A trip into the past:

So old that it’s new, a gift for a child,

–an experience to treasure

–that’s easy to plan for

        and share…

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Creating a “Letter”

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For more use the DOOR.

[MORE]

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A letter…We put it in italics because what we’re going to talk about is almost unknown to those 13 and under.

For the record, postage for a letter is now a 49¢ or a “forever” stamp¹.

If your mind’s not spinning with ideas of your own, here’s some help:

Things to gather:  (1) a stamp. (2) an envelope. (3) a sheet of paper. (4) a sheet of–minimal–instructions² [inc. but not limited to] (a) in upper lefthand corner of envelope put your complete name, under that your address with street, city, state, zip; (b) in center do same for person you’re sending to;  some crib notes: “Dear _____I wanted to write a letter and I thought of you. I hope you don’t mind. I wonder what you’re doing. Now I’m enjoying ________. I sometimes wonder about _______. I would enjoy a letter from you if you don’t mind.” (c)  When a and b are successfully done, attach stamp in upper right. THESE THINGS ARE NO LONGER COMMON KNOWLEDGE. (This can be stashed in a purse or glove compartment for the right time.)

Preparation:  Pray that nearby electronic devices have safely gone dead with no immediate recharge ability available.

Some facts:

(1)   Some children have never written a personal letter. Or received one. (Birthday cards don’t count.)

(2)  Personal letters are still possible and useful. (And for some, they provide treasured records after e-messages become “practically” forgotten and old computers are replaced.)

(3)  Some older people–and many still don’t use email–have not received a personal letter in years, and some have never received a personal letter from a young person. (Requests for money or financial support for camps or mission trips don’t count.) And yes, phone calls are important, too, but a personal letter is special–to some, very special.

(4)  Commonly perceived among older people–whether real or imagined–is that young people don’t care for them.

(5)  It’s a practical and easy way to “reach out” beyond oneself.

(6)  It’s a practical way to teach the Christian gift of exhortation, or encouragement.

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¹ It’s interesting to ask people, even those who sell stamps at drugstores, the cost of a first-class postage stamp. Most, I’ve found, don’t know. Also I’ve found many in their teens or 20′s who say they’ve never ever sent a personal letter.

² Of course, you don’t have to write out directions. You can discuss this over a burger at McDonald’s. The suggestions I’ve put in quotes can be greatly modified; but they can help work through the typical writer’s block: “How do I start?” and “What do I say?” If children say they don’t want to risk making fools of themselves, remind them not to worry because (most of them) have had pretty good practice doing this already and hasn’t wrecked their lives. The sticky wicket here is having the target person’s correct address handy. In some cases, you may want to go farther and include a stamped, self-addressed envelope to make a reply easier.