Wicked Wednesday – World Letter Writing Day

Happy September, readers! To mix it up this month, I thought it would be fun to look at the national days that fall on Wednesdays. Some are serious, some are random, some are quirky – so let’s discuss!

Today is World Letter Writing Day. There have been incredible letters written in history. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is just one that had a deep impact. Writing a letter seems so much deeper in word and sentiment than an email or a text message, I think. So Wickeds, when was the last time you wrote or received a handwritten letter? Do your characters write letters? If so, to whom?

Edith/Maddie: First I want to congratulate Barb on yet another winning holiday novella publication! I can’t wait to read your contribution to this collection (frankly, yours is always the best of the three). I love writing letters, and have penned them this summer to my great-goddaughter (age 3), to my son’s girlfriend’s Puerto Rican parents, and to a cherished friend on the occasion of her husband’s death. My father and my uncle, brothers-in-law, kept up decades of correspondence that my uncle Richard recently passed back to me. It’s a such treasure.

Barb: I thought I was going to have to say that my last few handwritten letters have been messages of condolence. I have sadly reached the age where I own my own box of gray stationery notes. However, happily, I have remembered my last handwritten letter was to my granddaughter, Viola. I was mailing back a bathing suit she left at our beach rental and included a note marking her first week of school. I’ve been sending her handwritten notes regularly for years, and it’s a special joy these last few years when she’s been able to read them herself.

Sherry: I second, Edith’s congratulations on the release of Halloween Party Murder. I loved Barb’s story. I’ve received and written a lot of thank you letters this summer. It’s always so nice to get something in the mail, but I haven’t written an actual letter for the sake of writing a letter in a very long time! I don’t picture Sarah or Chloe being letter writers except for thank you cards.

Julie: Barb, thirding the congratulations! I am trying to get better about writing notes to people, and it’s working. I send out a couple of short notes a week. That said, my letter writing has moved online to emails. I know that’s not “good” but I find it easier to write long in that form.

Liz: Yes, fourthing the congrats, Barb! I usually send a handwritten note with prizes/giveaways when I send books to people. And I got a lovely handwritten note in the mail just this week from the amazing John Valeri, which made me so happy!

Readers, what about you? Do you send handwritten notes? What’s the last handwritten note you’ve sent out? Leave a comment below!

33 Thoughts

  1. Usually when I send Christmas cards I write a note on the one blank side with a more personal message to family and friends that live far away and we don’t see very often. I always write a note to any card that I send to my son and 3 granddaughters too.

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  2. The only handwritten things I send out these days are checks to pay bills.

    Back when I was a teenager before the Internet fully took over the world, I had pen pals. The music magazine Metal Edge had a pen pal section in each issue and I had a few pen pals back then. While most were in the US, I had one in Japan and one in Canada and we were corresponding for years.

    While that’s been ended for years, I do have one person that started as a pen pal that is now a Facebook friend.

    My mother wrote letters a lot. She certainly liked doing that but given that she refused to learn how to use a computer, she also really didn’t have a choice either.

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    1. I had a pen pal in Australia when I was a kid. To this day I am fascinated with that country and have spent a lot of time during the pandemic watching Australian TV shows. I was lucky enough to go 3 different times fo rmy work, and to take a family member along on each trip.

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  3. I like to send handwritten notes, especially when mailing gifts or special packages. My dad used to write me letters when I lived away, and seeing his handwriting made him feel close. And my mom had the most elegant handwriting (which I didn’t inherit lol)!

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  4. Just about the only one I correspond with in the form of a written letter is when I write to hubby’s mom. She’s 92 and very hard of hearing so talking to her on the phone is just impossible. Even though I know her daughter that lives with her tells her all the news from when we talk, knowing she loves to get mail, I still write letters at least every two weeks including in them things like articles and photos which I’m told she reads over and over. If they put a smile on her face, I will gladly continue to write regardless of how many times postage goes up.

    Nowadays with the postage rates going up and the extremely slow rate of delivery (6 days to go just to the state north of us) and the instant gratification of emails and texts, the written correspondence seems to be going by the wayside. Oh how I can remember the joy of going to the mail box to see who you might have heard from this time!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  5. My handwriting has degraded to the point where half the time *I* can’t read it, much less the other person. LOL

    However, I did take the time last year to write a letter to my son at college since he’s four hours away in NY. I wrote at least once a month, sometimes twice. I wrote very slowly so it would be legible. He really appreciated them – even kept them in a shoebox. I asked if he wanted me to do it again this year and he said, “Yes, of course.” It’s never anything profound, usually just updates about what’s going on around the house. But I think he appreciates the fact I took the time to sit and write something by hand.

    I must admit I haven’t done the same for my daughter, but since she’s going to school locally and I see her often, I just haven’t felt the need. But if she ever moves to a different city I probably would.

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  6. I have written letters to a college girlfriend since graduation. As we had both been very mobile until recently, it has been a great way to keep in touch. Also I do send thank you notes & condolence letters.

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  7. My maternal Grandmother was a letter writer and would write weekly to her twelve children and grandchildren. I cherish her letters and also have a box of postcards that she wrote while dating my Grandfather and back and forth to her mother when she was a young mother. I write many letters, but have had to resort most of the time to using the computer for long letters…arthritis in my thumbs, ugh! However, I made a decision to write postcards during this pandemic time to those who have helped me and those who live alone. The last letter I mailed was yesterday to a dear friend and fellow librarian in NE. I also enjoy reading epistolary books! A favorite such novel is Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.

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  8. I try to express gratitude through written words, but most of the time they are Ecards. Our Bible Study group’s etiquette is to send cards for any occasion, so we have to keep well stocked up…in the recent past, we have not only sent Happy Birthday/Anniversary cards, but sadly Get Well and Condolences cards…To cheer someone up, nothing better than a Phone call, or a FaceTime call. Thank you!

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  9. Fun post today. I grew up with the idea that hand written letters and signatures on cards with a note was the only way to go. This was polite and fun. Mom always made sure I had paper and envelopes so I could keep in touch with others. When I got married I started making my own greeting cards. Our two kiddos got into it also. I made sure that they helped pick out the stamps and colored inks and paper etc so they could make their own. And for many years they did. For me it has now been 37 years and there doesnt seem to be and end. This year for birthdays I made minions with guitars, fruit on head etc. And for anniversaries I made Popeye and Olive Oil dancing. I also make cards for our church ministry where there are needed: get well, new babies, sympathy and encouragement. My name is not on those cards. It is a ministry. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  10. I do send handwritten notes as thank yous, condolences, Christmas and Birthdays. I’m counting when I write a short letter in a card here.

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  11. I have a very long time BFF to whom I write occasional thank you notes to, but even with her, it has mostly become emails. She, in turn, has become the same way. I also write to an 85 year old friend who doesn’t “do” email. But, I enjoy sending and received email correspondence. The message and content are what’s important.

    That said, I have a box of letters that my father wrote to his mother when he was a young man and living out of state. Reading through them, I learned a lot about his early life that I never knew before. And, yes, just seeing his handwriting is a thrill.

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  12. Yes, I do, especially when I send out a bday card or anniversary cards I always write something in them. When both my parents still lived I would write them a letter once a week or so. Have a great week and stay safe.

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  13. About three years ago, I started to send my granddaughter a weekly note on a random card. She loved to take it to preschool and “read” it to her friends. I started doing the same to her younger brother about 18 months ago. They love getting the mail. My son now has them FaceTime with me so I can read the card to them after they open it. Since we live on opposite coasts, it’s a great way to connect. I also carefully buy fun stamps. Right now, I have 🦕 dinosaurs, Star Wars droids, Bugs Bunny, and Muppets stamps.

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  14. I place hand written notes in our Christmas cards to some friends and family who do not live in the area. I write to my Compassion child. Thank you for the wonderful question.

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  15. I am drowning in emails (10,286), so the only handwritten note I’ve sent recently was to my older granddaughter for her seventeenth birthday.

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