The Value of a Handwritten Letter

The Value of a Handwritten Letter

Bringing back a soon-to-be ancient art form.
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In a day and age where convenience trumps sentiment, we're settling for the bare minimum when it comes to communication and emotional expression. There is a reason why your mother always made sure you wrote thank-you notes after every birthday. There's a reason why getting a letter in the mail is so exciting. Writing someone a letter is the rawest and most genuine way of showing them the importance of the words you have to say. It is a truly unique way to show someone how much they mean to you.

The great thing about handwritten notes or letters is that they don't have to be anything fancy to be meaningful. A messily-written ramble on a piece of scratch notebook paper can mean just as much as a beautiful, calligraphic letter written on the finest stationary. They both say, "You're important to me, and I wanted to take the time to write down these thoughts so that you can hold onto them forever." As the old saying goes, "It's the thought that counts," (not the handwriting). It can be a three-page love letter, or a simple, two-sentence note – no matter the length, there's something special about getting words from a loved-one in the form of a physical, handwritten message.

One of my favorite things about handwritten letters is that you can keep them for however long you want, and revisit them at any time. A screenshot of a sweet text doesn't quite measure up. There is emotion and passion behind hand-forged sentences. With every wisp of ink, you can feel the essence of its writer.

Unfortunately, this method of communication is seriously underrated today. As I once told a friend, "Split-message texts are the love letters of the 21st century," and unfortunately, that's the truth. We're saving screenshots to our camera roll instead of precious letters in a shoe box. We're replacing thoughtful little notes with kissy-face emojis and telling ourselves that the sentiment is the same.

Our generation is all about speed and convenience. But, to be honest, sometimes you have to slow down to show someone how much you care.

Want to show your significant other how much you love him/her? Write down how you feel about them in a letter and seal it with a kiss. Want to show your mom how much you appreciate her? Leave a thankful note for her in the kitchen. Mail a funny card to your friend who lives across the state/country/world just to let them know you're thinking about them. I promise you it will mean much more than you know.

While phone calls and text messages are easy ways of letting someone know you're thinking of them, there is magic in the permanence of a physical, handwritten note. So go get out a pen and a piece of paper, and write a letter to someone you care about. Maybe we can start re-filling each other's boxes with sweet sentiments, and leave the texting for making plans.

Cover Image Credit: theguardian.com

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7 Reasons Becoming An Aunt Is The Best Thing In The World

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My aunt always used to tell me "there is no love in the world like an aunt for her niece." And I never understood what she meant until five and a half years ago, when I was blessed with a niece of my own. She is my world, my best little friend, my everything. And if you aren't lucky enough at this point in your life to experience what its like to have the gift of a niece, I'll let you know what it entails.

1. She never turns down an ice cream date

When you start to grow up, you realize some people become adults and start having their own way of life that sometimes you don't agree with. For me, it was realizing some people actually care about calories and sugar intake, and I began to get turned down when I would ask my best friends if they wanted to get ice cream with me. But then I got a niece, and we are currently about 27 for 27 with accepting my offers for an ice cream date.

2. In her eyes, you can do no wrong.

When everyone else in the world is doubting you, you'll always have your little sidekick who hasn't got a doubt in the world that you can do it. You are her cool aunt, and you are perfect and she loves you more than anything in the world.

3. She'll tell you if your dress doesn't match your shoes.

Are you really going to wear that to the party, Paigey? She always wants you to look like the princesses she watches on Disney Channel every day. She tells it like it is, because she doesn't really know any better, and that is something you just don't get in a lot of your peers anymore... Mostly because they aren't five years old, and they have a filter, unlike her.

4. Most things society frowns upon you doing? Yeah, she thinks you're that much cooler if you do them.

Such as eating marshmallows for dinner or wearing a princess crown in a fancy restaurant.

5. She's always excited to see you.

It fills your heart to see someone's face light up with joy at the sight of you, and with nieces, this happens each and every time you see them. Talk about a confidence booster.

6. She reminds you how to be a kid again, and how precious it is.

I get to be my five-year-old self when I hang out with her, and I remember how to be the carefree, happy, and naive little girl that I was when I was young. She gives me such an appreciation for my childhood and brings out the best in me that, over the past 15 years of me growing up, I forgot I had in me.

7. When everyone else in the world walks out, your niece never will.

You were her very first best friend, and she will always be your whole world.

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An Unopened Christmas Letter To The Aunt Spending Her First Christmas In Heaven

The love and joy you gave me, I can now pass on to someone else. And that is the best Christmas gift anyone could ask for.

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We were thankful to have you last Christmas. It was bittersweet, because deep down inside, I think we all knew it was your last Christmas.

Last Christmas...

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. Little did I know, you would depart with a huge part of it.

This year, all I want is to see you, to hold you, to hear your voice at least one more time, but I understand things are different now. And I am trying to understand this is truly for the best.

Last Christmas, we prayed for a miracle. Something to ensure your quality of life, for at least a little longer. Our faith had been shaken, but not destroyed. We knew you were a warrior, and you wouldn't go down without a fight.

This Year...

As much as it breaks me this year, to try to put on a smile throughout all the seasonal lights, celebrations, and food that won't be nearly as good as yours, I can't help but feel there is something missing.

My Christmas light is gone. My second mother seemed to have just vanished so slowly, yet so quickly, and far too soon.

I know there is no better way to spend Christmas than with the Birthday Boy Himself, however, I'm not sure how to fill the void in my heart that went to Heaven right along with you.

To Save Me From Tears...

I want to be happy for you. I am standing before you, but I'm dying on the ground. I feel cold and broken and empty.

But you were so warm. You were so pink with joy. You were so beautiful and full of life. You are no longer suffering. You are no longer fighting for your life, but embracing eternal love and joy.

So this year, I will not let your memory go down with the candles I have lit. I will not let your flame quiet as I turn to darkness, but I will keep a light lit high and bright, just for you, the way you like.

I will still eat your favorite foods, and try to bake your favorite deserts. And although I know nothing will ever compare to having you next to me...

Sometimes, deep down in my heart, I still hear your gentle voice. I still hear you calling to me, telling me you love me, and that you will never fully leave me.

One day, I will find peace, the way you did. But today, I am still searching for you, as I always will be.

I'll Give it to Someone Special...

You did take a part of me with you. A big part of my faith and hope left when you left me too. A part of me is always in agony, in pain, but nothing compares to the pain you endured. You were strong and fought it just for us.

Now, I will follow your example. I will be strong and fight it, just for my child.

Yes, you left this world, you left me in some way, but you didn't leave me empty-handed. You left me broken, but not for long. You took a part of my heart, just to replace it with the biggest blessing of my life.

You granted me a child in my womb to keep me from feeling empty and withering away. While you were my amber, you left me with something to live for. A purpose. A reason. An everlasting love and joy.

The love and joy you gave me, I can now pass on to someone else. And that is the best Christmas gift anyone could ask for.

You will live with me, through me, and for me, as I use your examples and love to raise my child the way you raised your children and the way you raised me. And for that, I cannot thank you enough.

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