Letter writing: A lost art… and gift.

Before the days of email, texting, and blogs, people actually wrote letters to each other! On paper! With a pen! I know, I’m aging myself here, but I remember my mom opening and reading letters from my grandmother or from distant relatives that she didn’t see or talk to often. She learned it from my grandmother, because when we visited her, she would share letters that SHE had received from those relatives. It was their way of keeping in touch with everyone because long-distance phone calls could be time-consuming, and thus “expensive”. So writing letters on stationery (that’s a fancy word for fancy paper) and mailing them back and forth was a way to keep the family members up to date on the most recent activities and events in your life. It was also easy to fit in writing a letter in windows of time throughout the day or week, rather than trying to find an hour or two to talk on the phone and get caught up on each others’ lives.

Anyway, I was reminded of this lost art when I heard the song, “The Words I Would Say” by Sidewalk Prophets. Here is the first verse and the chorus:

Three in the morning and I’m still awake
so I picked up a pen and a page.
And I started writing just what I’d say
if we were face to face

I’d tell you just what you mean to me
Tell you these simple truths

Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You’re gonna do great things
I already know
God’s got his hand on you so
don’t live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don’t forget why you’re here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

Have you ever noticed that the mail we open first are the envelopes on which our name and address is handwritten? That’s because it’s usually from a friend or loved one and we can’t wait to see what’s inside. The envelope itself is like a small, gift of joy. And then we get the bonus inside. Imagine receiving a handwritten note from someone with encouraging words like those in the song!

So, this is just to encourage you to try it. Send a gift to a friend or loved one this next week in the form of a written note or letter. Not typed–written. Give them an update on what you’re doing, or something new and exciting that’s happened recently, or just say ‘hello’ and tell them you were thinking about them. And would that we could resurrect this lost art.

Thoughts? How do you feel when you receive a handwritten envelope?

For your Advantage,

Brian

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