Bring back the handwritten note

 

More than 560 billion text messages are sent monthly all over the world.

And in the next 12 months, I hope to send at least 50 handwritten cards to friends and family.

Why? Because the art of sending a handwritten note - especially one of thanks - is dying out, and I'm single-handedly trying to stop it.

Much like video killed the radio star, email and text messages seem to be killing the handwritten note.

As children we spend hours perfecting our Christmas lists to Santa; making sure there are no mistakes, our writing is legible and that we ask about Mrs Claus and the reindeer before launching into our wishlist.

Writing Santa letters is a cherished childhood memory for many.
Writing Santa letters is a cherished childhood memory for many.

But somewhere between our misspent youth and adulthood, we stop putting pen to paper, opting instead for a hastily typed email or text message to let someone know we are thinking about them.

Sending cards is one of many customs I have inherited from my mum who, for as long as I can remember, has always had a drawer filled with cards just waiting for the right person to send them to.

When I lived in London, the pair of us traded cards. Funny cards, serious cards and postcards; ones to say "I miss you"; and others to say "May I borrow more money, please?".

A decade on, mine are still a treasured reminder of that time, tied up with a ribbon and unwrapped every now and then when I want to remember how much I am loved or have a giggle.

Brisbane News columnist Brooke Falvey and her mum, Kim
Brisbane News columnist Brooke Falvey and her mum, Kim

These days I regularly share the joy of sending and receiving cards with my friend Erin who lives in Sydney.

Every couple of months, I open my mailbox and find a card from Erin and it doesn't matter what kind of day I've had, I instantly smile.

Sometimes the envelope is ripped open before I'm in the door, other times I put it to one side, waiting until I can sit and read it slowly, usually with a piece of chocolate in hand.

Don't get me wrong, we haven't abandoned technology completely; we're Facebook friends, follow each other on Instagram and trade text messages when there is big news to share, but we also like to keep things old school.

So the next time someone does something nice for you, stop before you send back that quick email or text message and think about sending them a handwritten card - sure it could cost you about $10 and involve a trip to the newsagent and maybe the post office, but think of how happy they will be to open their mailbox and find a card from you.

On that note, I'm off to buy stamps!


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