As you may remember, it’s fairly common around here for letters and notes to be found in out-of-the-ordinary places. Christmas day was no exception.
I must say, it was more than enough to open a box containing my very own desk-top sized card catalog manufactured by the Library Bureau circa 1915.
But then I opened the drawer with my name on it, too.
See that set of cards? On the back, each is numbered and contains a few words. Together, they make up a 106 card letter.
By way of explanation, my husband said, “You always ask for a love letter for Christmas, so I had to find something to put this year’s letter in.”
Yes, I do believe he wins the award for best envelope of the year.
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Recently, my sister discovered this note taped amidst all the Christmas cards that have arrived at her house this year.
Sometimes the best letters are hand-delivered.
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I’ve recently received a message from a reader who thought I might be interested in The World Needs More Love Letters. Jackie, you were right! I love this sort of project and really appreciate that you took the time to tell me about it.
The basic idea behind The World Needs More Love Letters is that each and every one of us has the ability to help, support, and encourage other people, especially when they are facing challenging, sad, or hard times. There are many ways to do so, of course; this team of letter writers has chosen love letters and they’d love to have you help them.
I’ve added information to my Scribbling Good page. If your heart, like mine, sings with happiness when it encounters kindness, I recommend you take a look.
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My husband is not a letter writer. He does not own stationary or letterhead. When the rare occasion arises that he has something to mail, he does not have stamps on hand. And yet, he gets it. He writes me presents and he leaves me everyday notes. It makes my day whenever I find one. And not knowing where I’m going to find one is part of the fun. So, with full credit to my own sweet love and the intent of inspiring you to write and hide notes of your own, I present:
7 Places to Post Your Hand-Delivered Missives
Some notes need to be passed directly from the hand of the writer to the hand of the recipient. Others need to be highly visible so they are seen as soon as possible. But others are less time sensitive and those are the ones that can be delivered via a wide array of objects, repurposed as personal post offices. If you’re looking for a place to post your latest scribble, here are a few locations to consider.
1. A lunch box:
2. A tea cup:
3. A pillow:
4. A being-read book:
5. The refrigerator:
6. A laptop:
7. The dining room table:
There are so many words, which can be tucked into so many places, to let someone know you love them. Don’t stress over finding the perfect turn of phrase. Keep it short and sweet, tuck it somewhere it will be found, and know that you will make someone’s day brighter and more interesting. Love is an everyday thing, so put your words out there instead of saving them for a special occasion.
Don’t get stuck thinking love notes are just for significant others. Next time you visit your mom, a dear friend, a favorite uncle, or anyone else who you just adore, take a tiny love note and–when nobody is watching– slip it into the silverware drawer, hide it under a jar of nails on the workbench, or prop it on a windowsill. When you head home, you’ll do so knowing that someone you love will soon be making an unexpected and delightful discovery.
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As the season of giving whips into a frenzy and people rush about madly looking for stuff to give, I’m here to suggest that there’s a less stressful option: give a letter.
I know, this may sound weird, especially if you’re currently under the influence of the ubiquitous reminders to Buy!Buy!Buy!, but stay with me with for a minute.
No matter what you’re celebrating, the underlying point is to share a connection, right? Birthdays and anniversaries celebrate personal connections. Religious holidays celebrate shared beliefs and the connections between believers. Secular holidays celebrate ideas or themes that draw people together. You see where I’m going with this?
Celebration = Connection
Letter = Connection
Then, how about:
Celebration = Letter?
Why do you give gifts? I give them because there are people I adore and I want them to know that they’re important, loved, and worth celebrating. I write letters and leave notes for people to find for the same reasons. And I’m fortunate to have family and friends who are on board with doing things that are fun and meaningful, rather than just straight commercial.
Am I advocating replacing all gifts with letters? Not at all. But if you sneak a letter in among the baubles and the bling, you’ll have the thrill of giving a truly one-of-a-kind gift.
It can be done in any number of ways. Here are three ideas to get you started:
- Love Letter. One of my favorite presents from last Christmas came in this envelope:
It was exactly what I’d said I wanted. ♥ ♥ ♥And don’t limit yourself by thinking love letters are only for romance. Parents, siblings, children, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents–you can write a love letter to anyone you love.
- Letter of the Month. Several years ago, my grandmother announced that she absolutely did not want any more stuff for Christmas, so I gave her a card letting her know that I’d be sending her at least one letter each month of the following year. She was thrilled and I was on the hook to deliver–it worked out to be a huge win-win.
- Little Thoughts. One year for my birthday, a lovely friend of mine sent me a card accompanied by a handful of slips of paper. On each slip she had written something she enjoyed about me as a friend. I kept those slips of paper in my desk drawer for years and smiled every time I saw them.The great thing about this idea (in addition to the fact that it will make someone incredibly happy) is that it’s easy to do even if writing isn’t usually your thing. You don’t have to wax poetic or even use sentences! Pick a theme–best sister ever, reasons you’re cute, why I love you, remember when, top moments of the year–and jot down a handful of words, sentences, or ideas that capture the essence of what you want that person to know about how you feel.
When my desk was cleaned out during a move, I packed up the little thoughts I'd received. I can't put my hands on them at the moment, so, in lieu, please enjoy these thoughts I wrote with some friends in mind.
If you’re feeling stressed about finding the perfect gift to convey your feelings, go ahead and skip the whole material object part of the equation. Go for simplicity and get right to the heart of why you’re giving by scribbling a present or two this year.
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