I have been a fan of paper since I was little kid. I started collecting stationery in grade school along with my BFF. We’d beg our moms to take us to Paul’s Teacher’s Pet so we could load up on our favorites. I always loved writing letters and looked for any excuse to dig into my collection. It wasn’t until I went away to college that I realized how much I loved sending and receving letters. Each evening on our way to the dining-hall, my friends and I would have to check our mailboxes. I have to say freshman year, box 1187 got more mail than all of my rommates combined. OK, so maybe I was the only one with a boyfriend back at home, but who cares it was mail. So when I heard that the USPS had dedicated April as National Letter Writing Month, I busted out my stationery collection and began to write.
What I love about letters is that I can go back and read them over and over again. Each time it always catches me off guard when I realize some detail I had completely forgotten about. Like when I opened a letter my grandmother had written me my senior year of college about a month before she passed away. If you’ve read this blog, you know I’ve got a thing for sniffing ink – same goes for letters. My grandmother used to wear this pressed powder that had a very distinct scent to it , you couldn’t help but get a good whiff when she was close to you. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve hugged her, but the first thing I noticed when I opened the letter was that it smelled just like her. The letter went on to say some stuff about home and that she had included some money but not tell my mother she sent it because she was furious I already blew my summer earnings. I had forgotten about that. Sentimentality aside, you can’t get that kind of sensory impression from an email or a text.
The other thing I loved about writing letters from an early age was that I got to practice my hand-writing. I learned cursive in third grade, Mrs. Benson had this cute little recipe tin filled with practice cards – each card had a different lesson on it. Even back then I was a sucker for packaging (loved the tin) but I also loved that I learned to write all fancy, like the grown-ups did. I loved it so much I actually thought note-taking was fun because I’d get to practice my writing. It makes me sad that kids don’t have to learn cursive or practice their hand-writing, I can’t imagine my daily life without it. Given the popularity of the National Letter Writing Month Campaign on instagram, I’m not alone. So, if you’re looking for an excuse to scribe on some of that fancy stationery you’ve got stashed away, there’s still time left to get in on the fun. For those who may need a little inspiration to help get started, we’re giving away a set of plain stationery papers & envelopes through April 26th, sign up here.