January 8 through 14 is letter-writing week. The intent of the week long observation is to have more people W-R-I-T-E a letter with a pen or pencil or any other writing instrument.

Handwritten letters offer such a legacy. It’s a shame we don’t value the skill and write more.

Texting and emailing have replace paper and pen as the preferred method of communicating. You can’t deny the convenience and accessibility, but an email or text doesn’t come close to evoking the emotional and visceral response of a lovingly crafted, handwritten letter.

Letters can tell such stories.

Recently, my husband spent days sorting through his family letters and other ephemera. From those old letters, he has been able to reconstruct his family history.

Some of the letters confirmed his memories. Some corrected his memories and others stirred new memories.

From all those letters between his parents , their friends, and his siblings and other documents, he has a timeline that future generations will be able to follow. Plus, they’ll have all the original letters to read.

Maybe you have family letters stashed away some place. Cherish them. Someday organize what you have.

I store family ephemera in vintage suitcases that in turn become side tables or coffee tables.

This year we received more holiday cards than ever before. Many of the cards had letters or handwritten notes. I’ve always been one of those who love to read about what our friends and family are doing. Receiving so many cards this year made my holiday all the merrier.

I’m hoping it’s a trend and others are coming to appreciate letter writing.

This week I encourage you to participate by writing a letter to a friend or family member. Or take the time to teach a child how to write simple thank you cards, letters, invitations, and post cards.

Receiving a handwritten note will put a smile on someone’s face. More importantly, you’ll leave a legacy.