Stationery and Letter Writing, Oh My!

The other day I read the most wonderful post by Tia over at TallBlondeTales.com about “the love of stationery: must-haves and fun options for stationery addicts” and I couldn’t resist commenting, adding some of my own dream stationery to her list, and sharing my thoughts on the topic of stationery. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts here, too.

I love paper and envelopes! And storage for them (lovely boxes, pretty binders, etc.). Notebooks are nice (I have filled up nearly 200 journals and notebooks) but I love, love, love having the choice of lots of different paper—loads of different colours, designs, paper quality, even paper originally meant for non-writing uses: non-sticky wallpaper, art paper, pretty paper bags from stores (Hallmark’s bags are awesome), used greeting cards (cut off the written parts and write on the reverse of the picture), labels with bright and beautiful designs on one side and blank on the other just begging me to write notes, doodle, make lists, record writing ideas….

You know what’s really sad? Back in the day, almost every store carried boxes of beautiful stationery and envelopes. I loved them and wrote gazillions of pen-pal letters to friends (all over the world). In fact, we’d often write epistles of a dozen or more pages which we called “headache letters” and we’d tape an aspirin at the top with a warning to “get comfortable because you’re going to be here for a while!” And do you remember when boxes of mixed greeting cards were still a thing? It was so much fun opening a new box and digging through to discover all the different choices. Adventure!

Now, I understand that with email, people sadly don’t write traditional letters so much—not to mention thank-you notes and birthday cards and Christmas missives and simple thinking-of-you kinds of notes. But maybe if those packages of stationery were still readily available at a reasonable price (and maybe if stamps weren’t so ridiculously expensive), they might inspire us to resurrect those missives that—let’s face it—are so much more civilized and precious and appreciated than emails and tweets and other electronically dashed-off communications that lack the personality and individuality and caring of old-fashioned letter-writing.

Still, with a bit of creativity, we can create awesome paper and envelopes (and postcards and greeting cards, too). I love to scour thrift stores for paper and envelopes and crafty bits and pieces to decorate and personalize them.

I do have to admit, though, that while I have drawers full of paper and envelopes (and even those expensive stamps), I don’t write letters like I used to. Of course, now I’ve admitted that to the world, maybe I’ll be inspired to get started again. What about you? When’s the last time you received a wonderful hand-written letter on delightful stationery? Did it make your day? Why not return the favour and write to someone today?