The Handwritten Note

A Handwritten Note

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. It’s an exciting world, but it’s hard to keep up with how fast it’s moving. Because time is of the essence and a valued commodity, we use technology to save as much of it as possible. My favorite way to save time communicating is a text message. It’s quick and requires no personal interaction, only a quick response. In general, a text message is the only way to get people to respond. I think the text appeals to all generations at some level, but I am starting to feel the need for a better form of communication. The kind of communication that builds drama and anticipation - not instant gratification. I have been thinking about reviving the art of the handwritten note. As I research the etiquette of the “note”, I am more and more convinced of its merit. The handwritten note takes us back to a time where letter writing was the only way to communicate. It was a necessary part of society and manners. I believe people looked forward to sitting down, taking their time to write correspondence. Now days there are only three standards to the handwritten note: obligation, occasion, & opportunity.

Obligation: When someone dies, when you have hurt someone, or when you have given a gift, a handwritten note is really the only way to communicate your feeling of sympathy, apology, or gratitude. This allows you to truly express the impact that an occasion has had. By writing a note and sending it, you are telling the recipient how much you truly care. Because we all know in this day and age this is not the simplest or easiest way to communicate. It takes time, thought, and care.

Occasion: There are other events that should require a handwritten note; such as a birthday, a holiday, an achievement or to congratulate on a minor triumph or to commiserate a setback. By sending a note, your recipient will feel the occasion elevated and made special. 

Opportunity: The handwritten note opens opportunity to stay in touch in a special way. If you write to a young niece or nephew, staying in touch with an elderly relative, or thank a friend for their kindness, you begin to rekindle bonds that may have faded or build bonds that will last a life time. A friend of mine told me about how her favorite aunt kept all the notes and card she had sent to her. Then near the end of her life, the aunt gave all the letter and notes back to her. It was a box full of history, a timeline of their relationship and love for each other…a priceless gift.

I plan to write one note at least once a week, and as it gets easier, I will write notes more often. I’m going to start by getting some cute note cards or stationary, a book of stamps, and a nice pen. There are does and don’t to the handwritten note, but let’s forget the rules and start taking the time to show someone you care. If you'd like a handwritten note from Lizzie and Lou, give us your address. We'd love the practice!