December is Write a Friend Month. This holiday season let your loved ones know how much you care for them. Long are the days of writing letters. Most of us have replaced hand-writing with quick emails and texts to our loved ones and friends but nothing can replace the authenticity of getting a letter in the mailbox. December is a wonderful time to encourage letter writing with your loved ones and a chance to revive a dying art form. Research shows that being kind and generous leads to a positive mood and less anxiety. Writing letters is also a way to let your personality shine and capture emotion; you may even get a letter back!
Here are 4 ways to ignite a dying form and embrace holiday cheer:
- Send Holidays Cards
Many people still send holiday cards, which is one of the special things about the holidays. If you’ve never sent one now is the time. Additionally, adding a special note this year to your holiday cards is a simple way to make this season unique. Make a list of close friends and family to brighten the cold winter month. You can include pictures and life updates to make your cards stand out this season.
2. Become A Penpal
Find a pen pal program to join this holiday season. They are a great way to get to know a stranger and build connectedness in your community and beyond. Search online for national and international options. It can continue a friendship for months to come!
Here is a list of ones to check out:
- PenPal World – Connects millions of global users and has a free membership option
- Postcrossing – The organization connects people through the art of postcard-writing
- Worldwide Snail Mail Pen Pals – This program has over 43,000 members and an active Facebook group that develops friendships across the globe. Although it is an online option, you can incorporate good old-fashioned handwritten letters once connections begin.
3. Send Thinking of You Cards
Receiving a card elicits an emotional response in the limbic system, which plays a role in emotion and emotional memory. Studies show, that receiving a card has a greater emotional response than an email. It can create feelings of excitement, anticipation, and surprise. It can almost feel like receiving a gift so don’t undercut the importance of sending ‘thinking of you cards to friends or family members.
4. Write Letters To Those Who Need It.
Military members stationed overseas, those in the hospital, or someone in your community may need some love and recognition and the holidays are a perfect time to let them know they are appreciated. Contact your local hospital, or community center, or check social media for feature stories of heroes. Y0u never know who may need to be cheered up.
This season, take time to write friends and family members. Spread the holiday cheer. Letters are tangible and tactile, and bring an emotional connection between the sender and recipient. Letters can be cherished and the benefits to mental wellbeing are numerous. Knowing that someone has taken the time to write them a letter lets them know that others want to keep in touch and feel more valued. Send a letter today to make their day!