the art of envelope writing

May 20, 2013




052013grumpyreturnthey joy of snail mail

I love receiving real mail; handwritten, personal and delivered from my mail carrier. I love recognizing who the letter is from by the handwriting, before I even see a return address or name.

I, like everyone else, rarely write letters anymore, occasionally a birthday card or a thank you note, but not nearly enough of either. Email, a phone call or text is so much faster. Being in constant electronic contact with people often leaves little to write about in a real letter. Still, even if it contains no real news, I just love having the writer’s handwriting in my hands, seeing it, seeing them.

Oh so many years ago, when I was home for the summer from college, My friends and I wrote weekly, detailed letters to each other, decorating the envelopes with cartoons, pictures from magazines and our own illustrations. Sometimes just folding a page of the National Enquirer or the Weekly World News into an envelope and adding a stamp and address. (“Hilary Clinton Gives Birth to Alien Twins” complete with photograph.) I loved the creative process that went into making those letters and envelopes as much as the joy of receiving them.

When my daughter started college this year I revived my letter writing and envelope decorating practice. Not as creatively as I did when I had endless amounts of time, but enough to feel a tiny bit creative. With my daughter home and no longer in need of my letters, I hope to keep this practice up with family and friends living too far away, including, of course, those college friends. Although I am in contact with all of them electronically, what I lack in interesting content, I hope to make up for in interesting envelope decor!


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