This post is sponsored by Skype. It’s time to say more and stay human. It’s time for Skype.


Tell me, friends, what’s your take on handwritten notes? Have you completely abandoned the practice? Can you remember the last time you gave or received one? As for me, I LOVE getting any sort of handwritten note in the mail — it feels like such a luxury, doesn’t it? And while I’ve never been amazing at sending birthday cards, I do keep a stash of gorgeous thank you cards on hand — either to drop off with a small gift, or to send in the mail.

This topic is on my mind as I try and figure out how to help my kids create deep personal connections with the people in their life — and do it in the age of texting and tweeting. When I was at Mom 2.0, I was given a book that recommended mothers should get rid of the tradition of their kids sending thank you notes after a birthday party. The idea is that it’s turned into a guilt thing for Moms, and the kids aren’t really learning anything from it. I was a little shocked! But then I remembered I’ve totally skipped the after-party-kid-thank-yous on at least a couple of birthdays — especially for my teens. It can definitely feel a bit old-fashioned. What about you? Do you still have your kids send handwritten thank yous? Should that practice be retired? And the real question: if we don’t send thank you cards any more, what should we do instead?

What I’d like to do is figure out a few traditions that will make sure my kids are still learning how to communicate well with others. For example, my sister Jordan uses Postagram. With a click of a button the service turns her instagram images into real live postcards and mails them to our Grandmothers. I love that! At our house, I’m thinking about instituting a Sunday once a month where each child writes and sends a hand written note or letter — not necessarily as an etiquette exercise, but more as a personal communication exercise.

If you’ve abandoned things like after-birthday-thank-you cards, are you doing anything to replace them? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Cards pictured: one, two, three, four, five, six. And if you forget a thank you card for too long, try number seven. It made me laugh.

P.S. — The National Stationery Show is happening right this minute. When I lived in New York it was one of my favorite weeks of the year. Have you ever been?