the lost art of written notes
Call me crazy, call me old-fashioned, call me whatever you want to, but there is nothing quite like receiving a card in the mail. A handwritten message freshly sealed in a crisp envelope and delivered to your mailbox is, to me, one of the most pleasant surprises. I’m sure a lot of you can back me on this, but how many of you are on the opposite end; how many of you are the senders? Not calling anyone out, I’m just trying to draw attention to a lost art that deserves preservation.
Grazie, Merci, Arigato: Cards Worth Writing
These days, ‘thank you’ cards seem to be few and far between. Granted, I may be biased because I was raised by a woman who insisted we write ‘thank you’ cards the day after our birthday’s. Back then, I saw it as an inconvenience, but as an adult, I couldn’t be more grateful that she instilled the habit in us mainly because it is the proper thing to do.
In today’s day and age, lines of communication are more or less all virtual; tangible communication is merely a thing of the past. It’s obviously easier to shoot your friend a text thanking her for the generous housewarming gift, but going the extra mile and putting the time into formulating a note that voices your gratitude is a much more memorable gesture.
Ideas: Most of my ‘thank you’ cards have been from Marshall’s but recently I’ve been opting for Etsy. I shop locally whenever I can. I’m also into monogramming, which Etsy is great for. My favorite set is from the shop, CurioPress, as seen above.
If you’re not into the whole initial/name thing, there’s also Paper Source, which carries a wider variety of products, which are equally unique and pretty.
I Wrote You Every Day For a Year…
I’ll spare you another Nicholas Sparks line, but he has it figured out when it comes to keeping in touch. It may not have worked out in the case of Allie & Noah (The Notebook), but modern-day letter sending isn’t as much of an obstacle as it was in the 40s.
The anticipation that is paired with waiting for a letter creates such a genuine childlike excitement. Last year, during our long-distance relationship, my boyfriend and I exchanged a few letters back and forth and receiving them was the highlight of my week. Sure, we definitely spoke every day in between the sending and receiving, but the act of opening their letter, seeing their handwriting, and reading their raw thoughts is a feeling you can’t grasp via text message. On top of that, they are pieces of your story that you can always reflect back on rather than scrolling for an hour to re-read an old conversation.
Additionally, there is the authenticity factor. You can write the same sentence in pen or email but ink can’t be deleted; the permanence makes it different and real.
Ideas: Lined paper and a writing utensil is all you need. Don’t have lined paper? Computer paper or a napkin (cc: JK Rowling) will suffice. You’ll also need stamps which can be purchased at your local USPS store or on their website.
Whenever I’m exploring a new place, I find that stopping into local shops is one of the most effective (and fun) ways of introducing yourself to the culture. Post “California touchdown”, I couldn’t wait to get my walkers on and hit the strip. Once the bags were set down and the naps were taken, my roommate and I headed out to explore a handful of the beach towns that make up “SoCal”: Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Manhattan Beach, and last, but not least, our new home, Hermosa Beach. There is no shortage of picturesque piers and grade-A boutiques, which is where I stumbled upon the postcards below. Whilst cruising up and down Pier Ave. in Hermosa, I saw “curious”, a local treasure that is chock full of quirky gifts and knick-knacks, as well as the blast from the past HB postcards above.
Since my family is back home in New York (or in Salt Lake City, Utah), I wanted to find a way to keep them in the loop sans cellphone. Yes, I give them multiple calls a week (and texts a day), but I wanted to do more than that. Something thoughtful, but not too kitschy or ‘souvenir-y.’ What accomplishes that as effortlessly as a vintage looking postcard with a heartfelt message on the back? I’ll wait…
…well, the answer is nothing, but I’m done waiting and you should be too. Postcards aren’t easy, though. Being concise is a challenge; rambling on in a letter is far easier than formulating a message that is short, sweet, and to the point. But challenges are good, they build character. The postcards I snagged may be nothing extravagant, but if they make someone smile, they achieved their goal.
I think I’ve stressed the point enough– written word is so important when it comes to communication. The next time you have thoughts you’d like to share, or thanks you’d like to give, put your pen to paper and let it flow… only good things will happen.
Au, revoir. Xx, yours truly.