Sunday, January 15, 2012

Good Old Snail Mail


When I was 14 my Dad's job was transferred to Arizona, and my family and I found ourselves being uprooted from our small town in New Jersey to a suburb of Phoenix. Even at that often-tumultuous age I didn't mind moving too much- I was extremely outgoing and I actually looked forward to meeting new people. I did, however, miss my childhood pals terribly. I had been born and raised in the same place, the same home, and had deep roots where I grew up. Luckily though it was the 90s, and although email was beginning to take off, my friends and I still preferred good old snail mail to keep in touch. For the first few years of my Arizona life my girlfriends and I mailed hundreds of letters back and forth. I still have most of them in a huge box. Sometimes when I'm at my parents' I get that box out and sift through them. If you were to join me you'd see pages upon pages of carefully crafted 14-year old penmanship, i's dotted with hearts, tons of "LYLAS" and "SWAK," and stickers. Lots of stickers.

I can still remember waiting for the mail to come every single day, and when I saw brightly colored, probably Lisa Frank stationary sticking out through the pile my Mom would bring inside, my heart would jump in my chest.

Now a days though, mail is mainly full of bills, junk, or strange catalogs for ill-fitting women's clothing I'll never buy. On some fabulous days we receive packages, and on even more special days there will be a card or a letter from someone I love.

I'm lucky enough to know quite a few ladies who pride themselves on using the postal service. They are pen pal extraordinaires and work at keeping the art of letter-writing alive. I am not so good at it, but every so often I'll send a letter off to a friend and I get so excited thinking about how excited they'll probably get, getting real mail.

I thought it would be fun to encourage all of you to go get some pretty stationary, your favorite pen, and write a few letters to people you care about. I guarantee you that a handwritten letter will probably make your Grandma's day, as I'm sure in her lifetime she's seen the sad decline of letters coming to her mailbox. Mail something off to a faraway friend just to say hello or send a letter to an old teacher letting them know how much they impacted you. Real, handwritten letters mean so much more than an email, and I am willing to bet that your recipient's day will be made.

So, let's all promise to write three handwritten letters this upcoming week! In the comments below, tell me who you are going to write your three letters to...and if you comment and commit, you must follow through! ;) Are you in?

50 comments:

  1. i'll be the first one to commit!! i love writing letters to my grandparents after being told by my mom how happy it makes them. :) i just wish i got more letters. as a college student, it is def one of the best parts of your day to get a letter in the mail!! :)

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  2. I'm in! Even though i had a baby a week ago, I will make it happen! It won't even be a thank you note! ;) I loooooovvve to send a happen handwritten note!

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  3. Ahhh, I love this. i've really been wanting to get back into snail mail, especially since I've recently moved. I can't commit to anyone yet but I will promise to try!

    Charley
    http://thecharleygirl.com

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  4. This is so sweet. My boyfriend moved in Oct to Washington for americorp and we just started writing letters as a way to make the year apart something special. It's my favorite thing to do on Sunday's and on Tuesday I love getting my mail. I think I'll add two more to my list this week,my Grammy & Bilal my dear friend working over seas. Have a wonderful week!!!

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  5. Love this! If you give me your address I'll write YOU a letter! Though I understand if that's a creepy request. Otherwise I know I have at least three friends that enjoy snail mail...I will write to them!

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  6. I am in love with snail mail!! I always make an effort to send out little somethings to my family and friends.

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  7. I love this! Snail mail is absolutely the best. I'm going to send mine to 3 friends that I met through the internet. I have some pretty cards so all I need is some stamps and soon they will be getting some pretty snail mail :)

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  8. Even though I was born in the age that email was getting pretty big (im 16) I still write letters to two of my good friends. One is in KY and the other in MD so I usually write them :)

    I think it would be awesome to get some snail mail from one of my blogging friends!!

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  9. I have at least three letters that I've been meaning to write, but I keep setting it aside due to lack of stamps. Which is silly because they're so easy to get! ...but easier to forget while out running errands apparently. I'll write myself a note, to write others notes and get stamps this week :)

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  10. I love getting snail mail from friends or family. It's more meaningful,in my opinion. I'm in! I'll send three friends hand written letters. :)

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  11. I just loved this post. I still write handwritten letters and I hope there never comes a day when handwritten letters completely disappear. I remember all those letters sent during my childhood, to my friends and cousins.

    Oh, and Lisa Frank! A thousand times yes!

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  12. Definitely sending letters to my grandmother, my favourite teacher from grade 5 who's currently in China (if I can!?), and my best friend who lives far away :)

    SUCH a great idea - I always wish I grew up in the time of penpals and letter writing :( But alas, I was born a part of the internet generation. Sigh.

    xo
    http://kittysnooks.blogspot.com/

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  13. Love this idea because I love getting letters too

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  14. I'm in. I used to send and receive so many lovely notes and packages, but that's sadly gone by the wayside with the internet and texting (god, I sound old. I'm 30!). I have a stash of pretty stationery that I've let stay boxed up far too long. I'm going to write a long note to my recently widowed nana, my first college roommate, and my parents. And if you email me your address, I'll make it four letters!

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  15. Ive been thinking about this lately also. I have decided to try and post a letter a week at least. To send birthday notes and cards to those far away from me and just send little notes of love to my friends. Im totally in for 3 person challenge.

    I want to write to my old bestie Emma, my far away friend Rhiannon, and my nana Joan.

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  16. I'm in: one to my dad for his birthday, one to my friend marigold to congratulate her on her art show, and one to my friend heather just to say hi. Great idea and surely an excellent winter pick-me-up for the recipients.

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  17. i am so going to do this! i had a ton of pen pals when i was a kid & i absolutely loved it.

    now i just need to find some super cute stationary & hope my hand doesn't cramp up. sadly, i think i'm more used to typing these days than i am to writing... :S

    i'm going to write to my bestie, who just moved to florida to work at disney!!!!, my third grade teacher who is responsible for basically everything i am awesome at & if i can hunt down an address, my best friend from elementary school who i lost contact with a few years after she moved.

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  18. I'm in! Love the idea, I need to commit to doing this more often. It is one of my new years resolutions to send birthday cards, but I'd like to try and send "just because" cards too!

    1.my wonderful mom 2. my friend & upcoming birthday girl 3. my BFF in colorado who just moved in to a new house!

    xo, katherine

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  19. random but where does hank buy his clothes? my boyfriend has the same laid back style but has a hard time finding clothing stores. care to share?

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  20. @anon

    sure! He isn't too into what he wears but he loves his Levis, Ben Sherman button ups and Fred Perry polos! He also shops at places like H&M, Nordstrom, and Express (for work pants)! Good luck :)

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  21. i miss lisa frank. she was like the original stationary muse.

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  22. oh how I adore receiving "real" good ol snail mail! I was just talking about this yesterday! I will totally commit to mailing off three letters this week!

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  23. Love it! I'm a huge snail mail fan.
    I started a personal project a few months ago I call Kindness Cards. I bought some pretty blank-inside cards and every Wednesday I mail out words of encouragement, praise, thanks, whatever I feel like I need to mail out, to a woman I care about. I'd like to do an additional three cards... to my grandmother, my little sister-in-law, and my brother.
    =]

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  24. I have a childhood friend who can't afford internet access in her tiny apartment so we write letters back and forth! I love getting mail. I have one letter already written to send her, so I just need two more. Hmm. I'll write to my Grandma and my Aunt. :)

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  25. Count me in! Tomorrow I'm going to write letters to my friend in Whitefish MT (she's always sending me little letters in the mail and I've never sent her anything...shame on me!), to my in-laws & to my Grandparents. I'll use good stationary and even some fun stamps to complete the whole experience.

    Now if only I could convince my hubby to take the challenge!

    Jen

    http://makesomerumi.blogspot.com/2012/01/giveaway-is-here.html

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  26. On Saturday I mailed out all my thank you cards from the holiday's and a few "hallmark" cards to a couple of friends I wanted to celebrate. In my family we always send thank you cards and I wish more people did it. I love- love- love getting mail! So I think this is a great idea.

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  27. ooh count me in! i'll send one to my friend working in lithuania, one to my cousin in iowa and her family who are currently going through a difficult time and the last to a friend i ran into a couple of weeks ago but haven't really spoken to in a long time (if i can find her address).

    thanks for the inspiration!

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  29. I wish I had a pen pal...maybe one of your blog readers is willing?

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  30. Are you following me? I just had this conversation with a young lady at the physical therapy pool. While I was doing my stretches, she came down the steps to test the pool water for the proper chemical balance. I asked her if she wrote anyone. When she admitted she rarely did I asked her to promise me she would start writing someone and would encourage her future nieces & nephews to do so. She said she would.

    I met a woman in Mississippi while I was living & working there in 1991. That summer when I returned home to the Pacific NW we started writing one another. We haven't stopped.

    On rare occasions we will text when we need to say a quick "happy birthday" or "Happy Easter". For most holidays we send cards and letters, the good old fashioned way. If we have a secret, good or bad, that we just can't admit or share with those around us right now we send a snail mail letter to one another.

    We had never met in person while I lived in her state. We worked at the same place only opposite shifts. We had spoken to one another on the phone if work issues came up. After five or ten years of writing one another we did finally decide to swap photos of ourselves.

    To me, it has been one of the best, most fulfilling relationships in my life. I treasure her friendship. Plus, she knows all the skeletons in my closet! Haha.

    I hope others will start doing this and will find it fulfilling.

    I must give her a shout out - Hey Michelle - love you dear friend. Be well, happy, & safe. Cyn

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  31. I have a project this year of nice things to do each week... and this week is sending postcards! Coincidence!

    I'm also going to write a proper letter to my Grampa. :)

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  32. nice idea! :)
    i have a penpal since i was something around 12 - and now i´m 29 and still write her from time to time. even though there now are just one or two letters per year, it´s still awesome to receive a little happymail from time to time. and even though we may not have a lot in common nor take part in each others lives anymore, we both still hold on to this special mail-friendship. i love it!
    and i write letters to my mom and my best mate from time to time.

    every lettre is a present!!

    <3

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  33. I love snail mail too, and try to regularly send some to my friends! I've just started a letter to my best friend, and I will be starting one to my boyfriend probably today (to avoid revision, of course). As for my third...who knows. But I have a few grandparents and a friend in Florida I don't see that often, who would probably love a letter ;)

    And I'm pretty sure there's some Lisa Frank stationary at my parent's house just waiting for me to come steal it.

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  34. I adore snail mail, its so much more personal.

    I'm in!!!!! I will to write to my grandparents! With getting married this year there is so much to tell them and I really want to hear their wedding stories.

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  35. I actually got this written on my To Do list for January and I just saw the little note on my wall to remind me before I sat down at the computer ^^

    I'm going to write to my aunts and two good friends in the states that I only see maybe once a decade. I've been planning to do this so often already. Snail mail is just the best. I'm not a big fan of Email writing, I miss the little details in handwriting and the personal note to it.

    great idea Danielle :)

    xoxoxo
    Melanie

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  36. I commit! I actually have some pen pals right now and we write all the time :D I agree with you, hand written letters in the mail are so much better then just receiving an email. It's nice to get a letter in the mail instead of some bills that you dont want to pay!

    Marja
    xoxo

    http://marjalovely.blogspot.com/

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  37. I love this post with a passion! I can't promise I'll write a letter soon, not until at least Wednesday, when I can buy stamps (I know buying stamps sounds so easy, but when you're on unemployment it can be a little tough!) I want to send so many letters out, as it's such a fun and sweet idea, not to mention creative!

    Jen and I wrote letters and sent cards to one another constantly when we were long distance and I still have them all!

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  38. I'm in! I am also a fan of snail mails and I prefer them over emails. I think they are much personal because of the fact that it's handwritten and I just love that my friends put a little something on my mails. Sometimes little pendants, or stickers or souvenirs.

    I am going to write to my friend from back home which I kind of lost touch because we both got busy with work; my online friend in BC who have already sent me a mail however I wasn't able to reply yet, and of course, the love of my life. :-)

    Happy writing everyone!!! :-)

    xoxo
    Ida

    http://asplashofida.blogspot.com

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  39. I've always been a big believer in snail mail. When I was young, my best friend moved away, and seeing as I was extremely shy, it was important for me to keep her as a friend. So, we wrote ridiculous amounts of letters for years and years! Now, I still write tons of Christmas cards, Valentines cards, and Thank You cards. Every Christmas, someone gives me new stationary because everyone knows how much I love it!

    This week, I have resolved to send my great grandmother a letter, my in-laws a card, and my best friend (who recently moved far away) a little note. What a great challenge, thanks for sharing!

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  40. I'm in! I'll write one to my Gram, one to my best friend in California, and one to my brother at college in DC.

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  41. Absolutely!!!

    I'm going to write to my best girl, Lauren. My other dear friend Diane. And my sister-in-law up north, Lana.

    Great encouragement! Thanks Danielle!

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  42. I've moved soooo many time when I was a child and used to write letters to one of my x-boyfriends because we always we sweet on each other but receiving mail is the best feeling!

    http://madnessanmusings.blogspot.com/2012/01/and-im-lovingpolka-dots-all-around.html

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  43. Oh, this idea is lovely!
    This past May I accepted donations for the JDRF 5k I participated in, and sent out thank you cards to those who were kind enough to contribute. I really enjoyed sending out all of those cards in the mail.
    I'm definitely going to jump on this idea! I plan to send one to my BFF who lives across the country, my friend who recently moved to Texas and my grandma (even though she lives 45 min away). You're probably right, she will love it. :)
    Thanks for sharing this idea.

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  44. Good reminder! I need to write some real mail right now.

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  45. Oh, definitely! I have several friends who live overseas and, while e-mail is an excellent way to stay in touch, there simply is nothing more exciting or personal than sitting down to write to someone you care about (^_^) I'll absolutely be writing three letters this week, one to my boy, one to my bestie and one to my friend who recently moved! Thank you for inspiring the idea in all of us (^_^)

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  46. What a great idea! I am definitely in!!

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  47. I re-read the post and realized I didn't commit to doing this. The only reason I didn't commit is because I just sent over 60 hand written Christmas & holiday cards out. Think I'll wait until Valentines Day to send a few more hand written notes out.

    When I'm in the waiting room of the dentist, doctor, accountant, or mechanic. I HAND WRITE A LETTER TO SOMEONE!

    Hand written cards for holidays need to be written more often as well. Let us all keep the art of written cards, letters, notes, and post cards alive & flourishing. Thanks friends.

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  48. I love this post, and I completely agree! One of my favourite memories of my childhood is the letters I exchanged with my best friend after my family moved - I've kept all of them and love to look over them every now and again. The stickers were really quite something. ;)

    Now I work for a stationery store and have a growing stash of cute notepaper, pens and stamps... so I still love writing letters! I would love to send you some snail mail all the way from New Zealand if you want to email me your address!

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  49. Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you



    Dentist New Providence NJ

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  50. I absolutely adore sending mail! Just on Wednesday, I made some homemade goodies for friends to brighten their Valentine's Day! I'm a chronic cookie sender.

    My best friend lives only a few hours away, but I often find magazine clippings or silly cards from her in the mail. It's wonderful!

    I think my love of snail mail stemmed from my lovely grandma, who lived literally five minutes away. She sent me a card every single week, with some variation of "I love you honey! Love, Nana" and a few dollars in it. I still have all those cards, and they make me unbelievably happy!

    xo.anna marie

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