Do you remember when your Mum reacted with such pleasure at those handwritten cards you made for her at pre-school, and how she usually stuck them on the fridge or made a montage of them somewhere at home? Many were probably just splodges of paint, or letters written back to front. But it didn’t matter.
What mattered was that YOU had made created these things for her. YOU had chosen the coloured tissue paper for flowers, the colours of the paint for the stick family, and YOU had laboured over them and tried to do your best writing to please her. Maybe 20 or so years down the line, she still keeps them somewhere safe because those momentos are so precious.
As you grew up, it’s possible you were encouraged to write thank you letters to your relatives, for Christmas, and birthday presents. Something you probably hated doing, but, it was polite, and a necessary ‘payback’ for whatever gift you had received. Your Grandparents, Aunties, and Uncles loved getting these missives, and in many cases, the handwritten cards and notes gave them as much pleasure as actually buying and giving the gift to you.
Back in the day, when you flew the nest, and went off to Uni, or took a gap year and left home to go travelling, your family always looked forward to a postcard, or letter, full of news about the adventures you were having, and they were often shown to friends and neighbours for them also to share in the excitement.
Nowadays, all that has changed, and personally, I don’t think it’s a change for the better. You may disagree.
Technology means that you can put in very little effort, yet still have a sense of having ticked the box of sending dutiful good wishes, or thank you cards to friends and family. Simply by some deft work with fingers and thumbs, and very little thought, or creativity, you can let lots of people know where you are, and what you are doing simply by pressing a few buttons.
That’s not to say smartphones, Ipads, and laptops are not valuable in any other sphere of life, of course, they are, BUT for personal communications, to your nearest and dearest, you simply cannot beat a well-chosen, handwritten card or letter; it conveys so much more than the words you actually write.
Handwritten notes are appreciated by the receiver so much more than impersonal text or email. They can be saved in a box and revisited and re-read, over and over. The reader ‘hears’ the voice of the writer as they read, and can enjoy so much more, such as the choice of card or paper, the flow of the writing, and realises that the effort put in, such as the stamp, and the trip to the postbox, was just for them.
Whilst it’s true that life seems to get busier the older you get, don’t ever underestimate the power your handwritten card or letter might have on another person, so make the time to write your words personally. In today’s world, it’s usually only junk mail that drops onto the doormat and goes straight into the bin. That never happens when an envelope, with a stamp on it, arrives through the letter box.
Imagine the pleasure your handwritten missive might bring to someone close to you, so put your technology down, and pick up your pen!