December is Write a Friend a Letter Month

| December 2, 2012 | 22 Comments

Old fashion penDecember is often seen as a time to connect with old friends and faraway family members. It’s cold in many areas of the country, and of course several holidays fall within the course of the month. Did you know that December is designated as Write-a-Friend-a-Letter Month? Since people tend to batten down the hatches and enjoy indoor pleasures during the eleventh month, it’s a great time to have a cup of tea, build a fire in the fireplace or light a scented candle, and touch base with someone non-electronically. It brightens up your day to receive a handwritten letter in your mailbox, doesn’t it? It’s so much nicer than an email, and a pleasant surprise in the sea of bills and junk mail. So this month, gather up your whole family and tell them it’s letter-writing time! Here are some tips:

  • Provide the right tools. If you hand your kids number 2 pencils and notebook paper, it will feel like schoolwork. Pick out a few different types of stationery or patterned computer paper. Also, buy a package or two of felt tip or smooth rolling ball pens. My absolute favorite pens are the felt-tip Staetdler, and a great runner up is the Pilot roller ball pens. Both of these are nice and smooth and don’t skip, and the Staetdler pens come in a whole rainbow of colors, besides!
  • If your kids are stuck on what to say, ask them to describe an experience that they had recently. It might be a school field trip, an especially memorable meal, a fun day out with the family or even something that they did over the summer.
  • Remind your kids to ask a question or two, to encourage an answer!
  • Don’t be a stickler for spelling, but do glance over any letter written by child who is still learning to spell. While common spelling errors can be overlooked, it can be difficult for the recipient to decipher completely phonetic spelling. Don’t make kids rewrite the letter, if possible. If the spelling is really unintelligible, ask if you could rewrite the letter on a separate sheet of paper and just attach it.
  • If your child isn’t writing comfortably yet, ask her to draw a picture for a friend. Then she can dictate a few sentences for you to write down for her.
  • Include photos, stickers or other trinkets. Kids are often more excited to mail (and receive) little treasures than the letter itself!
  • Show your child how to address and stamp an envelope. This is great practice for writing out his home address. Remember that neatness counts when addressing an envelope; if your child is too young to write legibly, then do it yourself, but show the child where the return address and recipient address go. Also, let him place the stamp!
  • If your child wrote to a friend in another state or country, show her where her letter is going. If she seems interested, find out some fun facts about the area, such as what the weather is like this time of year. You could also use Google Maps to find the recipient’s home!

Letter writing is a skill that will last your child a lifetime. Also, it provides memories and tangible mementos as he looks back as an adult on letters received as a child.

Will you be writing letters to friends this month?

Comments (22)

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  1. L says:

    Yes I will be writing letters this month. I’m sad to see the art form dying out, but I am trying to entice the kids to start letter writing.

  2. Mary Ellen says:

    We (my children and I) try to send out postcards to family every month. Its a great way to keep in touch.

  3. Kelvin Justine says:

    Letter maybe old fashioned, but it is the most sincere, sweet and most personal thing to give.

  4. Toni Cosgrove says:

    I think it is sad that people have quit writing real letters to each other.it was always such fun getting a letter in the mail. i loved writing…sharing private or fun things with a friend picking out some fun stationary ,,sending fun pix. It seems like it id domething my kids shall never do….and thats sad

  5. denise smith says:

    i love the idea of getting an old fashion letter in the mail

  6. ANN*H says:

    I find that with the phones and email and such people dont write an actual letter very often anymore. Nothing like a real letter. I also find that December is a month where I call or send a card to people I may not have talked to alot thru out the year. Its a time to catch up on what been going on . Some of us do a newsletter and send out. Thanks for the tips on helping the children write letters too.

  7. Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    I really like the first tip. I’ve found that if I hand my daughter a gel pen she’ll be excited to write anything. We also learned how to address the envelope propery a couple years ago when she became penpals with my neice. I know the grandma’s would just love a note from the kids.

  8. Liza says:

    I do love to get letters, postcards and holiday cards. I feel sad that this traditions is dying.

  9. Karen Glatt says:

    I am coming here to make a comment for a giveaway, but I have to say I like so many of your blog posts. This is one that I liked reading. It is good to write a letter to a friend this month. My friend who lives in another state would love to get an unexpected letter from me instead of an email! I am going to write to her, and send a Christmas card with my letter in it!

  10. Kate Moore says:

    You are so right! I love receiving written mail, and to my kids it’s like Cmas has come early. LOL People just don’t really do it anymore. I think I’m going to have them do this. Thanks so much 🙂

  11. I have always included a letter in my Christmas cards. I think it adds a personal touch and lets all my family and friends know what we have been doing the past year.

  12. Kimberly Listrud says:

    I try to write letters here and there. I used to be a big letter writer but since email and all the social media it has fallen away, mostly due to everyone being online or not having as much time. But it still is nice to get a hand written letter.

  13. Anita Leibert says:

    I did not know that December was write a friend a letter month! I actually do have a friend I have not contacted in awhile, so perhaps I’ll take advantage of writing, rather than emailing 🙂

  14. C.E. Hart says:

    Writing letters is a dying art! I love this idea and really enjoy getting something other than a bill in my mailbox – so I’m sure my friends would too. 🙂

  15. Renee Travis says:

    I didn’t know that December is letter writing month. I love to write and express my feelings so I will be writing some letters!

  16. Megan says:

    …and the most important thing is to do it yourself, too, so your kids will see letter writing as something that everyone does, not as an assignment they get while you go watch TV or play on your phone!

  17. Bonnie says:

    Writing is a thing of the past. Time to get back to it. Thanks for the reminder

  18. Courtney says:

    I personally enjoy both writing letters and receiving them. I do it throughout the year though not nearly enough. At this time of year my Christmas cards often become more like letters as I try to personalize each with a short/long note and not simply sign them. It’s a lost art but not forgotten by all. Thanks for the reminder…I did not know December was a special month for it.

  19. Andrea says:

    I love writing letters. It’s an art-form these days, though. But I think that maybe slowly people will get back to it!

  20. Alex says:

    I love writing letters! I have many penpals all across the globe.

  21. Shannon W. says:

    My children and I are involved in The Angel Card Project. We are making, and sending 25 Christmas cards to people who would otherwise not receive any type of letter or heartfelt card. We also made up a batch for a local Nursing Home and all the Residents who live there. Not exactly letters, but my way of helping the kids to be aware of others at a time when lots of kids are only thinking about their own needs and wants.

  22. Renata Lopes says:

    I love writing letters to my friends who live far away.

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