Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Gift of a Letter

     I’ve always loved sending and receiving letters. I remember my childhood days, writing letters to various friends, pen pals, and family members. I would look for special paper, fun stickers, and colored pens or pencils before sitting down to write. I am certain I put some thrilling information in those notes too! I would eagerly await the return correspondence, ripping open the envelope in excitement. I recall reading those letters again and again, and I have some of them still today. 

     There is just something about a handwritten note. Perhaps it is the unique personal touches – the penmanship, style, or flair. I think it is more that someone took the time to stop what they were doing and write to me. It made me feel special, important, and loved.  The advances in technology, while making life “easier” have stripped away some of these personal connections. Few of us, me included now, take the time to write letters to people. A quick text, an email, a call and we have sent out message. We are all about sending and receiving data.

     Christmas time always reminds me about the joys and beauty of letter writing. The kids’ letters to Santa continue to warm my heart. The beautiful messages added to holiday cards can brighten the hardest of days. This year has been different than most though. This year, I have seen copies of some of the most heartfelt letters. Most of them written by children, they were composed in the darkest days following the massacre in Newtown. These letters, while not fancy or colorful, ring with truth and sincerity, reminding us that life is short. The one I have included here, in 28 little words, has the power to move mountains.

     Often times, it is our children who remind us of what is important. Take some time and write a letter to someone you love.


  1. Hi Karen! I just discovered you have a blog! I'm happy to learn more about you! Although you're so much younger than I am, we have some of the same fond memories....I, too, had pen pals when I was young and have always loved receiving handwritten letters. And as you know, those are very rare now. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

  2. Hi Becky - I loved getting those letters when I was young. Even today, I still enjoy a good note! Now I encourage my own kids to write, rather than just email or text, in hopes that they will enjoy this tradition as well. Only time (and constant harping from their mother) will tell I guess :)
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well! Merry Christmas - Karen

  3. Karen, I just signed on to follow your blog. I know exactly what you mean about letter writing. I have written weekly letters to my best friend who now has dementia for 43 years. I wrote a story once about forever writing letters as long as there are forever stamps. Do you live locally? Wish I were in Florida :)

  4. Hi Linda - Merry Christmas to you! What a special relationship you have with your friend. So sorry to hear about her illness. Dementia is such a scary illness, it robs us of so much.
    I am local, we live in St. Peters and I teach at Orchard Farm Elementary in St. Charles. I am a Saturday Writers member and enjoyed your presentation at our workshop.
    Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!

  5. Hi Karen, I wanted to tell you about a blog I think you'd enjoy:
    It's Letter Writer Alliance. All cool things about the actual writing of letters, etc.