I have a special wish this Christmas.
I want a handwritten letter from each of my children.
I don't care what they say, although I hope and pray it's flattering, positive and meaningful...jeez, that's not too much to ask is it???
My purpose is twofold.
I want them to know that there is a way of communicating that does not involve technology, and I'd also like to think we could start a family tradition of exchanging letters on significant occasions, rather than a perfunctory gift or voucher, and a kiss on the cheek.
At this stage of my life, I am less into accumulating 'stuff', and far more into sharing experiences with my loved ones. So a handwritten letter, the table set with linen, fine china and silverware, a relaxed meal, and good conversation holds far more allure than the latest DVD or designer perfume.
But how does one write a memorable letter?
Well, my suggestion is to start with the right tools. Some beautiful paper...not A4 Reflex copy paper that is, a pretty seal or sticker or hand drawn picture on the back of the matching envelope, and some heartfelt sentiments therein. If a glass or two of vino helps get the older ones in the mood, then so be it. They're certainly not averse to sending me mushy texts late at night after a few brewskies, so bring it on, I say...ha-ha!
Write your draft on some scrap paper. Crossing out and grammatical errors are banned for gift letters. You wouldn't give a soiled gift under any other circumstances, would you? This is the same.
Wait a day before finalising your letter. You don't want to say anything that could be misinterpreted or misunderstood.
When you've got the wording just so, carefully copy your letter onto your beautiful paper. Fold it in thirds, and insert into a correctly sized envelope. If you think it will present better, put it in an A4 envelope, flat and unfolded.
Enclose a special memento. A photo, a home compiled CD of music that could be significant, a pressed flower from a location that holds memories, or something else personal, such as a picture you've drawn either now or as a child, or a hand made token such as a macrame friendship bracelet. Something small that will easily fit into the envelope.
One of the my most treasured current possessions, is a $1 string bracelet from a cheap clothing store here, that is blue (my favourite colour), and has a tiny fleur de lys charm on it. My 12 year old daughter bought it for me, because she said it looked French, and 'I know how much you love French stuff, Mummy.' I wear it every day. The best gifts are the ones chosen with thought and given with love.
If done an appropriate length of time ahead, you can then scent your letter by storing it with some incense or a favourite scent or soap. This is optional, but for a Mum or girlfriend or spouse, can be particularly special.
In return, I will give them a similar letter.
I think it will be a grand tradition.
What traditions do you have at Christmas?