For the last few years, Don and I have been writing letters to our four granddaughters. Holidays offer a wonderful opportunity to reflect on relationships. Our letter writing lets us do that. We include a photograph of Don and me as part of it. This is another way for us to mark the passage of time.


We reflect on what has happened in their lives in the previous year. Also, we remind them of their talents and strengths. Our letters are not handwritten. Children of this era do not easily read cursive. This also gives us the advantage of having a computer copy to keep.


Expressions of connection and appreciation are small but mighty. They create the day-to-day fabric of our lives. Letter writing can be a daunting task. I find it challenging. The best part of this process is their expression when we hand them our tender words.

Do you have a friend or family member who would value a letter or note from you?


Here are my suggestions…

• Jot down words that come to mind when you think of them. This will help clarify your thoughts. Take your time. It is not the quantity of words that counts.

• Let them know why you are writing. “I have been reflecting on how much you mean to me and want to share my thoughts with you.”

• Keep it simple. Two or three sentences in a notecard can be meaningful. For example, “You are a good listener. I always feel heard by you. I love your laugh. You make sure we have quality time together. You support others with your time and care.


Letter writing is enriching. Here is why…

Writing letters slows us down. Thoughtful words take concentration and patience. We need to search our heart to explore all the ways we care about and appreciate the recipient. Dashing off a text happens in a flash and is as quickly forgotten.


Letters give us something to hold on to. Can you picture an attic with boxes of text messages or email? No! Imagine discovering boxes of letters from a favorite ancestor. Their words will likely become more valuable over time.


Letters connect us to others and ourselves. People feel seen and appreciated when they receive a personal letter. One of the best ways to increase joy is to strengthen bonds with friends and family. A letter accomplishes that.


Soon I will sit down and write about Elly the newlywed, Taylor who now lives with her other grandmother, Lilly who has found another way to use her teaching skills and Reese who has discovered a new passion to study. I will write and Don will reflect and add his thoughts. It is difficult and so worth it.


We create a purposeful life in a series of small acts. Tell others what they mean to you. Imagine how that might touch both of you. Writing letters creates value for the recipient as well as you. It is a heart-opening act of generosity.


Want more meaning and a deeper connection to others?

Write a letter.