AH! Handwritten letters. I just love them. I love writing them, I love receiving them, and I appreciate them. But in this age of digital communication, should we stop wasting time on carefully written, non-copy and paste, pieces of paper with NO – AUTOCORRECT!!?? OH! THE HORROR!!!
But letters bring something special to the table. I will bring several of my personal experiences.
My mother raised me well. Every birthday and Christmas, she would sit my little sister and me, down to make a list of Holiday Thank You cards. I HATED IT!! But now looking back on them, that no matter how old they were (Stamps were everywhere at our house until the holidays then the stamp elves took them and hid them for like, six months.) my family would enjoy them. But the question is WHY?? Why couldn’t we just send them an email? Here is why…
Grandma@email.com, auntieEm@email.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Everyone. Thanks for the presents. I loved them. -Wysteria.
How ungraceful of a thank you is that?! I mean, yes, I made that the worst case scenario POSSIBLE. But still. One of the reasons letters are appreciated by our elders is for several reasons.
- They take the most precious thing we have in life: TIME
Everyone has a limited number of minutes on this earth. Emails are just a quick five-minute, type, type, send. Done. But letters are different. You have:
Limited resources. CPU: Type, type, delete, type, send. Letter: Buying a ton of paper over and over again, pens when they run out and not to mention envelopes and the price of postage stamps!!
And then the time to make the letter, proofread, possibly start over, then find an envelope, stamps, and address it. That takes me to #2.
A letter is work, even for writers. You have to be thoughtful in what you say, because they can’t just get an email saying, Oops sorry meant to say *fix a typo or correct a misunderstanding about how they read your email. A letter, depending on where out send it, takes time to get to the person awaiting it. Also, if your handwriting looks like chicken-scratch well good luck to whoever is reading it. Also don’t get me started on having a letter and not finding any envelopes that it fits in.
Your elders appreciate your letters for above said reasons. But even more than that, they appreciate that your acknowledgment that you not only received your presents, but you are thankful for them. If they are your grandparents, they will think it’s doubly sweet, and they will probably love your parents for teaching you right.
I know, you may not think this so! But hear me out. My grandparents take a trip to Montana every year. When they get there their internet isn’t always very good. So, my grandmother sends me postcards and handmade folding cards. I have tried in the past to write her a letter since the email wasn’t so good. I sent one letter before my summer got crazy. But my faithful grandmother sent me a card almost twice a month. I will love and cherish them always. But we both enjoyed writing cards because we didn’t have to bother with freaking out about an email saved to our drafts box and then catching up at the end of the summer.
All in all, I think handwritten letter writing is a tradition to be cherished and practiced regularly. Being a pen pal with someone is a great way to put this into practice as well as perhaps writing a letter to your parents or grandparents. Also, writing letters are an awesome way to gain inspiration for a book or short story. I hope this could possibly change your mind about letter writing.