When was the last time you sent or received a handwritten letter? It feels good to know that someone’s thinking of you, and it feels good to let someone know that you care. If you want to make someone smile, express your love and thanks, or savor a positive memory, here are 15 ideas for letters to write that’ll let your favorite people know that they’re on your mind.
“A letter is in fact the only device for combining solitude and good company.” — Jacques Barzun, The Selected Letters of Lord Byron
I have a few people in my life who are so good about sending cards with a short, thoughtful message regarding some detail about my life. What a nice gesture! To know that one of my friends, family members, the family of friends, or friends of the family are thinking about me in any way warms my heart.
More than a nice gesture, though, letter writing is a way to honor traditions that technology has slowly been replacing. Putting a pen, and our thoughts, to paper engages us in the moment, forces us to unplug, and nurtures the connections that are so critical to the quality of our lives.
Writing a letter, it seems, is also an act of self-care.
Letter writing can spark creativity, show others we truly care, improve our mood and overall sense of well-being, lower stress levels, slow our racing mind, and empowers our present-moment awareness. (More about all of that, here.)
Naturally, self-care is intrinsically tied to the quality of our relationships with others.
A kind thought, congratulatory remark, words of appreciation, and even a quick “hello” can make someone’s day a whole lot brighter, and that makes us feel pretty good, too. You just never know what someone is going through inside, how they’re struggling, or when they might really need an uplifting reminder that they’re not forgotten.Just letting someone know that you're thinking of them can be enough. Click To Tweet
Though the holiday season might seem like the perfect time to send well wishes, there really isn’t a bad time to nurture your relationships. To help you do just that, I gathered ideas for letters to write that the recipient would be glad to read.
Your letter doesn’t have to feature impeccable handwriting or perfect grammar, and it doesn’t have to be five pages long. Just be real and expressive. The honesty of a handwritten note is the kind of gift that far outlasts the act of writing.
15 Ideas for Letters to Write
1. Write a letter to a friend who’s a parent and let them know they’re doing a great job.
2. Try a new recipe recently, or experiment with a family recipe? Send the recipe to someone in your family and let them know what you thought.
3. Write a letter to a grandparent, godparent, or mentor with updates on your life.
4. Send a letter congratulating an anniversary of some sort: wedding; engagement; move-in date. (Ask around for dates if you don’t already have them.)
5. Send a birthday card to someone you haven’t sent a card to in a long time, or ever.
6. Mail a postcard to a friend or relative who has moved away for a short or extended period of time to let them know you’re missing them.There's never a wrong time to let someone know that you care. Click To Tweet
7. Write a congratulatory note to celebrate a recent accomplishment: finishing a marathon; getting a promotion; signing a book deal.
8. Still using and loving a gift someone gave you a while back? Send them a thank-you letter letting them know you’re still enjoying it.
9. Write a note to your mail carrier and tape it to your mailbox, if you can. If they bring packages to your doorstep, have an appreciation letter waiting for them at the door.
10. Send a new mother a card offering words of encouragement or ideas/products you’ve heard of that she might be interested in.
11. Write to a parent or close friend with your most important life lesson you’ve learned this week/month/year.
12. Have you told someone lately that you love them, and why? Pen a letter listing a few reasons why you love and respect them. This doesn’t have to be romantic, just an expression of why someone matters to you.The intimacy of a handwritten letter is in its raw, expressive, timeless nature. Click To Tweet
13. Write a letter that’s meant to be opened sometime in the future. You’ve probably heard of writing a letter to your future self—tweak that concept slightly and write a letter to your loved one’s future self. Things to consider:
- What you want their future self to know.
- What you love about the person.
- What you don’t want the person to forget.
- Why you’re grateful for them, listing specific things you appreciate about them.
- Why you’re proud of them, listing any accomplishments.
- What you’re excited about for them.
14. If you have a loved one who is grieving or going through a tough time, a handwritten letter expressing your compassion speaks volumes. Just knowing someone cares enough to pen a letter might mean the world to them. Trust me: Even years later, it’s so nice to know that someone is thinking of you and hasn’t forgotten what you remember every day.
15. Reminisce about a meaningful or funny moment that you shared with someone, and send them a letter to refresh their memory. Savor it again, together, with a “Remember when?”
- Which of these letters are you interested in sending?
- Which of these letters would you enjoy receiving?
Please share your thoughts, what you love about sending/receiving handwritten letters, and any stories about how a simple caring thought made your day.
Inspired by the idea of writing a letter? Send this post to someone if you think they’d be inspired, too. Or, print it out with a scribbled note from you and send it in the mail.
Let someone know you’re thinking of them today.