25 June 2018
Do you remember the pure joy of a letter arriving for you as a child? After weeks of waiting eagerly by the letterbox, or taken by surprise, it was always a delight when that envelope landed with your name scribed across the top.
I was reminded of this late last week when my six-year-old daughter came bursting in from school like a whirlwind because she’d received a letter.
Earlier in the year Coco had written and sent a letter to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of Prince Louis. She was delighted to send the letter to the Royal Family and thought nothing more of it. The letter she was excitedly waving is a reply from the Royal family to thank her for her well wishes.
It was wonderful to see the pure joy that one card brought to my little girl. She was over the moon, and still is! Seeing her excitedly showing every member of the family, I was reminded of the enjoyment found in the lost art of letter writing.
How exciting was it as a child to have a pen pal? To send cards through the post when someone had a birthday or special occasion. Even better, when it was your birthday and you woke up to a doormat full of brightly coloured envelopes addressed to you!
Who can forget the two weeks before Christmas when you had hundreds of Christmas cards to write for everyone in your class at school, distant relatives and the family friends you call ‘Auntie’ or ‘Uncle’?
I remember as a child, my mum would write to me every week when I moved to Durham Chorister School at the age of seven. She would, without fail, send me a note to keep in touch. Living so far away from my home in Wales, it was a part of my routine that I always looked forward to.
She’s still fantastic at this and sends cards and postcards from everywhere – usually about 30 at a time!
A note of thanks
It’s saddening to think that young people are experiencing this less and less. On birthdays, a post on social media now suffices over a card in the post, Christmas cards are becoming fewer and farther between, and I can’t remember the last time my daughters sent a friend a letter.
There’s something special about putting pen to paper and sending it to someone. It’s a moment in time, captured forever. It’s something to find years down the line and treasure the memory of. Whilst the internet is an extraordinary tool for communication, I’m not sure finding a post on your Facebook wall has the same charm as discovering a crumpled note at the back of a drawer, addressed to Dad in crayon.
I’m certainly going to take more time to write to people, to send a note of thanks or well wishes rather than going straight to my phone to text or send a message via social media.
I’d love to hear your thoughts – does social media stack up to the magic of real letters in the post?