It has been almost two months since I invited you to join me in what I’m calling the Snail Mail Blessings Challenge. I created the challenge because, in this age of instant texts and emails, I’ve been missing the special connection of a different kind of correspondence – the old-fashioned hand-written note.
Jump in anytime. Miss a week? No problem. It’s not about perfection or pressure. It’s about blessing others through the simple act of putting pen to paper, putting that paper in an envelope, addressing it by hand, affixing a stamp and sending it off.
SPOILER ALERT: I’ve been a letter writer all my life. At first, it was because my mother and grandmother were in cahoots and made me. And how did they do this? Christmas and birthday gifts. I was informed at a very young that Christmas and birthday gifts were special (which they were) but that I wouldn’t receive them unless I remembered to write a thank you note to each person who gave me one. Writing thank you notes, they said, was like sending a gift back to the giver – but in written form! What a concept!
So, from a very young age, I wrote thank you notes. At first, I didn’t like writing them. They took so much time and I wanted to play.
But my mother was smart and for birthdays she made sure we invited just a small number of party-goers, so that writing those notes as manageable.
And my grandmother made letter writing fun because she would answer my thank you notes with lovely notes of her own and, just like that, we were writing letters back and forth. I still have many of them. Here’s an example of one I wrote when I was 10. (Don’t you just love my frankness in describing my new neighbors?)
TODAY’S CHALLENGE: I love my mother’s and grandmother’s idea hand-penned thank you note is like sending a gift back to the giver, but in written form.
This has certainly been true for me. I love getting thank you notes! Some of my favorites have been from students I have visited in schools (and I love that their teachers are cultivating this art with the next generations). Here’s are a couple of examples from a virtual visit with my friend Tina Cho’s class in South Korea back in 2016:
I also love this thank-you note I received soon after LITTLE EWE released. My father sent a copy of the book to his Great-Aunt Beanie, who he hadn’t seen in decades. It was his special way of reconnecting with her and the note she sent in return was certainly a gift to us. Here it is:
Will you join me in writing a thank you letter to someone this week? And maybe you could make this your goal for the next few weeks as well. Blessings, all, snail mail and otherwise!