Nothing excites me more than going to the mailbox and finding and envelope with my name on it. It feels like Christmas morning when you notice a colored envelope with your name handwritten in a familiar pen. I find myself tearing open the envelope even before I get back to my house. My mind immediately starts to dart back and forth…..’Have I given a gift lately that I should be expecting a thank-you for? Is it an invitation to a party? Could it be a note of encouragement from a friend?’
AAaahhhh……….the handwritten note!! We live in a day and age when we communicate by email, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and cell phones. These 21st century means have devalued the importance of the handwritten note. The kind of note that arrives in the mail and comes with a heart felt thank-you or word of encouragement. And it’s when you least expect it that it means even more.
I’m not sure when I became obsessed with handwritten notes. Maybe it was when I realized just how much receiving them meant to me personally. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t send handwritten notes. I have to admit…..I’m quite good at it too. Many times I have been complimented on my efforts to send notes or cards to my friends and family. I’ve even had friends ask me to compose a note for them to send to someone. I don’t claim to be a wonderful writer……..or even a good one, it’s the sincerity of the note that brings the best response.
I’ve had the opportunity to attend several social media seminars in the past . Most of them keep my attention for the first 20 minutes and then my mind starts to wonder. At a recent seminar, I had begun to go over my grocery list in my head and organize my thoughts on a list of things I had to do when I snapped back to reality. Had I heard the speaker correctly? YES, I had!! She had gone from how much time she spends on Facebook each day and how many blogs she follows to announcing to the mostly 23 year old crowd that they should be sending 15 handwritten notes a week!! While I may not agree that you need to go to that extreme, I was thrilled to hear her speaking about something I could actually relate to. The looks on the faces of the younger crowd was baffling. A handwritten note? Who does that anymore?
In my opinion, we should ALL be doing it more often. The next time you are thinking about someone – grab a pen and paper. Write down a few words telling them that they were on your mind. It will make you feel good and will definitely brighten the day of the person lucky enough to receive your note or card.
I can’t leave you without some advice……….the do’s and don’ts of sending handwritten notes!
Do send a handwritten note:
To thank someone for a gift
To thank a hostess for a party or event you attended
To encourage a friend or family member
To tell someone they were on your mind
To tell someone you missed them at an event or party
To send regards for not being able to attend an event or party
To congratulate someone on the birth of a baby
To express sympathy
To celebrate an anniversary, birthday or graduation
To offer congratulations for a major accomplishment
To thank someone for their friendship
And the list goes on and on and on. Do you really need an excuse to encourage someone?
The NO NO’s:
If the gift was money, do not mention the amount in the note. You can send pre-printed cards, but ALWAYS include a handwritten note inside.
Do not send the note if the gift was given months before. I believe etiquette says you have six months or longer. I DISAGREE. The sooner the better…….if it’s been more than 4 to 6 weeks…..forget it….times up!!
NEVER NEVER start your thank you note with the words ‘Thank you for…’. If the gift was a set of glasses start by saying something like, ‘David and I are really enjoying the glasses that you gave to us for our anniversary. We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.’
Why should you send a handwritten note? It shows a person that you care enough to have taken time out of your day to acknowledge them. Nothing says ‘your special to me’ more than a handwritten note. Take time out of your day to make a day special for someone else!! Try making your own cards with rubber stamps, scrapbook paper or stickers. Order cute monogrammed stationery. There are many online resources for wonderful printed notes and cards. These are a few that I recommend: