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31 Days of Free Writes : Mail, 31 Lessons : Send People Notes

I remember being seven, maybe eight watching her lay the rectangular box on the dining table and open the lid, pulling out stationery arrayed in a variety of floral patterns.  This was my mom going through her letter box.  A box filled with writing tools, feminine paper and embossed envelopes, and even lilac scented candles to rub on the back of the paper to make the letters "smell pretty".
As my mom wrote her notes she would hand my sister and I pieces of bright colored paper and a collection of cheerful stickers to bedazzle our simple letters with.
This was how my mom kept in contact with her niece, aunt, and special close friends.  The letter box.
She faithfully sent out boxes of Christmas cards out every year.  You know before people mostly just plastered pictures on generic notes and Merry Christmas.
She still does, usually writing out quite lengthy personal notes.
She always hangs her Christmas cards up every year and tells me updates of her friend's lives.
Christmas cards aren't my thing, I think i've only ever sent them out twice. ( I usually send out family Valentines cards) and I don't buy stickers and pretty stationery usually, but notes, letters, and snail mail are important to me.
I watched my mom write letters to stay connected and I followed.  My dear friend Jenna and I have exchanged so many cards and notes over the past twenty two years that I could scrapbook our lives with them.  Mail, notes, and cards are the things I don't throw out.  I like to open the boxes and read them again, watch the history of the love I share with friends take form line by line in the hand scrawled words on Hallmark cards, Thank-You cards, or college lined paper.
I think people still like getting letters and cards.
I think it says, "I value you" and the message is received any time someone takes the time to write out a heartfelt note, address it, and stamp.
One nice thing about a message you receive in normal mail is that you wait for the reply.  It's not a constant volleying conversation. Letters have thought to them, they aren't things that you quick text with little thought and far too much impulse.  Letters are from the heart. Letters bear the mark of sincerity.
I have had friendships I have kept solely based on letter writing.  One friendship where I could call, email, or text but only wrote letters across states to keep a friendship since elementary school going.
I remember when I finally got to see my dear friend again after ten years I could hardly wait. The letters had been our only connections for all those years.
I used to type out letters to my parents, grandmother, and inlaws once a week saying what their grandchildren were doing, what silly things they had said, and what adventures we had enjoyed.  It seems trivial and I suppose it was, but it was a connection that let them see into our lives for that season.  I was told they missed it after I quit.
Even little notes make the statement that you care.
I try my best (even though sometimes I forget) to pen or crayola marker some short note out to my girls on paper towels or napkins each day with their lunch.
Sometimes my three year old sits with me and does her own abstract art work.  It gets kinda challenging coming up with some short jingle or peppy line to send their way at lunch time.  But I know it still means a lot.  Especially to my second girl.
Do you like to write letters? What do they mean to you?  Why do you find them appealing?

I'm that person that isn't great about sending out Thank-You cards in mass quantity.  Which is annoying I know when you are the recipient of a baby shower.  I don't know why, it overwhelms me and so I end up writing some notes but then just approaching people and telling them Thank - You.  I'm better at individual Thank-You notes, one person at a time.
I've been thinking a lot lately about what I am going to do in November to tangibly give thanks.  What could I do?  I've decided instead of just writing down things I'm thankful for every November day I'm going to do something different for me.  I'm compiling a list of thirty people who have been a blessing to me and made a difference in my life.  I think I'm going to send them a letter.  One letter for every day of November to say, "Thank You".

Three year old's Napkin Art 

So sometimes my napkin notes are a bit of a stretch, but they are from the heart :) 


  1. Somer, I love this so much! Your website is so bright and happy. What a great idea for the month of November! I might just try that, too. Love your napkin note and the three year old's contribution. I know your girls love getting those notes in their lunches. Have a great weekend! I'm your neighbor at #FiveMnuteFriday. Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you so much. yes it's my goal for November. I may not be a great or prompt Thank you card giver but perhaps I can spend November reflecting on Thirty lovely people im indebted too.
      Blessings to you as well.

  2. ah that's sweet, writing your girls notes. Way to build a bond momma. :) I love writing letters, but will admit to doing most of mine via the expensive to mail now a days.. Visiting from FMF #10.

    1. Yes the stamps all add up and so many cards are so overpriced !

  3. What a lovely essay! I do think that people value written correspondence...there's something in the personal immediacy of a handwritten note that just captures the heart.

    And I should not admit this...but when I wrote more letters I always used 'lady' stationery. I just plain enjoy flowers and pink pastel paper.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    1. I totally agree about the fun of pastel and floral paper. :)

  4. I love your idea for November! I might have to copy it! I love writing letters! And, oh my, thank you cards! Ever since my daughter learned to write, she started doing her own thank you cards. When she gets a gift, it does not come out of it's packaging to be enjoyed until the thank you card is written. ;) But I think it is great that you personally approach everyone and thank them heart-to-heart!

    1. Well kudos to you for always writing those notes. That's the polite thing to do. I get distracted when I have too many to write wanting to write a personal note to everyone. I don't like generic notes. Or writing everyone the same note. That's great that you have already instilled this quality Of prompt gratitude in your child. It would be great if we spent November thanking people rather than mumbling some things we are thankful for around the table at Thanksgiving. Please use the idea and pass it on.

  5. Somer, I used to be an avid letter writer. I grew up in the age before computers were in every home and internet pervaded each and every day. I loved receiving letters from friends and family, and I enjoyed writing them too. These days, with two boys on the cusp of their teen years, I don't have enough time for letter writing. I miss it! I miss the connection that happens in writing and receiving letters.

    I do try to write thank you notes, and we've trained our boys to write thank yous to those who give them gifts.

    Soooo enjoyed your post!

  6. I am so glad you were my neighbor! I wanted to come over here for your coffee for your heart post but never got to it. So this makes me happy. I love the description of your mom stationary stash! Mine was similar to that when I was little. I actually liked getting stationary for my birthday and Christmas. I also love the idea of using a candle to rub smelly all over it. I also liked how your continue a lot of the same with your kids. Super cool

  7. Hi Somer. I'm new with fmf and am enjoying reading so many sweet posts. I love your description of your mother's dainty stationery. I have always loved writing letters and making cards. So sweet that you leave notes for your children! I'm #35 on the fmf list.

  8. Great post, Somer. I loved having pen pals when I was a kid...somehow the art of letter writing has faded from my life. Yes, the hand-written personal notes on Christmas cards are such a treasure. Few and far between these days, too.

  9. This reminds me of my mother as well. She always had a box with beautiful stationary and envelopes and stickers and treated it as if it was rare. I remember the good old pen-pal days. Thanks for helping me remember, the beauty of mail from the past!

  10. I love this! I have a friend who send out newsletters to all of family and friends -filled with photos and a review of their year. They live far away so they keep us all in the loop, usually sending these out every Christmas. We always love them. I also think your Thanksgiving idea is amazing. I was trying to think of something to do differently too, even feeling like breaking from the blog for November to focus on whatever that was. I will pray but may just join you in this. I love letter writing but put it off far to often and feel like I am missing out on this blessing. So glad I stopped by. Prayers & blessings, Somer!


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