Sunday, December 23, 2007

Don’t you love opening your neighborhood mailbox to find a handwritten letter inside? Most times it only takes a glance to know who wrote you—from the choice of the stationary to the look of the writing. But handwritten letters are floating our way less and less these days, and though I love email, I believe letters still have a place in our lives—in our society.

But if you think about it, letter writing is no longer a necessity in order to communicate with others. Invitations to Christmas parties have become E-invites with animated spruce trees flashing their tiny lights and ornaments on our screens. Thank you notes are instant-messaged, and pen pals zip email across continents in no time. Even grandmas call to wish you a happy birthday instead of sending a handwritten card—what’s the point of the written note anyway? Is there even a point?

Despite the fact that I can’t yet answer that question to my satisfaction, I still love to handwrite letters. When I run out of stationary, I spend weeks hunting down a paper that I like; it has to have the right weight, texture and color… Even when email is virtually free, I look forward to that walk to the post office to choose just the right stamp. There’s something about the care that goes into forming a word in ink, and to not having that delete button at the ready. Maybe I’m just slow to change, or maybe the art of letter writing really is more than just paper and ink…