Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Yearend Family Letter

You know by now that I am a very strong proponent of the handwritten note. Paperly was founded on the belief that the handwritten note is alive and well. Today, few things are more heartfelt and memorable as receiving a personal note on well-designed stationery.

Yet, how does the handwritten note fit-in with the tradition of including a yearend family letter alongside your holiday card. You know those letters… they typically include a brief summary of the year that just passed (e.g. “Sally went to overnight camp for the first time” or “Hard to believe Jimmy is now in first grade”) as well as pictures of the kids.

These letters are typically typed, rightfully so, to ease the process of including a copy of the note in each holiday card sent. So does the typed letter remove your obligation to include a handwritten note in your correspondence? In my opinion, absolutely not!

I completely appreciate the need to type the letter, but that should never inhibit your writing – perhaps in the margin or as an attachment – a note, no matter how small, sharing a personal thought with the recipient. It can be as simple as “Wish we could see you this holiday season!” Or as individualized as “I am so excited to hear about your new grandchild! I can’t wait to see pictures when we see you in a couple of weeks.”

Personally, I love the family letter. I receive holiday cards from friends who, because of time or distance, I hear from all-too-infrequently. Thus, the “Year in Review” lets me stay connected to their lives. However, I truly relish those notes that include a personal sentiment. I’m confident you feel the same.

So as the seasons change, and our thoughts turn towards the holidays and the annual rite of sending holiday cards, please take the extra minute per card to handwrite a note on each. (If you order your cards early enough, you can spread the task over weeks, rather than days. Paperly has already released its Holiday designs.) You’ll feel good, the recipient will feel good, and perhaps, it’ll rekindle the personal connections and warmth we all covet from the holidays.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

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