Why you shouldn’t write letters but why you’ll want to

Have you heard it said that people should write letters more? Why should you? I’m all for folk putting pen to paper and popping it in the post, but telling people they should write letters out of some kind of duty is all back to front and upside down in my opinion. Let me explain.

Two years ago I finally cleared out my old room at my parents’ house. I created enormous piles of stuff for charity, for recycling, for the dump, I found things I hadn’t looked at for 20 years. And buried in all this stuff were shoeboxes of letters and birthday cards. I have no space in my own home for decades-old birthday cards but I decided to keep one letter that each member of my family had written to me.

Family-lettersI chose random letters from different years, they give me snapshots of our lives in 1984, 1989, 1994… My siblings wrote to me from university while I was in secondary school. My mum’s letter was sent to me when I was at university myself. The letter from my dad was posted from a hotel in Germany when he was away on business. One of my brothers even wrote a letter from his bedroom above me when he was supposed to be studying for his A Levels! (I particularly like his stamp drawing on the envelope.)

I haven’t kept these letters because their content is remarkable (although another brother included a good quotation at the bottom of his, I remember he went through a phase of doing this) or because they paper they used was special. I kept the letters because they were written by my family to me. I can hear their particular turn of phrase, I’m reminded of the daft things they found funny, the silly names they’d call me – I can hear their voices as I read their unique handwriting. When my family wrote these letters all those years ago they didn’t think about me keeping them and looking back on them in 2014. They certainly didn’t think I would be writing about their letters on my blog (blog? internet? eh?)!

Family-letters-signaturesMy family didn’t write me letters out of duty, because I needed something to keep and treasure for 20 or 30 years, because one day they may not be here to write me any more letters. They wrote to me because they felt like it, they thought I’d enjoy getting a letter in the post, I might find the contents amusing or interesting and I might write back. And they were right – I did love getting their letters in the post (even the one hand delivered from a bedroom upstairs) and I enjoyed reading them. I wrote letters back too, which I think they probably liked receiving and reading also. And now, many years later the letters still raise a smile, and a laugh in places, and have provoked me to write this post.

So, don’t write a letter because you think you should. Write a letter to someone you care about because getting a hand written letter in the post from you will make them more happy than you’ll know. Don’t worry about having anything of significance to say, don’t worry about your scratchy hand writing. Just remember that reading your words, written in your hand, finished with your signature will bring a smile to their face. That’s why you want to write a letter, not because you feel you should.

And who knows, they might keep your seemingly ordinary letter safe and in 30 years’ time read it again. And smile again too.

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Celebrate National Stationery Week with the green gables

Happy Monday to you! Good weekend? Let’s get this week started in similar cheery fashion.

Today is the start of National Stationery Week – seven days of celebrating stationery, sending happy post and the thrill of receiving a hand written note. It makes me so happy to hear how people use the green gables’ stationery to send a card to a friend, write a thank you letter, organise their thoughts in a notebook or plan their day on a note pad.

NSW2014-free-gift2So, to help you put pen to paper and drop a line to someone in your life I am giving a pack of postcards and a pencil away with every single order placed at thegreengables.co.uk during National Stationery Week! You don’t need a code or to spend a minimum amount of money, just order before midnight on Sunday 6 April and your bonus pencil and postcards will be included with your stationery.

A a rule every order that leaves the green gables studio (regardless of where or when you place your order) includes a strip of Happy Post Day stickers (and a little thank you note) so along with your free pencil and postcards you’ll have everything you need to scribble a note to friends or family.

I’d love to see how you use the green gables’ stationery to get organised or stay in touch so feel free to tweet me (@thegreengable), post a pic on instagram (@thegreengable) or comment on my Facebook page (facebook.com/thegreengables).

PS I wrote a post on my love for notebooks (yes, really!) a couple of weeks ago, you can take a look here.


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Amazing gifts up for grabs & all for Sport Relief

Did you watch Sport Relief or join in any of the activities last weekend? I watched in awe as the likes of Davina McCall and Alex Jones completed the most incredible challenges and all for such an amazing cause. This year my business contribution to Sport Relief is to join in with lots of other talented creatives providing prizes for a raffle and an auction, with all proceeds going to Sport Relief.

Sport-Relief-raffle&auctionThe montage on the left shows the £1700, yes £1700, worth of prizes that are up for auction. Included in this prize is a £50 gift voucher to spend with me at the green gables! There are 60 prizes in this one massive prize, that’s your year’s present list ticked off in one go! Take a look at the auction here.

The montage on the right shows a collection of eight prizes that are being raffled for Sport Relief. So you can donate any sum you like, big or small, and you have the same chance as anyone else to win all of these prizes. Check out and bid on the raffle here.

And remember, every single penny bid or donated for these two mega prizes will go to Sport Relief, all the creatives donated these prizes to raise as much money as possible for Sport Relief. So take a look and thank you in advance!

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