It is about a deeper emotion over a longer period of time, both to the giver and the receiver, continuing a journey often begun at some point in the past. Family members and friends who share times, and strong emotions from early days, are the inspiration to re – ignite those feelings in a letter. Remember receiving a letter unexpectedly in the post, just for you, and the personal messages it conveyed.
You also know you are not expected to respond immediately. A letter can be an update of months or years sent with a single stamp.
Postcards too, are still going strong sending impressions of a destination, as well as the weather!
Christmas is just such a time to reconnect. It can be in reinforcing relationships and the ‘round robin’ round up of the year. It is a sensual experience involving the touch of the paper, the sight of the handwriting, maybe the hint of the personal fragrance of the writer and the evoking of images and sounds. Once the cards and letters are taken off the mantelpiece they are often stored and can be read again and again.
Letters from the ‘famous’ have been collected into a travelling production called ‘Letters Live’. Read by famous actors and comedians, these letters tell of what the writer actually thought and said at the time. Authors are renowned for using them as a device at the beginning, middle of end of a book.
The World Needs More Love Letters
College Graduate Hannah Brencher moved to New York with a ‘Sex in the City’ mind set. However, she became lonely and depressed instead. Then, on the subway, Hannah saw a lady who looked like she felt. Hannah was moved to write this lady a letter, fold it and write “If you find this letter, it’s for you”, and leave it on the seat.
She noticed that she felt better for doing this and embraced the idea that her words might brighten someone’s day. This emboldened her to think how she might take this further.
Next step: The blog - Hannah sent out a promise to write a handwritten letter to anyone who wanted one.
What was her challenge?
Do you really think a love letter can make a difference? Do you really think you can change the world?
What was the response? Overnight, her inbox exploded with requests from people all over the world. Nearly 400 handwritten letters later, she started the website, The World Needs More Love Letters, which quickly grew as she realised receiving a handwritten note is still so powerful, even in this digital era.
Read her book - If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers.
To get started, there are so many stationery options to choose from to reflect your personal style, including small companies offering bespoke services.
So, now is the time to slow down, take some time out of your busy life and reconnect with that part of you which feels good in giving and receiving well chosen words in a letter. It could become a habit.