December 7 and January 23. Two random dates, but there’s one thing — at least one that I know of — that ties them together: December 7 is celebrated annually as national letter writing day, and January 23 is known as national handwriting day.
I love snail mail. Unfortunately though, as I alluded to a few years ago, the handwritten letter is a dying art. And why is that? Sure, the cost of postage is constantly increasing, but comparable to other acts of thoughtfulness, sending a handwritten note is one of the simplest, most sincere ways of showing your gratitude.
Getting inspired to write can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a designated writing desk, or if you don’t have proper stationery at your finger tips. I’m a big fan of personalized stationery, like Smythson’s correspondence cards (see image below). If you don’t want to break the bank, Paperless Post has a great inventory of designs (for both online and print) featuring some fantastic designers (like Derek Blasberg, check out one of his witty designs above). Another option is Graphique de France’s La Petite Presse line (featuring darling designs on quality card stock, see top image).
Saying thank you or highlighting from your heart how someone has made an impact on you doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple by following these steps on how to write a handwritten letter:
- Start with a sentence. Get specific with why you’re writing. “I’m writing to say thank you for …”
- Keep it short. Remember, you’re writing a handwritten letter, not a dissertation.
- Share from your heart. Maybe there’s a quote or a verse that’s spoken to you recently that you want to pass along. Write it down and reference it.
- Date your correspondence. Sure it’s trivial, but years down the road, if the recipient looks back over your note in review, they’ll appreciate recalling the date they received your letter.
- Sign it and send it in the mail. This is key. Picking up personalized mail in the post is an absolute delight.