I know it sounds pretty corny and downright archaic but one of the Magpie's resolutions for 2011 was to write more letters. Yes, you heard me correctly. Those J'adore-able things that are mailed out using stamps, thoughts adorning decorated paper, written out in pen, using the script style of writing that I hear most schools are deeming as useless as Morse Code and the Dewey Decimal System.
Crazy and seemingly useless thing to focus on? Probably. But like a lot of folks, I'm sure you have people in your life, probably older relatives or family friends who just haven't bothered with a computer, much less email. I'm sure those people would love to hear the everyday happenings beyond the once a year holiday card. Or maybe a cousin or distant relative you haven't spoken with in a while. Wouldn't a little note saying "hello" be a nice way to reocnnect and let them know what you're up to? I know that's what things like Facebook or regular emails are supposed to do -- and I still use those -- but sometimes the simplest pleasures in life can be as sublime as a pretty note waiting for you in the mailbox.
So I recently took pen to paper and wrote up a stack of notecards to friends and family, just telling them how our holiday was, the snow that was falling, and the little hopes and goals for the new year. I made sure to have a mug of cocoa with some bits of chocolate melted in for good measure. What's worth putting in a note? Nothing life-changing, just stuff you'd say to the person if they were right in front of you for a friendly chat. I especially wanted to write to a couple of my cousins; when we were little in the pre-email days, we used to write each other as often as one letter a week if you can believe it. We'd trade funny notes, doodles, magazine clippings -- all these funny things I wished I kept, as they would get a kick out of seeing those old Tiger Beat or Bop magazine cutouts of our favorite members of New Kids on the Block. Hey, I never said we were composing deep, intellectually-stimulating transcontinental conversations.
So take a moment and think of a person in your life who you know would appreciate a hand-written note. It can be anyone. A grandparent or distant aunt or uncle. A friend who just had a baby and would probably rather curl up with a letter versus being hunched over a computer. Besides, it's a great excuse to curl up with some cocoa and put some good thoughts out into the universe. Oh, and there's some really cool stamps out there -- the hell with those boring Liberty Bell Forever stamps!
Jaunty Fine Print: photographs by Denise Sakaki