When I tell people how much I love handwritten letters, sometimes they look at me like I'm an old relic who doesn't understand the beauty of technology. I do understand technology, of course. I enjoy email and social networking as much as the next person, but I don't think it replaces the specialness of a letter penned by hand. Besides that, writing handwritten cards and letters can nurture a friendship in lasting ways.
A Note Penned by Hand Shows Care and a Special Touch
When it comes to communicating today, we primarily email, text, or chat via social networking. The way we "talk" today is fast and often impersonal. We might send a tweet out to someone to say happy birthday rather than write them a card. We might tell them we're thinking about them through an email that will get put in an electronic trash can and never looked at again.
But a handwritten card is something different. It's rare these days, for one. People just don't write cards by hand as they once did. But for friendship, this can be a good thing. If you really want to show your friend you're thinking of them, take the time to write out a note by hand. This will get your friend's attention from the minute they see the envelope interspersed among the pile of bills they receive in their mailbox until the time they open it and set it out on their desk. After all, it's not easy to toss a handwritten letter. There is something about it that makes you want to hang on to it.
Individual Details Make Letters Special
Even writing something as simple as "I'm thinking of you" can help make your friend's day. But if you really want to show them they are special to you, choose your words carefully. Make the details of the letter or note personal. One way to do that is to mention things like:
- Private jokes you share.
- Qualities about your friend that are unique to them.
- Ways that they have helped you in the past.
- Special memories you have.
- Words of encouragement that they have shared with you.
- Days of importance in your friendship.
Incorporate a few of these thoughts in your note to make it specific just to them. One way I have used handwritten notes in the past was to continually thank the friends that stood up in my wedding for being part of my day. Every year on my anniversary, I penned a note to my bridesmaids thanking them for sharing one of the best days of my life.
Reasons to Send a Handwritten Note
Do you need a specific reason to send a handwritten note? Of course not! But one reason these types of letters are so special is because they aren't sent very often. So a good rule of thumb is so save your handwritten notes for a special occasion, like when your friend needs some extra TLC or has an exciting life change. Thank you notes are another great way to let a friend know you appreciate them.
Sometimes you'll experience an event unrelated to your friendship which will prompt you to feel especially grateful to your friend. This is a great time to get out your pen and paper and jot down a note letting your friend know that their relationship means a lot to you. I have done this when other life events reminded me not to take the people I love for granted and in many cases my friends have held on to these cards.
No matter what the reason for sending the card, your friend will probably hold on to it and pull it out during times when they need to feel some extra care. Maybe one day you two will have a fight and a card you've sent in the past will remind them that your friendship deserves another chance. Maybe they'll be feeling low one day and will go back to the card you sent in order to lift their spirits. You never know how some heartfelt words penned by hand will continue to nurture your friendship years down the line.