I have always been a sucker for handwritten cards. No matter the occasion, holiday, birthday, anniversary, or graduation, there is something heartwarming and intimate about receiving personalized notes from friends and family. Some of the letters I’ve received simply express gratitude while others recall long ago memories and hopes for the future. All of them are a reminder that I am loved and appreciated.
That is why every year during the holiday season I take time and reflect on why I’m thankful for the people in my life, so I can write them each a small card. A bit of holiday cheer goes a long way because it’s easy to get bogged down in negativity over the course of a year. Work and responsibilities are stressful, heartbreak can leave you feeling empty, and bitterness can cloud your vision of others. In the end, I like to believe people are in one another’s lives for a reason and, whether you realize it or not, there is something to be enjoyed in everyone that you surround yourself with.
When writing cards to the important people in my life (which there are many), I am reminded of shared pasts, moments of deep connection, and what makes them a happy addition to my life and others. It will take me an hour or two to write to everyone and even though handwriting can leave my fingers feeling sore, it’s totally worth it.
Aside from the occasional hallmark greeting, handwritten cards that read more than a few lines and a signature are rare. With the rise of social media, it may seem like the written card has been replaced by virtual ones. On someone’s birthday it has become custom to post long messages on their Facebook wall, and during the holidays and special celebrations, we share online pictures instead of physical memorandums.
The setback in all this virtual reality is that online messages can get deleted and lost under piles of new posts. For years I have stored every handwritten letter or card I’ve ever received in the bottom drawer of a wooden dresser in my bedroom. Whenever I’m feeling sentimental or stumble upon it while cleaning, I find comfort in being able to sit and read them for a while.
These notes are personal and not broadcast across the internet for all to see, which to me, makes them all the more meaningful. It’s not a message meant for anyone else but me.
Some would say it’s old-fashion to hand write cards, but I plan to continue this tradition going forward. If I can give someone in my life a reminder they are loved and cared for which they can hold onto throughout their life, then that to me is the greatest gift I can give someone.