LETTERS & CARDS – Send ’em!

This is the fourth in a six-post series on letter writing (check the right side column for previous ones), inspired by an article in the Orange County Register’s Parade magazine (March 15, 2015), titled Letters That Changed Our World by Liz Welch.

“A fan letter plays a starring role in Al Pacino‘s new movie, Danny Collins,” Welch writes.He stars as a once-superstar singer-song writer whose middle-aged life is changed when he receives a long-lost missive from the past, written to him decades before with words of praise and encouragement from Beatle John Lennon. (March 20, limited release)”

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Maybe you don’t want to write to celebrities (if you are past a certain age), but you can always write “fan letters” to acquaintances, friends, and family. It will surprise them and generally “make their day.”

Letters, cards storeGREETING CARD companies have made it easy for you. Hallmark, Dayspring, American, Papyrus, Current Inc. are just a few who offer cards for every occasion and at all prices. Clever, funny, sentimental, romantic, or thoughtful poems, jokes, or phrases are already written out for you, accompanied by beautiful and colorful illustrations, cartoons, and photo images.

Just sign, seal, stamp and mail. Right?

NO! Remember, this post is about LETTER WRITING!  Always, ALWAYS, write at least a sentence or two of your own thoughts. Let your friends know that you, and not just the card company, are thinking about them.

Letters, cards birthdayLast July, our church sent out a list of birthdays and anniversaries of its friends and members, listed by month and date. When I saw the list, I got an idea. I would send birthday cards to all the kids on the list, mentioning them by name, and sharing simple Bible truths in a sentence or two.

Realizing that some of the kids did not know me (and my husband) very well, or were too young to read handwriting, I printed out a closeup photo of us on sheets of plain paper (six 2″x3″ to a page). I cut these out and put them on the left inside page of the card with double-sided tape.

Soon moms of little kids and teenagers as well began to tell me how surprised and happy they were to get “a card” in the mail. For some, it was their first one ever received that way!

One mom, after her two kids received birthday cards (with notes) a couple of weeks apart, reported that the younger one said. “I got a card on my birthday and my sister got a card on her birthday. How did Mrs Houchin know about our birthdays? She must know EVERYTHING!”

Letters, cards,lotsAfter a few weeks I began sending cards to the ladies too, and finally to the guys, always writing how we appreciated them and encouraging them in personal ways. I never failed to hear from the surprised recipient.

I’m thinking now, that this July I may start sending anniversary cards too.

WHOA, you say, doesn’t it cost a lot?

I buy several varieties of cards in boxes at a local Christian store. These are not as pricey as  individual cards. The postage?  Well, it is what it is. I consider this a ministry of sorts, as a series of not-so-random acts of kindness. I love doing it.

Postage is another way you can personalize!  Buy commemorative stamps. Cartoon characters for kids, cars or sporting stamps for guys, flowers, historic, or celebrities for others. I once got a hug for sending a Julia Child stamp on a card to a gal in cooking school. You never know how you might please someone.

Letters, postcardsLastly, POSTCARDS are another way to send greetings. Sure you can do it while on vacation, but take a look at the spinner rack at your local drug store for cards of your area (like the beach or Disneyland here in Orange County), add a short note and send one to a shy kid or friend from work. (The stamps are cheaper too!)

You love to GET them, why not start a campaign to SEND them. There’s a card (a Hallmark moment) for everyone!

Then, let me know how you do.

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