Grandparents Can Bring Back Letter Writing

In this age of cell phones, Email, faxes, letter writing is an all but forgotten practice and most young children have never written a letter.

 Now days we talk to our friends on our cell phones it rarely occurs to us to write a letter. When was the last time your received a nice long juicy letter?  Having grandchildren is an excellent opportunity to revive an old custom.

One of the most important things to remember about letters is that they are both a form of communications for the present and a record for the future. Ask your grandchildren to keep a copy of your letters, but to be on the safe side, keep a copy yourself. When I was a young girl my grandmother and I wrote letters. I would read her letters ( and my replies) they were full of grandmotherly advice. I still have a few of the letters she sent, and I treasure them dearly, even though they are more than forty years old. I only wish they contained more details.

Even if your grandchildren don’t appreciate the letters now they will in the future. Letter writing is only one way of fulfilling your role of family historian. Don’t limit yourself to writing standard letters. Even your youngest grandchildren can look at pictures and if you have the skill of drawing you can send one of your drawing to them. 

As they get older you can send them picture letters where the message is conveyed by a few pictures or drawings about things they are interested in. If there’s a cartoon or comic strip you think your grand-daughter would appreciate send it to her. As they get older you can send them a disposable camera with an addressed and stamped mailing envelope and ask them to take pictures of anything they want and send them to you. And don’t forget to send pictures and postcards when you travel!

Once children get used to the idea that there may be letters arriving containing news, pictures, stories and other treats intended especially for them, they will come to look forward to them. Despite all our technological advances, most people I know feel a little rush of anticipation when they open their mail and hidden in among the bills, solicitations, and magazines is a personal letter or a post card.

Twentieth-century technology has vastly changed out ability to communicate over distance. Although it hardly seems believable today, at the end of World War Two only half of American homes had a telephone. Even in the late 1950s as many as a quarter of households had no telephone. Our grandchildren will probably find it just as hard to imagine that in 1990 only 27th percent of U.S. households had a computer!

 For hundreds of years or at least since pens and paper became commonplace and people who wanted to get in touch with other people separated by distance had only one way to do it. They wrote letters it was the only means of long-distance communication, at least until the telegraph was invented in the 19th century. 

Today the schools are considering replacing cursive writing with texting and key boarding. Grandparents can start hand writing letters and have their grandchildren write back to them. There are hundreds of fun subjects to write about while creating letters that in the future will become keepsakes.

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Baby Sonograms Have Become Keepsakes…

The beginning of a baby’s life can be captured on sonograms. I think that is pretty awesome. Making a college of girls and boys sonograms can be a fun way to create a keepsake.

A photo of a sonograms also reminds me how advanced technology is. We seem to take technology for granted these days. Don’t we? I remember when the first photo of a baby was taken after they were born and having to wait until they were born to find out if they were a girl or a boy. We sure have come along way haven’t we?

Have you noticed that even with so much stress in families day-to-day lives they haven’t forgotten to stop look around and recognize there is happiness all around them? Thanks to cell phones with cameras, camcorders, small compact cameras and social net works like face book and picasa web albums on google.com grandparents get to see their family’s photos and thanks to check in on face book they can be notified when their grandchildren are at a school play or a school foot ball game. I am a very grateful for all the techy gadgets that grand parents have available to them to use now days. Isn’t technology wonderful when it is used in a good way? It sure does help to keep us grandparents connected to our families more than any other generation.

I wonder what sonograms will be like a decade from now? How will moms and dads be sharing their first photos of their little boys or girls with us in the future?  I wonder what new and grand opportunities technology will offer us in the next ten years?

When Letters Were Written…

Writing letters can be a lot of fun. When we write a letter to a friend or a relative, it’s called a friendly letter.  A friendly letter (or informal letter) is a way of communicating between two people. Who are usually well acquainted.

There are many uses and reason’s for writing a friendly letter and friendly letters will usually consist of a topic on a personal level. Friendly letters can be printed or hand-written. Hand written letters are known for many reasons such as a “The Dear John” letter or a “ The Love Letter.”

I grew up in the fifties and sixties when letters were written. Writing and mailing a letter, post card or a holiday card was the only way I could connect with my long distant friends and family.  Sometimes I would type a letter but most of the time they were hand written. I liked the personal touch. I wasn’t allowed to make  long distance calls unless I could pay for them. So, the price of a stamp it was. Except on special occasions I could pick one person to call for a few minutes.

The first hand written letter that I received was from my grandmother. She lived in Massachusetts and I lived in California. Being a long distant grandmother was definitely a challenge for her but lucky me she was creative a writer and her letters made reading and writing fun for me. I always looked forward to receiving her letters because she had a way of sparking my imagination. Who doesn’t enjoy having their imagination sparked?  It’s because of our letter writing that we managed to maintained a close relationship.

 The letters from my grandmother have become part of my favorite keepsakes. I read them and re-read the letters over and over. It seems like I have read them a million times but that would be an exaggeration.

My grandmother was a busy woman and she still managed to write letters to all fourteen of her grandchildren. She worked as a school teacher for over thirty years. She was known as Nana to fourteen grandchildren. She was happily married for over sixty years and the mother of four children. My grandfather wrote a love letters to her on each of their wedding anniversaries. She out lived him by two years and she kept every letter that he had written to her. How romantic is that? When I think about how wonderful those letters are I wish we still wrote letters today.