In praise of the handwritten note (holiday edition)

in praise of the handwritten note (holiday edition) | Modern Mrs Darcy

in praise of the handwritten note (holiday edition) | Modern Mrs Darcy

Since I was a kid, I’ve had a thing for great stationery and handwritten notes.

One of my favorite places to see handwritten notes pop up is during Christmas card season. I love getting the cards (via snail mail!) and the personal photos. And I especially love it when the sender has scrawled a personal greeting somewhere ย on the card.

These dashed-off handwritten notes adds a little extra warmth, a little extra love, a more personal touch than a plain photo card.

I haven’t decided if we’re sending out Christmas cards this year. But if we do, they’ll have handwritten notes scrawled across the bottom, in my terrible-but-improving handwriting.

Since letter writing is a vanishing art, I’m wondering if I’m the only one who looks forward to handwritten notes in their Christmas cards. I’m curious to hear your thoughts about this:

How do you feel about handwritten notes in holiday cards?

(Last year’s cards shown above, from Minted)


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  1. Liz says:

    I love handwritten notes! I actually write letters all the time , to a couple of online friends. ๐Ÿ™‚ I exchanged Christmas cards last year for the first time ever, and now I’m addicted: I’m.sending out twice as many this year compared to last year. I especially love getting handwritten notes in.the Christmas cards from online friends; compared to the sameness of types words, it’s so cool to look at all the different handwriting styles.

  2. Anna says:

    Yes, I like the handwritten notes. I’m kind of old fashioned in that way and love to send letters, postcards, and the like in the mail more than e-mails.

  3. Anne says:

    I write notes on my Christmas cards sometimes! I used to handwrite the to and from inside the card and affix a picture inside a pretty paper card. I did cave to the photo card recently. I think I might go back to some leftover Christmas cards + 10 cent prints of a photo of my kids for this year, which would leave some room for a note. I also wrote a 6 page (3 front and back) birthday letter to an old friend I hadn’t talked to in quite some time. That felt good. I also love pretty stationary and nice writing utensils. ๐Ÿ™‚ I even got my husband to design some templates for my own personal stationary (notecards, letterhead), but we haven’t taken that project further in a while. Hooray for the written note!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Love to write them and receive them! Another fun place for a quick handwritten note – wedding reply cards. I didn’t know people jotted notes on them until I got married. Sweet and fun!

  5. Mary says:

    My Mom taught me that things sent in the mail should always have something hand-written on them if possible, so for our Christmas cards, she and I both include a few handwritten lines on each one. I’m always surprised by how many people just drop a picture of themselves in the mail at Christmas, and nothing else. Come on! Make it personal! Queue Kathleen Kelly: “What’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?”

  6. Amy says:

    I think holiday cards are sort of pointless without the handwritten note, but in the era of facebook, it’s not like I need the photos or holiday letter to know what’s going on with my friends, even those a few states away. The personal note helps me know I’m not just some address in a spreadsheet that hasn’t been updated in four years; I’m a friend they made a point to reach out to. We’re doing a much smaller Christmas card list this year, so I can invest some time into writing personal notes to the people we are closest to.

  7. Tina B says:

    My thought is who doesn’t enjoy receiving a hand-written note any time of the year. So few actually take the time to do it, even as you suggest, just a couple of lines inside the Christmas card. While FB is nice, it’s still not personal and it takes time to write a note by hand. My Mom too would open a card with just a signature and say, “what’s the point?” I now understand and say the same thing.

  8. Sarah D. says:

    Last year it killed me to do this, but because of serious health issues I just sent a photo card. No newsy letter, no handwritten closing. Hopefully I will never have to do that again. I love the personal touch!

  9. Faigie says:

    I have a son and daughter in law that live overseas and we recently got a packet of real pictures of them and a letter from them with someone they knew that was going to see us. What a treat it was.How rare.

  10. Sarah says:

    I completely agree here! There’s nothing quite like a hand written note, even if it’s just a line or two; although I confess I’m guilty of not always doing this myself. Sometimes I get in such a harried rush (as we tend to do around the holidays, which is such a shame!), that I feel I’m doing well just to get our cards out before Christmas! But, regardless of the rush, I always at least hand address the cards – a card without a note is impersonal enough – I don’t want to succomb to the era of spreadsheets with a printed label for everyone on the list.

  11. Judy Morrow says:

    I love this post, Anne, and I could relate to your appreciation of fine stationery and the importance of a hand-written note. Even one line of warmly written words can make all the difference. Thanks for reminding me of that, as I hope to get cards out next week.

  12. I’m saddened that too many have fallen out of the habit of writing a note by hand. I was so pleased to find this post. I have Christmas cards to finish up and many will get a handwritten note. Not too long, but something that connects us to that family or individual. I still write notes to my husband’s siblings, especially those who don’t like emails and computers. It doesn’t take any too much more time to write the thoughts out by hand. You definitely fit your name, Modern Mrs. Darcy!

  13. Cori says:

    Finishing up my annual Christmas card right now. Always include a small but personal note for each person. Takes forever but worth it!

  14. Laurel says:

    Always love a handwritten note! I try to add a little something on the back of every Christmas card that goes out. This usually means breaking up the writing process over a few days, but I think it is worth the extra effort to let someone know you are thinking of them PERSONALLY.

    Although, I think old-fashioned letters are important all year round. I try to pop a note or two in the mail throughout the year to my long-distance friends. I really miss the tradition of letters. I had many pen pals as a child (not that long ago…I’m 29).

  15. Erin says:

    Hmmmm. I guess I’m one of the few who isn’t really bothered by this. (And I’m in my 40s, for the record.) We are sending holiday postcards this year that my husband designed. There really isn’t space for a handwritten note. And to be honest, I’m relieved! My thought is that I’m in touch with many of these people through FB or other electronic means. The postcard is merely meant to acknowledge the holiday season and bring a smile (it has the family as elves on one side and the dog as Santa on the other). I did handwrite the addresses, though!

  16. Last year, in an effort to save money, I sent plain old folded cards for the holidays – I have a stash of them from previous years – all the odds and ends boxes of leftovers – and I had such a great feeling from sitting to scrawl out a personal note on each card that I decided to do it again this year even though I am sending out photo cards, I noticed that the back of all the cards is totally empty and just begging for a personal note. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it up every year but I was glad to take the time again to do it this year.

  17. Amy says:

    Love this! I too love seeing the snail mail cards and notes arrive, especially at the holidays.
    I actually seek out postcards now to send to my friends kids so they can know the fun of getting mail but am finding them harder to locate. Sad.
    Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

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