Hand-written letters - Revive the art of letter writing


There’s nothing like sitting down in your favorite armchair with a hand-written letter from a friend or loved one. I found a box of letters in the attic of an old house that I was renting. Examining the postmarks on the envelopes I discovered that these letters were written forty-five years ago. I felt like an archeologist who found a missing treasure. When I touched those old letters and envelopes I was taken back to a time before emails and computers; to a time when penmanship was taken seriously and something to be proud of.

I remember what it was like to write letters the old fashioned way; writing on special stationary with your favorite pen; buying beautiful seasonal or collector’s stamps from the post office, and sending it off by dropping it in the mailbox.

The anticipation of receiving a letter in the mail was wonderful, and when it finally arrived and you plucked that envelope from your mailbox you got double the pleasure – both the envelope and the letter inside.

Did you ever save your precious letters?

Did you ever sit down in your favorite chair or on your bed and read a letter that meant the world to you?

Just the fact that you could do that; take out that special letter and read it again and again is something that no computer-generated letter can replace. The person’s handwriting transcends time and space; email can’t do that. We can’t impart our individuality in our emails like a pen and paper can do with our own handwriting.

Like an old book that is handled with love and care, a hand-written letter can last for many years into the future.

Who will be reading your emails 50 years from now?

A handwritten letter can be read over and over again for many years, just like these letters that I found. They were 45 years old! And even after all those years I could still sit in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee, and by reading them, go back in time to when the author was putting pen to paper.

Old letters contain history

In Canada in the 1950’s and 60’s Canada Post used to postmark the envelope with the date and time, something that is not done anymore. This simple little gesture allowed you a glimpse of history in both the envelope and the letter.

In one letter the writer describes shopping at the Eaton’s in Calgary in 1960; and in another she tells about the unemployment troubles and lack of jobs. This glimpse into the past and into the writer’s feelings; their hopes, fears, loves, and dreams is there in her own handwriting, and you can feel these emotions just by feeling the pressure of the pen to paper that the writer used.

Begin Writing Letters

Wouldn’t it be nice to leave a legacy behind for those you love?

What if you could write a letter to your grandchild or your children and know that letter would survive your own lifetime? Your words could be read over and over again and cherished. Your loved ones will always have something intimately personal – a hand-written letter and your words on a page.

If you enjoyed this article you may like these:

Writing on the Beach, by Susan Calder (author)

Writing Memoir: Why and How

Writing Formats: The Keys to Unlocking Your Potential

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Opal is published 12 times a year and features local and Canadian Authors and Writers. We include Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Featured Authors and their books. The magazine also runs short fiction, poetry, and prose.
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  1. Hi Lorraine,
    Thank you so very much for your beautiful comment.
    I absolutely love your idea to start a letter writing evening 🙂
    If you would like to discuss this, I invite you to email me at cindy@opalpublishing. ca

  2. Cindy
    I loved this article you wrote on letter writing – I discovered letters from 1940s my mother kept from her siblings, mother, aunts, cousins, my sister laws, my sisters, etc. — I was so hoping to find $50 dollar bills in some of those letters! LOL There were shoeboxes full of letters.

    It was like reliving a time that seemed relatively simplier than our time now where I suppose inventors of our current technology that perhaps thought with all these cellphones that are like mini computers, laptops, ipads, etc. they would free us for more time. The oposite has occurred,

    I heard of a father asking his kids what would they like for supper — they were sitting 3 feet from them – they all texted what they wanted!!

    I wrote a blog in 2016, on how we need to take a break from electrical devices, take time for ourselves. Recently, I heard of a father who literally takes the devices away from his kids on friday at 6pm till monday at 7am . The family enjoys reading, board games, conversation, diner together, back to basics.

    There was a lady in New York city that started a letter writing evening at a neighborhood coffee shop. I think we should do that in Calgary, it is time to go back to basics, slow down, savor the moments.

    Thank you for your blog.

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