise, one day as I was looking through the mail, I found a letter address to me from one of my dear friends.  She had, too, found some time to put a few kind words and thoughts down on special paper.  It was a pleasant surprise and really meant a lot.

Something so simple. Yet for those of us who have found meaning in it over the year, it can mean a whole lot.

So, I've decided to bring handwritten letters back into style. lol  Well, at least for my little family. We've spent the morning identifying people we'd like to write to and then selected paper to pen our thoughts on.  As a treat, I let the children pick out the stamps we'll use to mail them.  I've set the expectation that we probably won't hear back via the mail from those we write to.  That we'll probably get a phone call, email or Skype invitation on many of them.

But, if someone does decide to pen us back--joy, oh joy!!

(This is also a great way to practice handwriting and other language arts skills.)

How has letter writing been a part of your life?  Or if you've not been into letter writing, what way of communication has meant something to you?

Happy Home Learning!

1 comment:

Jewelry Rockstar said...

This is great! My 11 y/o is starting letter writing to her new friend in NJ. She's so excited, and I am too because it helps with Lang Arts & Handwriting.


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