The hat is long gone but the box that came with it I cherish! It is full of old letters, some tied with grosgrain ribbons and stacked carefully together and others tossed into my old Neiman-Marcus hat box. Over the years some letters have been interwoven into my scrapbooks but the bulk of them – celebrating everyday life – they are there in my hat box so they can be re-read again. They do get culled out from time to time as “newer” letters make their way into the box.
There is a very sweet movie, The Letter Writer, I saw on Netflix last year that is wonderful and if you get the chance be sure to see it. That link includes the 2+ minute movie trailer. The movie came out in 2011. It shows the impact receiving an old fashioned letter from an elderly gentleman (who has made letter writing his life’s purpose) – the impact his letters have on its recipients. The movie is well produced and the ensemble of actors special. If you have been saving up your Amazon gift card for something worth watching this is a good one to use it on! Amazon has it for paid streaming or purchasing the DVD. It is available on itunes too. Last year when I saw it – Netflix had it available for streaming but currently only via their DVD plan – but check back with them as they seem to rotate movies of what’s streaming and not.
If you have ever considered having a pen pal this is a great year to begin – you don’t have to declare it formally, just try it out. Send out a letter, and see if you get a response. If you do, then repeat. Some letters have consisted of a magazine article a friend thoughtfully tore out and scribbled a short note on a yellow-sticky with it. That’s all fine. I encourage you to take the initiative and start.
While we live in the midst of instant communication your written words are still treasured. The process of walking to the snail-mail box, being greeted with a hand written letter and the anticipated reading of it add to its being special. With it being winter right now the letters I receive these days are opened in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot tea. Try it out! Write someone and then start selecting which tea or coffee you want to have on hand when you get your letter in the mail!