We want to write handwritten letters or cards to loved ones, but don’t have time. What happens then? Well, we usually kick ourselves and ask, “Why can’t I just take an hour out of my day to write something to someone I care about?” Then that little answer comes unwanted to the back of our minds, “because I don’t have time…” You’re suddenly deflated, and go back to your normal routine. Sound familiar?
But there is an answer! Meaningful letters don’t have to be long to be meaningful! It is not the amount of words on the paper that count, but the love behind them. One hour can turn into ten minutes!
So here are a few tips for writing a meaningful, but quick and simple note to a loved one (in this case, I will use the example of a friend):
#1. Greeting: Instead of saying “Dear so-and-so,” try saying “Dearest,” or “My sweet ‘so and so’” or even, “My dear mother/friend” Making such a simple change to the greeting immediately sets the tone for a loving and caring letter. The greeting and goodbye make the crux of the letter. See “Goodbye” tip #7 below:
#2. No need for fluff! Don’t worry about asking personal questions about their life – feeling like you need to remember everything that they’ve been doing in order to be “a good friend.” Be loving, but brief. Like this: “I hope you’re well – I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately, and I wanted to send you a quick note to tell you you’ve been on my mind so much lately.”
#3. No personal anecdotes: Don’t worry about adding what you’ve been up to since you last talked, or making long excuses about why you haven’t been in touch. Instead, as a follow-up to the last sentence I demonstrated, say, “I know I haven’t talked with you in a long while – but don’t think it’s because I don’t care! Even the sun on the pool the other day reminded me of you!”
#4. Main Point: What some people would consider the main “body” of the letter, (usually a whole paragraph) only has to be a sentence. Like this: “I know this note doesn’t say all I want it to, but you need to know that you are a valuable friend to me, and the reminder of your warm friendship brings joy to my life/dreary days.”
#5. (Optional excuse): If you need to make an excuse for your busyness, add this to the closing: “My life is not my own these days, and I can’t talk to you as often as I wish, but nonetheless, I always think of you.”
#6. The Closing: One sentence will do: “I hope/pray you have a wonderful day/week and know that you are loved from afar.”
#7. The Goodbye: This is as important as the greeting – with the greeting and the goodbye, the words infuse a feeling into your reader – it connects the inside of the note to the beginning and end, making a poignant and cohesive point. So instead of a “Sincerely,” or a simple “Love,” before your name, say something creative. This is not as hard as it seems – I’ll give you some examples to take with you:
“With all my heart,” “All my love,” “Your Faithful Daughter,” “In Dedication,” “Faithfully Yours,” “Gratefully,” “Lovingly,” “Yours Always,” “Steadfastly Yours,” “Always,” “Forever,” “Humbly,” “Blessings to you,” “My best wishes,” “My prayers and love,” etc. etc.
a. I used several adjectives that could be left out for more brevity – the words are yours. As a teacher of mine once said, “Words are playthings.” That means, be yourself!
b. If desired, inject “smiley faces” – those often brighten up someone’s day, especially if you don’t want the tone of your letter to be “serious.”
c. If you want cheap but cute notes, the Dollar Store actually sells really sweet ones!
So easy, so quick, and so meaningful. Below is a brief example of all those sentences compiled together so you can see just how short and easy it is. I hope this inspires and helps you write your own quick card to someone you value!
“My sweet friend,
I hope you’re well – I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately, and I wanted to send you a quick note to tell you you’ve been on my mind so much in recent weeks. I know I haven’t talked with you in a long while – but don’t think it’s because I don’t care! Even the sun on the pool the other day reminded me of you! I know this note doesn’t say all I want it to, but you need to know that you are a valuable friend to me, and the reminder of your warm friendship brings joy to my life/dreary days. (Optional) My life is not my own right now, and I can’t talk to you as often as I wish, but nonetheless, I always think of you. I hope you have a wonderful week and know that you are loved from afar.