When I was twelve, my best friend moved to another school. This was years before texting and social media, so we would communicate through our land lines (ancient, I know) and writing to one another every week. We exchanges tons of letters, postcards and greeting cards all the way until high school. When texting and email appeared, our snail mail exchanges lessened, then disappeared altogether.
Looking back, the excitement and happiness I associate with writing and receiving real, handwritten letters or postcards is something I miss. The act of sending and receiving even just a simple note engages your senses. There’s the feel of paper on your fingertips and the smell of ink. Postcards can have pretty designs, and the unique handwriting and doodles help you visualize a loved one in your mind’s eye. Words on a screen just don’t feel the same.
Stephen Toepfer, a professor from Kent State University, did a study on the benefits of writing letters of gratitude. He found that writing three or more letters increased participants’ happiness and satisfaction levels, and lowered symptoms of depression. I’m guessing that the people who received those letters felt happier as well!
Sure, PMs and emails are free — which makes sending a letter a handwritten note to a loved one or friend even more special. Buying paper or a card costs money, which means you need to make sure you’re sending something unique and of good quality, like a handmade greeting card. It takes time, and we all know that we spend more time on the things and people we care about. It can be funny, surprising, encouraging or romantic. Letters, more than anything, are proof that someone cares about you enough to write something with intention and heart, taking their time and spending their money to send something personal your way.
Here at Baa-ul, we have handmade and letterpress greeting cards from Good Paper with various designs and for different occasions. Some are sweet, funny or quirky, so you can find one that’s just right for that geeky friend or pun-loving family member. We also stock postcards from Alphabetype and visual artist/poet Nathania Aritao. You can find them all here.
So what are you waiting for? Write to someone now! Not only will you be sending out a bit of joy, you’ll be giving yourself some as well.