You know what one of my favorite things about the holidays is? Getting Christmas cards in the mail. It's probably the only time all year that I get more personal mail than any other kind of mail. And it makes me so happy. Isn't everyone happy to get something that's someone's actually taken the time to address to them by hand?
So this year I'm going to work on sending more personal mail. I'm starting it off by sending thank you cards to the people who took the time to give me Christmas gifts and then I might move on to sending letters (yes actual handwritten letters) to some of those people I care most about or simply those that I think could use a little spontaneously written note.
In college, I started volunteering for an organization called Barnabas Ministries where you are paired with a child who is incarcerated and you write them a letter once a week. It's that simple. Sometimes I get letters back from the child; sometimes I don't. Sometimes I feel like I get to know them really well because they tell me so much about themselves and sometimes I struggle to find something to write about each week because I have no idea if they're even reading the letters I send them, let alone if they find them at all interesting. The hardest thing about it is when I have a child who I've exchanged letters with regularly and then you find out that they are no longer incarcerated. That's wonderful for them, but it means that I loose contact with that child because of the way the ministry works (we're not allowed to exchange any personal information such as our last name or address for safety reasons).
I know that simply sitting down to write a letter once a week has helped me to focus on what is really important in life and to express some thoughts that I don't express in conversations or email. That's why I'm going to try to make it a more regular part of my routine.