I remember back when I was a little kid with a very small allowance, I couldn’t afford to do Christmas shopping the way I do now. But not wanting to come empty-handed to my Grandma’s Christmas parties, I’d draw pictures or write letters to my family and then hand them out after we’ve opened all the gifts.
My drawings weren’t the best and were drawn on my Tita’s scratch papers from her work, but it was the letters I was always most proud of. These letters were made custom to the person receiving it, and I always found something different to say for everyone receiving it.
And I guess it’s always been a special hobby of mine that, to this day, I collect stationery and wax seals. Although I don’t really send as many letters to everyone anymore, I love sending wax-sealed letters to my boyfriend and best friends even if they’re easily reachable on social media platforms.
To this day, writing personal letters has a sentimental value to me, and here’s why.
People Want Things Made Custom to Them
Whenever I send people letters, gift cards, or gifts with attached gift tags, I frequently leave little notes dedicated to them. Whenever I don’t, it feels like a half-assed greeting that the receiver may not appreciate. It’s like sending them a gift that’s basically saying, “Ditto with whatever the Hallmark copywriter just put on that gift tag.”
Interestingly, a lot of people prefer customized items over generic cookie-cutter responses. For example, businesses are seeing an increasing trend of people preferring products and services catered to them rather than a one-size-fits-most sort of business. This is why customized printing services are becoming a popular business practice: people want to see their names on something they consider theirs.
There’s something satisfying about writing a letter made specifically for one person, writing it on a stylish piece of scented paper, and then feeling like you’re in the 1800s while waiting for your sealing wax to melt on top of a candle. Given that my job consists of hours in front of the computer and I’m often glued to my phone, there’s something relaxing about taking the time to write without autocorrect and see my own handwriting.
It’s so relaxing, in fact, that studies show that the art of writing letters can actually make you happier. A researcher from Kent State University found that those who make a habit of writing thoughtful letters can make you feel happier and more satisfied. This is because you’re associating positive emotions with writing letters, and the hormones associated with positive feelings increase.
It Shows Your Relationship Is Important
One of my pet peeves is giving out generic cards especially to people I love because it feels like a lazy cop-out. Like, if I send you a greeting card and write nothing personal on the letter, I might as well just write “To Whom It May Concern” at the top of the letter and call it a day.
I’m the type of person who isn’t good at verbally saying how I feel about them, but I am pretty good at writing it into words. When someone is important to me, I don’t just want to make them feel like they’re just another person in my life that will come and go. I like going the extra mile to show that I do cherish our relationship.
Now, if a person or a business gave you a custom printed card that reads like something that was taken the time to be more personal to you, it has more meaning and importance because you know they went the extra mile for you. For personal relationships, it’s a great way to affirm friendships and familial bonds; for businesses, it’s a great way to establish customer loyalty and partnerships with other businesses.
In a time where everything is becoming fast and digital, I like to take the time to provide gifts that are personal. Not everything has to be written down by hand, but what’s important is that you are giving personalized items that individuals can appreciate. After all, these were made specifically for them, and they’ll appreciate the effort you went through to get it done.
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Justine is a Slytherin who loves cosplay, horror fiction, and puns. She is the certified favorite human of her dog, Pud.