Saturday, January 23, 2016

Today is National Handwriting Day. . . . . . . . . .

Following the flurry of activity during the holidays come the quiet January days. 
We at last have time to sit down, relax, and do other things with our free time.
Many of us still prefer to pen thank-you notes in gratitude for lunches, dinners,
 parties ~ as well as gifts.
There are few better ways to convey to family and friends appreciation and good
 manners than sending a hand written note or letter.
Finding a hand addressed envelope in the mailbox, or on the doormat, tucked between 
bills and mass mailings, will certainly cheer up the dullest day.
The words we write are always important, but the choice of card, quality of paper,
color of ink, type of pen, all contribute to a beautifully penned message, making 
the recipient feel special because someone took the time to correspond this way.

Unknown illustration

C. Coles Phillips. Magazine Cover - 1910

Charles Dana Gibson - "Yes or No" - 1905

George Goodwin Kilburne - "Penning A Letter" (date unknown)

Despite many an hour spent on a computer in these modern times, e-mailing
 and blogging to keep in touch with family and friends, I still enjoy sending a
 hand written note or card when appropriate. 
I love the smoothness of the paper as my pen moves across, signing my name,
folding and tucking the page into the crisp envelope waiting to be addressed and sealed.
Choosing a colorful stamp for the upper corner is always fun, then adding a personalized
 return address label to complete something perhaps old-fashioned to some, maybe 
too time consuming for others, but hopefully appreciated by the recipient.

How do you feel about hand written notes or letters, and hand writing in general?
Do you still do it, enjoy it, or have you given it up and stick to the keyboard?


  1. Hello Mary! Your post captured my attention as I love to make my lists, plans, sketches, etc. by hand. Having a mountain of black/white composition notebooks and a pile of mechanical pencils makes these tasks quite fun. Being on the computer all day at work makes me realize how effective handwriting is as I feel it makes my plans and "to-dos" more accountable. If I write it down, it sticks! Thank for the wonderful information and the reminder that technology is only part of the plan (smile)

  2. I love it. I love sending and receiving notes and cards from friends and family. I remember when I travelled out west in an old VW van in the early 80's and stopping at night at a motel or camp-ground, taking the time to write a post-card to my parents to let them know where we were. It was fun writing down the days events and keeping things uplifting so they wouldn't worry. They looked forward to finding them in the mail-box; enjoying the beautiful photo of where we had just left. My mom kept every post-card and now I have them stored away. An email just would not have cut it. :) Deb

  3. I always write 'proper' notes and letters. I was brought up to write thank you letters and it would been seen as very poor mannered if I had not. I enjoy emailing friends, but a letter coming through the door is such a joy! Maybe you could start a handwritten letter swap, Mary??

  4. I very much favor handwritten notes, thank-you notes especially. I am particularly happy to say that both of my daughters (40s) still write thank-you notes and one is teaching her children to do the same. My 2-year old grandson has something to look forward to! I hope he does not rebel as I think handwritten thank-you notes are essential. (The sad thing is that cursive is no longer being taught and that drives me crazy!) Dear, oh dear, what are we coming to.
    Farm Gal in VA

  5. Mary, I agree with you one hundred percent. I love writing letters and also receiving them. Unfortunately, that part of life is past disappearing from our culture. That's so sad. You keep writing, Mary... so will I.

  6. What lovely images you've chosen to accompany your post, Mary.
    Like you, I love the handwritten word. Just yesterday I came home to a letter in the mail - such a treat!

  7. I do hand write thank you notes and an occasional birthday greeting. When I was working and had more discretionary funds I sent all birthday greetings by mail, now I send most by email. I feel bad, but it does save money with the amount of greetings I send. On the other hand I do love receiving in the mailbox.

  8. I think in this time of communication by electronic means a handwritten note sends a distinct message. It raises your letter much higher than the others. It is a demonstration of commitment.

  9. The Commemorative stamps printed by our USPS are, I think, among the most beautiful in the world, and are one of the primary pleasures I have in sending letters, greeting cards and postcards. My best friend, of almost 50 years, has long kept the stamps from mail I have sent O her; the box is huge and they are so pretty. My mother loved to write letters and I think I inherited the writing habit from her. But my letters are not near as good as hers, so now I stick to email and cards of a wide variety. A cousin reminded me recently, with a chuckle, about mom's letters to him which were very newsy and always written over a period of days, with each segment having a different date, until maybe after 3-4 days she would finally put it in the mail.

  10. I love using my fun collection of vintage stamps for a special recipient! Sending and receiving cards, letters, and notes is something that brings me great joy. My friends don't understand it, and I don't care! I love the unique personal touch that I'm able to add to each piece I send. xo

    1. Yes, always love getting snail mail from you Cassie - your lovely handwriting, with a stamp picked for the occasion, makes my day when I see it among all that other boring junk mail and bills!!!!!!
      Don't stop the tradition - and in the coming years you'll be teaching someone else!

  11. Well, Mary, I can safely say that you would NOT enjoy getting anything handwritten from me as my penmanship is atrocious, and so illegible that even I can't read it most of the time. I can read about 20% of the words scrawled down but enough to remember what it was I was trying to capture!

    Funny that you write this, as just this morning I was writing thank you cards to some people, thanking them for their good wishes, cards, and even coming to my "suprise" 50th birthday party yesterday. I plan to hand deliver some when I meet people at our local bakeshop, two other cards I will have to mail.

    And, yes, while I may not be terribly good at writing letters, I love getting them -- my 86 year old mother being the only one now who still mails them (gives them to my sister to mail, actually), but even she does not mail as much as she used to. In part though, that is b/c her life is not as stimulating or varied as it used to be since she is almost entirely house bound due to her health issues. As it is, I do mail her cards every now and then which she can then read once, put away then read again as if she had never read it (Dementia). Poor thing.

    My dear Aunt used to write me lovely little notes with her xmas card each year too but she has now since passed (last november) so that is that.

    I have taught my three children to always write thank you notes, no matter how they chose to send it but yes, I do think that a handwritten note is always the most cherished.

    Ah, lovely. Now, if only my script was better.

  12. I love handwritten notes, cards, letters, etc. I think it may be a lost art shortly and that makes me sad....I only hope our children are encouraging their children to continue this wonderfully thoughtful tradition!!


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