Letters mark a moment in time, like congratulations on an engagement or the birth of a child, when a sender wants to do more than email to show someone they care and that they understand the moment is significant. They can also show thanks for something, where a message or phone call doesn’t seem to do justice. Letters can also show you’re thinking of someone, more so than in the moment it takes to dash off an email. And in situations where condolence is required, letters go a long way. Such correspondence can be reread over the years and provide comfort.
Handwritten words also form part of Christmas cards. Instead of including a typed printout folded inside a card, handwritten sentiments feel personal, sharing news of the year past and hopes for the future. Even though such exchanges are shared just once a year, there’s nothing that can replace the Christmas card. They remain treasured, displayed as decoration around the house in the run-up to the festivities, and kept for years to come, looked back on to reveal the history of a family from year to year.
So, while letter writing may have dropped in popularity, it will always be appreciated as a moment of slowing down and reflecting for the writer, and something tangible that delivers love and thoughtfulness to the recipient. A letter conveys so much more than simply the ink on the page.