Send even more love in this second pandemic Christmas season
With restrictions easing and life seeming to get back to a more 'normal' state of affairs (whatever that means), it's easy to start thinking that the pandemonium of 2020 is far behind us. In reality we all know that we still need to act with caution, especially in the Winter time with other seasonal illnesses bandying around! So this year, there will probably be a bunch of people you still won't see - either at all, or very often. Maybe you'll just see them on Skype or FaceTime. But that doesn't mean you can't send a super-special moment to them.
This year, don't just send a card with a quick 'Merry Christmas' scribble - take half an hour with a cup of tea and write a hand-written letter that you can fold up and put inside, to make your Christmas card giving to those important people in your life even more special. And here's how.
The art of letter-writing
Writing letters feels like a means of communication that is rushing towards extinction. But woah there! Before you just fire off an email or a text, consider how comforting a handwritten letter can be to your loved-ones. Especially ones who may not have seen you in person for a long time.
Writing that has come from your hand - that is uniquely yours - is a personal gift in itself. It's not just a means of communication: it speaks of the time that you've dedicated to this person. It shows that you're not just fitting them in willy-nilly. It shows the recipient - especially in today's technological age - that you wanted to dedicate some time to putting down your thoughts and feelings to them. Not just doing a quick FaceTime to check-in before Bake-Off starts (we are all guilty of it!).
How to hand-write a letter
A hand-written message differs from a text or email, because it doesn't have the immediacy. It will always be from a time in the past. So the writing of it needs to be a bit slower, with a different approach:
- Take time to think about things that have happened in your recent past that you might want to share. If you have children, how are they doing at school? Have they started playing any instruments, or gained new interests? How tall are they now? What's their favourite food. (You can write these about your furry children too). These are things you might not put in a 'How are you doing?' text but they help provide a context to your letter.
- Write about where you are writing your letter from and what the weather is like. This will bring your reader into your surroundings and help them feel closer to you. Have you got a cup of tea? What is happening outside your window? Can you hear next-door's dog barking?
- Send something else physical too. A photo sent via text or email is nice, but receiving something you can hold in your hand with a letter is really precious. You are then engaging more than one of their senses, to make your letter really special. Get your kids to draw a special picture for them. Maybe pick a flower from your garden and dry it in between paper and heavy books for a few days that you can then send. Perhaps print that photo out that you were going to email, so they can frame it. Guranteed, things like this will make your letter even more special.
Put it in a Christmas card that won't damage the planet
Did you know that cards with gold-leaf, glitter or a shiny coating can't be recycled - and even contain plastics that don't break down in the environment? That goes for wrapping paper too. Why would you want to send a special card, knowing that your choice was making the world that little bit worse?
But there are some really awesome cards that are printed on recycled card and don't have glitter and lamination/foiling. So this Christmas make a choice to make the world a better place by looking for a card that is fully recyclable!
For example, all Embers and Ink cards are printed on recycled stock and don't have glitter or lamination, meaning that they are fully recyclable. I've left the inside blank so you can fill it with your own message too. Plus, each card purchased helps to fund more trees to be planted with the help of my environmental partner Ecologi. Winner!
There are lots of small businesses out there like Embers and Ink who have really struggled during the pandemic, but are still making good environmental choices. So why not have a shop around for some unique and special eco-cards to put your lovely letters in?
Embers and Ink is a great place to start: click the button below to have a look at the Christmas cards I have on offer. But even if you don't find anything you like from me, have a look for plastic-free small businesses to help you send that extra-special card this Christmas - that won't cost the Earth!