As regular readers may know, I am a fan of letters. Proper, hand-written letters sent to family and friends – or even to perfect strangers if there’s a cause. I honestly believe that if more people would write letters to those they care for, relationships would flourish and people would be happier. (Naïve? Maybe.)
Anyhow, my campaign to save the art of letter writing continues! This time, with the hope to encourage my nieces and nephews to take up their quills in the fight for the written word. I’ve always sent them postcards and artsy birthday cards with mini-letters inside, but I’ve never (that I can recall) sat down to write to them. So maybe it’s time I do so that they can learn by example.
I’m basing my decision to do this on a conversation I had with my eldest niece, Virginia, not long ago when she told me how very much she looks forward to getting a birthday card in the post from me each year. You see, I’ve (almost) always sent cards in the post rather than hand-delivering them because I know how very awesome I feel when the mailman brings me personal correspondence. And, apparently, Virginia feels the same way. She enjoys seeing what kind of card I’m sending, but she also enjoys the notes I include which are often a (short) mixture of encouragement, words of wisdom, and humour.
So here’s the deal:
Over the next few weeks, I will send a hand-written letter to each of my American-based nieces and nephews. They range from 19 to (nearly) 10 years of age and I hope that if I can catch ’em young enough they might at least pretend to enjoy letter writing.
And here’s my hope:
That at least some (if not all!) of them will write back. Actually, they don’t even have to write to me. They can write to someone else and maybe that person will be so excited about getting something in the post that they’ll write a letter, too.
And here’s my theory:
Geek is in. Retro is in. Quirky is in. And the idea of oldy-fashionedy, hand-written letters being delivered by the mailman is kind of geeky, retro, and quirky all in one. So maybe I’ll have a good shot with getting a certain type of kid to follow my lead? (Yes, Felicity, I’m looking at you and your ilk!)
I don’t know what kind of a response I’m expecting, but I hope that my efforts will bring a little bit of joy to each of them at the very least.
Oh! And here’s my challenge to you:
Go write a letter! This isn’t the first time I’ve told you to do this, nor will it be the last, but I hope that you’ll find the inspiration to write to someone. Maybe to an old school teacher who inspired you to do [fill in the blank]. Maybe to your friend’s mum for all of the kindness she showed you when you practically lived there one summer. Maybe to your sister or your brother to share an old memory or to remind them that you love them. Or maybe to that really helpful clerk who could use a bit of praise from time to time.
And please feel free to come back and tell me that you’ve accepted the challenge. (Then you can even pass on the challenge to your friends! Come on, you know you want to!)