Childhood Memories Friday: Writing Letters

Childhood Memories Friday

Christmas is over, and I’ve been reminding my girls to write thank you notes for the gifts they received. It seems like a bit of a cumbersome task, done twice each year: at Christmas, and also after birthdays.

But it reminded me of a time when thank you notes were just one of many written communications most of us did — remember when we used to write letters?


Here’s my current stash — whatever will I do with it? We never write letters anymore. But back in the day, oh what a thrill it was to browse the latest Current catalog (now, alas, the home page doesn’t even feature any notepaper at all. Times change).

Beginning in college, I used to write a letter home each week. These wereย  usually written, although sometimes I typed them. And to save paper, I usually wrote on regular paper. Sometimes, I even used the back of used paper to economize even more. “Special” stationery like that shown above was used to write to friends, or for notes slipped into birthday cards or other cards. I also received a letter from home each week. Sometimes, the envelopes would also include a few coupons, or a comic strip my mom had clipped for me. Maybe even a newspaper clipping about a high school friend or something else of interest.

Current Just a Note

There were notepaper hybrids, like Current’s “Just A Note”. These were pieces of stationery that could be written on, then folded and closed with a gold seal. Voila — notepaper and envelope all in one! I went through several packs of these.

Times change. Phone calls became less expensive (remember holding the phone while calling out anxiously, “Hurry up! It’s LONG DISTANCE!”?), people began to email and then text, and before you know it — we hardly ever write a letter anymore.

Maybe we should. There’s something really special about getting a hand-written letter in the mail.

Do you remember writing letters? Do you ever do it anymore?

8 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Writing Letters

  1. “Dear Grandmother Fulwider. Thank you so much for the nice leather gloves…..” Ha! Of course I remember writing them! On pretty stationary, written first on notebook paper and copied in my best penmanship! I remember the Current catalog too and getting notecards with horses or cats as a birthday present! Such a fun memory. I love the photo–is it from 4-H?

  2. Yes, it was truly a different time ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, the photo is from a Girls Club National Convention I got to attend in the early ’80s — the sewing winners, all wearing our creations. Gotta love how I’m carrying my skirt over my arm!

  3. Yes, I wrote many letters in my youth, when that really was the main form of communication. Since I enjoy writing anyway, I did not think of thank-you notes as a cumbersome chore. It was almost fun! E-mail thank yous are NOT the same, because while you do save a stamp, it is just not as personal as hand-written notes.

  4. While in southwestern Indiana, I visited a longtime friend who is semi-shut-in (not sure how to hyphenate that term!). She has no computer and wouldn’t know how to use it if she had one, I’m sure. She has two daughters, both of whom live hundreds of miles from her. She told me that each of them writes her each week, and she in turn writes each of them a letter each week. I was struck by how unusual that is in this day and age. I’m very impressed that her daughters take the time to write her regularly. She was widowed when they were very young and she raised them almost completely by herself. Apparently they appreciate all she did for them.

  5. Oh my goodness! This brought back so many memories! Remember the “Pen Pal” sections of Tiger Beat magazine and Seventeen? I had a Pen pals who lived in Pennsylvania and Jamaica. We used to write letters and even send cassette tapes of “digital letters” we had created. Oh the memories. It saddens me just a little bit that this generation missed out on all that fun! Love your blog. Between Kindergarten College and all of your other posts, we had very similar childhoods. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I have saved letters from so many people, many of who are now gone. I’ve just now dug out a passel of old letters to you girls. Here is one Ellen wrote you and Jill Sat. 9/6/86 My two loving sisters, Jill, Susan, Help! I have math, Spelling, English, Soc. S. and Reading. But there is one good thing I didn’t have science or writing and best of all I didn’t have to write an . . . . . . essay. That’s E-S-S-A-Y. Is that right? Finally I got my hair cut. (trimmed) My sides have almost caught up with my back. I went to a swimming party today at Erin Sloan’s house. They have an above ground pool. It’s four feet deep. I just tonight discovered a bump on my cheak. Mom says it’s a knat bite I say it’s a zit! Eek! I just washed my hair. Alot of people say my hair looks good. I learned how to curl it with our brush curling iron and then I hair spray it. How’s your carpet I can’t wait to see your room. Dad says mabey we can come eat out with you some time. Can I say ok? Please say yes. It is so boring here. F I G H T with me. Come on baby. Talk to me. I have to take piano lessons again! Spare me please. I feel like I could right for (excuse right/write) an hour so I will! I am playing volleyball and we have or first practice Monday. We were told in order to get ready for volleyball. We were to walk or run for a while every night. So tonight mom and I walked to jackson and then we went down Wendamere and we stopped at Charlotte Browns and we talked for about 45 min. The culligan people came and took our water softner so our water taste awful. So we have gotten water from The DQ and from Jan. Bambi didn’t make cheerleader and Nita said she had never heard her cry so hard in her life. Amanda made choir and that’s no joke. (even tho it sounds like one!)
    Write! or else! Love, Ellen.
    Ellen would have been the ripe old age of ten years when she composed this epistle.

  7. I used to love to browse the Current catalog. I have so many cute notecards I don’t know if I’ll ever use but I just can’t get rid of. And I am still attracted to them in stores but keep myself from buying any more. There is one older lady whom I view as an adopted spiritual mom who still writes, and I get an occasional note from some, but that’s it.

  8. I LOVE writing letters! I love your stash too! I have a 7 drawer stand filled with paper…I just love it! Thanks for this there a way you can put my name and snail mail address for a Current catalog?

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