It’s April 1, which to most people means the often dreaded April Fool’s Day pranks and schemes to deceive, but it’s also the start of National Card and Letter Writing month.
In an open letter to District Managers, Customer Service and Sales Postmasters, the VP of the USPS writes:
SUBJECT: National Card and Letter Writing Month
For many years the U.S. Postal Service has highlighted the art of card and letter writing with a weeklong celebration. This year we are quadrupling our opportunities to promote this important tradition by designating April as National Card and Letter Writing Month.
This is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the importance and historical significance of card and letter writing.
Writing, sending and receiving letters, postcards, and greeting cards is a tradition that has preserved our nation’s history and has changed lives-particularly in times of war and times of personal triumph and tragedy. Unlike other communications, card and letter writing is timeless, personal, and immediately tangible.
Card and letter writing also helps improve literacy and promotes creativity among our youth. Starting April 1 the Postal Service is encouraging schools across the country to participate in a special project called, “Birthday Wishes to America,” which is a celebration of the nation’s 225th birthday on July 4, 2001. Students at hundreds of elementary schools will be designing, writing, and sending birthday wishes that express their personal feelings and hopes for our country.
I encourage you to do your part to ensure that the art of card and letter writing continues to have a place of honor in American culture. The enclosed Community Relations Kit has been developed to assist you in your efforts. Thank you for supporting National Card and Letter Writing Month.
Azeezaly S. Jaffer
Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington DC 20260-0010
I love this. It’s so true. Think about the vast history and traditions and intimate writings we have record of because someone took the time to put pen to paper. They poured themselves out in their writing. They shared secrets, information, intimate details of their lives.
We have gotten away from this practice, myself most definitely included.
We’ve exchanged heartfelt letters with quick texts in the midst of our days. We’ve exchanged anguished pleas and musings in journals for internal dialogue or nothing at all. There aren’t stashes of scrawled love letters in locked trunks of our dusty attics anymore. We’ve replaced them with abbreviated “i luv u’s” and “cya’s” and occasional emails that are slowly pushed down and forgotten in our inboxes intermixed with all the junk. It’s a sad reality, and one that makes me strangely nostalgic.
I know in today’s busy, inundated, face paced, instant gratification, quick & easy society, there isn’t hours of quiet, uninterrupted time to get out your quill and ink to scrawl missives, but I wonder if we might try carving out a few more hours this month to write more than we have.
Or, maybe you haven’t intentionally written anything down for years. Why not start this month with perhaps a single letter, or maybe even two? And afterward, see how you feel. Did it leave you feeling more connected, less alone, more free, lighter, perhaps? Did it feel valuable to carve out a space for yourself to share your thoughts or inquire of someone else’s life? Take note of how it made you feel.
Here’s to the month ahead. May you find time to write, even just a few sentences, and connect in some way with others through your writing.
As a little incentive, there’s a 5 for $15 deal (you choose the cards) happening in our Etsy shop until April 30th!