Going postal

Dear Brooke ... x
Dear Brooke … x

Last year, Australians sent more than 10 billion text messages.

This year, I hope to send at least 50 handwritten cards to the people I love.

According to a news.com.au story published this week, the art of sending a handwritten note—especially one of thanks—is dying out.

The story explained how a recent study of 1000 adults, commissioned by Churchill Insurance, found that 67 per cent thought the ability to hand write a ‘thank you’ card had died out.

“The practice of handwriting ‘thank you’ cards is among the fastest disappearing skills in the modern world, with texts and emails taking their place,” the article said.

Much like video killed the radio star, the email/text message seems to be killing the handwritten note.

As children we spend hours perfecting our Christmas lists to Santa; making sure there are no mistakes, our writing is legible and that we ask about Mrs Claus and the reindeer before launching into our desires.

But somewhere between our misspent youth and adulthood, we stop putting pen to paper, opting instead for a hastily typed email or text message to let someone know we are thinking about them.

Postal princesses … Erin and I.

Sending cards is one of many traits I have inherited from my mum who, for as long as I can remember, has always had a drawer filled with cards just waiting for the right person to send them to.

When I lived in London, the pair of us traded cards. There were funny cards, serious cards and post cards; ones to say ‘I miss you’ and others to say ‘Could I please borrow more money?’.

Three years later mine are a treasured reminder of that time, tied up with a ribbon and unwrapped every now and then when I want to remember how much I am loved or have a giggle.

Now that I’m home, I share the joy of sending and receiving cards with my friend Erin who lives in Sydney.

Every few weeks I open my mailbox and find a card from Erin and it doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had, I instantly smile.

Sometimes the envelope is ripped open before I’m even in the door, other times I put it to one side, waiting until I’ve got time to sit down and read it slowly, usually with a piece of chocolate in hand.

Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t abandoned technology completely; as well as being Facebook friends we also trade text messages when there is big news to share, but generally we prefer to keep things old school.

The only thing that tops a card from friend, is an expected parcel and last year I had what was possibly the most delicious package land on my desk. Brownies.

That’s right, homemade brownies made with maple roasted pecans. They came by Express Post and before I even knew what was inside the bag, I was excited.

It was probably one of the most unusual and tasty parcels I’ve ever received but it was just the act of receiving something from a friend that took an ordinary day at work at made it extraordinary.

And within a couple of days there was a handwritten thank you card on its way back down south to the brownie baker, thanking him for making my day.

With technology constantly advancing and communication becoming less personal with every passing year, it is important that we find the time to connect with the people around us. And not by using 140 characters or including a smiley.

So the next time someone does something nice for you, stop before you send back that quick email or text message and think about sending them a handwritten card—sure it will cost about $5 and involve a trip to the newsagent and maybe the post office, but think of how happy they will be to open their mailbox and find a card from you.

On that note, I’m off to buy stamps!

I like fruit baskets because it gives you the ability to mail someone a piece of fruit without appearing insane. Like, if someone just mailed you an apple you’d be like, ‘huh? What the hell is this?’ But if it’s in a fruit basket you’re like, ‘this is nice!’
—Demetri Martin—


  1. Rachael Slorach

    Love this idea Brooke, I have been thinking of sending more notes/letters myself. And even more long emails over Facebook. So will take you up on your challenge. Now… What’s your address?! Lol


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