A Writing Challenge: Love Note Day

fountain-pen-with-script

One of the downsides of modern technology is that most of our correspondence is done via email, text message, and other computerized methods. Yes, they’re cheap and convenient, but digital messages don’t lend themselves to being secreted away in shoeboxes, pasted into scrapbooks, or lovingly tucked inside our favorite books. Not to mention they provide nothing tangible for later generations, who can glean surprising insight into the hearts and lives of those who came before them by reading their letters. So in honor of Love Note Day next week on September 26, Bas Bleu is challenging you to put pen to paper and write a letter to someone you love expressing how much they mean to you.

Love comes in many forms. If you have a special someone to whom you want to direct an amorous missive, by all means do so! Use this opportunity to fan the flame of your long-term partnership, turn up the heat in a new relationship, or take a chance on telling someone you’ve long admired how you feel. But you may also choose to send your love note to:

  • your best friend, who’s stuck by you through thick and thin
  • your grandchild (or grandparent!)
  • the colleague who makes your work days fun
  • the high-school classmate with whom you’ve lost touch
  • the neighbor who mowed your lawn or delivered hot meals when you were grieving a loss, recovering from an illness, or juggling a new baby
  • the teacher or coach who believed in you when it felt like no one else did

These are only a few suggestions; the possibilities are endless! Saying “thank you” or “I love you” in person or over the phone is wonderful, but we know just how much it means to open the mailbox and find a surprise handwritten message of love or appreciation. So on September 26 (or any day of the year!), go old-school and write a heartfelt letter to someone near and dear to you. We suspect that scrap of paper will be treasured for years to come!

21 thoughts on “A Writing Challenge: Love Note Day

  1. I have a large family from whom I love to receive handwritten notes or letters. When I purchase greeting cards, I always buy the kind with an empty interior, so that I can hand-write a birthday greeting or another remembrance- even just a ‘Hello, I’m thinking of you’ to the recipient. There are so many interesting and beautifully designed cards on the market…I buy a few every time I go out so that I always have an appropriate one to send. One doesn’t need to actually write a whole letter on actual stationery if one wished not to, though it is lovely to receive a letter!

    A couple years ago one of my grown daughters sent me a hand-written note every week, on a variety of cards she had chosen in advance…I treasured receiving them and will save them forever. And of course, I treasure every letter I ever got from my deceased parents! I think my daughters and grandchildren will enjoy reading them as they sift through my things upon my own demise. But for now, bring on the letters and cards…hand-written, of course!

    Kathleen Rouse
    Cape Charles, Va.

    • Kathleen, your cards sound like a joy to receive! And what a thoughtful daughter you have. We suspect your letters and cards already are treasured keepsakes for your children and grandchildren…

  2. Letter writing is making a comeback for those willing to write letters. The Letter Writers Alliance can hook you up with a pen pal. I found pen pals through the Fountain Pen Network.

    February is International Correspondence Writers Month or InCoWriMo. April is also a National letter writing month.

    I wrote to pen pals, family, Congress members and physical sites I’d visited. Once you get started, and you don’t have to write a lot unless you want to, it gets easier and easier to sit down and write a letter.

  3. It’s a shame that handwritten (or even typed) letters have pretty much gone the way of the dodo.

    Several years ago after my mother in law died, while going through her possessions, we found about 2 and 1/2 years worth of letters from her husband-to-be. She was living in Muskegon, Michigan and he was working in Milwaukee. Wisconsin in the years shortly before World War II. The easiest way for them to meet was by taking the ferry across Lake Michigan between the two cities so much of their conversation was via the U.S. mail. While not particularly romantic in nature it did give a vivid picture of his development as a future clothing store owner just learning the business at a large Milwaukee department store as well as an interesting view into the living conditions at that time. Decisions were made on where to live (close to his work and on a street car line) and how his bride-to-be might go about securing a position in the school system as a teacher (his father knew someone in the school system there who might be able to help). He explained the need to acquire most of the furniture that they would need once they married since he realized that the war would bring about shortages in factories being turned over to war production. He could buy it at a discount though his work and so advertisements flew back and forth with pictures and prices of various bedroom and dining room sets with efforts to decide what would work best that they both liked. He was very forward looking and organized and meticulous notes were made about how their combined salaries would be apportioned out so as to afford the apartment they finally decided to rent while also keeping the lights on. It made for a very interesting look at the people involved and everyday life in that era. Unfortunately he didn’t keep her return letters (isn’t that just like a guy?) so we were left in the dark as to what some of her responses were to his proclamations as to how things ought to be done. One can only guess about that.

    It’s sad to think that collections such as this, while not earth shattering in their content, most likely won’t be available to future children or grandchildren to provide a glimpse of the people who came before them.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your family’s story, Victoria. One of our editors had a similar situation with her grandparents, who kept up a daily correspondence while he was in school and she was waiting for him to finish up so they could marry. Having never met her grandmother and having only a few memories of the grandfather who died when she was young, our editor cherishes those “uneventful” letters for the insight they offer into her grandparents’ relationship. What treasures those scraps of paper hold!

  4. I have been writing letters for years and get some of my best stationery from Bas Bleu. My current favorite has Jane Austen’s quote ‘which of all my important nothings should I tell you first?’
    I write to my 8 year old granddaughter once a week, even though she lives 5 minutes from me. Friends have told me how much they appreciate & enjoy my letters, but my mailbox remains empty. sigh.

    • Cathy, we’re so glad to hear you love the new Jane Austen cards as much as we do! (We may have stockpiled several sets for ourselves…) Your friends and granddaughter are lucky to have such a loyal correspondent, though we agree: They need to return the favor!

  5. Because we moved every few years when I was growing up, letters were very important to me to keep in touch with folks we’d left behind. I still love to get mail. I do send weekly letters to the two shut-ins I know.

  6. This prompt has led me to do something I have been thinking about for some time. I have a 2-year old granddaughter and I want to give her something special that she will treasure (hopefully) over the years as she matures. This is a good time to start this missive.

  7. This is a wonderful prompt for me to send the thank you cards I bought over a year ago to those who served and supported me for four years as Regional Vice President for Kentucky and Tennessee in the American Iris Society.
    And though this is only useful if you live in the central coast area near Salinas and have time this evening, but I wish I could join you for this:
    Sweet Wednesday: Rafael Gomez, “What Can Literature Tell us about Ourselves?”
    Wednesday, September 21, 2016
    5:30 PM
    Free Admission!
    National Steinbeck Center

    • Thanks so much for sharing this information, Sue Ann! It sounds like a fascinating event. (And as a native Tennesseean and iris lover, let me say thank you for your work as RVP! I’m sure everyone will be tickled to receive your lovely notes.)

  8. I was so pleased to see this posting from you. For years I have espoused the loss of handwritten messages and how special it is to find such a personal communication in my mail. I have started making my own cards so I hope they are even more special to the person I mail them to. Thank you for bringing attention to this overlooked loss to our society.

    • Thank you, Kathleen. We love handwritten missives…even though our handwriting leaves much to be desired! It’s such a joy to open the mailbox and see, tucked between bills and junk mail, a pretty envelope with our names written in a friend’s hand. We all can do our small part to hopefully revive this wonderful tradition!

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