An Ode to a Bygone Era

I used to dislike writing thank-you letters. As a child, my parents insisted on our writing thank-yous for everything–invitations, presents, a particularly thoughtful gesture. And while, at the time, I resented it, now I appreciate the time my parents took to teach me and my siblings to properly express our gratitude. Isn’t that always the way of it?

Using proper stationery also helps this task be more pleasurable and feel less like a duty. It’s always such a treat for me when I find particularly lovely stationery, and I often come up with excuses to write to people simply to use my latest writing-paper.

When you think about it, it is a bit ridiculous nowadays to spend lots of money on stationery. What does it do? It doesn’t keep you warm, you can’t eat it, and in this age of technology it’s not strictly necessary. Generally, it’s far more convenient to maintain contact via email or by phone. But writing a letter is an elegant gesture, and handwriting a thank-you letter conveys a more sincere gratitude than simply dashing off an email. It shows you’ve taken the time to write out your appreciation (and hunt down that ever-elusive stamp). Investing in nice writing-paper makes that gesture all the more special. It comes in handy more often than you might think–whether it’s writing a letter expressing thanks for a meeting in professional life or thanking your grandmother for a present.

Handwriting letters may be a lost art, but I’m hoping, in my own small way, to bring it back. The written word is important. It’s easier, today, to share one’s opinion instantly. It can get overwhelming. Sometimes it’s nice to leave that all behind and take a step back in time.

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