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!
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?