For someone who spends an unfortunately significant amount of time on the computer, largely blogging and such, I really do love returning to the simple art of letter writing. Growing up, my mom was always a huge believer that thank you notes should be written as soon as possible after birthday parties and such + I think that was the beginning of letter writing for me.
When H and I started dating in high school, I would spent summers on the other side of the country + we started writing letters. It did feel silly sometimes, half of the time we told each other the news in the letter before the letter even got there.
But the more letters we wrote, the more special they became for me (and hopefully him as well!). I loved getting to see his handwriting and the way he leaves out apostrophes and the dots on his 'i's sometimes. We started doodling--he would draw me jellyfish or funny stick figures and I would try to write our names and addresses in a pretty way. He experimented with different fountain pens and I always love picking out fun cards and stationery. All those little details made our letters more special than just a conversation over text or on the phone. They were gifts, and they became mementos that I still save in a shoebox under my bed.
Just in the past year or two, I've gotten to expand the way I write letters. I started writing letters to my grandmother and my friends at other schools. I sometimes just write notes to friends here with me, just for fun. But one of my favorite letter-related activities is writing letters responding to the requests on MoreLoveLetters.com.
Every two weeks, a few new requests are posted on the website--people of all ages and backgrounds who for whatever reason, need encouragement. They might be recently widowed elderly women or young teenagers dealing with struggles of growing up. But wherever they are in their lives, they could use a little extra encouragement, in the form of a letter from a stranger.
This month, in honor of the holiday season, MLL has been hosting a campaign called 12 Days of Letter Writing. Instead of every two weeks, there is a new request up every single day of someone who really needs that extra support during the Christmas season. I encourage you to read through the requests and choose one (or more!) that resonates with you and take five minutes to send that person a card or a letter. It doesn't have to be fancy--notebook paper is fine!
I chose to write a letter to Vincent, the recipient from Day 1 (though you can still go back at write him!). You can go read his story a little more on the requests page, but in short, Vincent recently lost his wife to postpartum depression, just a short time after the birth of their first child. This year is Vincent's first Christmas without his wife, raising a child on his own.
I could honestly go on and on about why you should join in on this campaign, but I think you probably understand why this is such an important thing. Lately, I've been trying to focus on giving my attention and my care to other people, even more than gifts or money, this holiday season. I hope you'll do the same.
Let me know if you end up writing a letter to one of the requests or if you have any questions about More Love Letters!