Written by Kumiko Toya
February 7th is National Send a Card to a Friend Day, and what better way to celebrate the day than to bring joy to those you care about in a manner that texts and emails never could?
How often do you receive handwritten letters these days? Not often, in my case. Personal letters have become so rare that when I spy familiar handwriting, while sorting through my daily mail with catalogs and brochures, my heart does a little leap. It feels like I have found a gem amongst rocks. It does not only make my day, it makes my whole week!
According to the report by the U.S. Postal Service, I am not alone. The number of correspondence between households through the Postal Service has dropped 61% from the days when emails and texts were not the main lines of communication. Today, aside from holiday cards and invitations, the average American household receives only 10 personal letters per year. Another fact is that even though we have stopped writing letters, we still LOVE to receive them. A Gallup Daily survey showed that 94% of Americans love the experience of getting a personal letter in the mail. Surprisingly, 95% of Gen Y, the so-called digital natives, think so, too.
Instead of waiting to receive one, I have decided to start writing them. Yesterday I took time out of my day to gather the materials, sat at the desk, and began crafting a letter to a dear friend from my crafting circle whom I have not met since the pandemic started. Because there is no backspacing, I had to focus really hard on how to phrase the message. For those few minutes, I lived entirely in the present moment and in the thoughts I was putting on the paper. The simple act of handwriting my friends’ name evoked fond memories and brought her a bit closer. I hope my letter carries the memories, warmth, and my feelings for her!
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