On Technology: Letter Writing, Sealing Wax, And Cards


When was the last time you actually took a pen to paper and wrote someone a letter?

For me, I would have to say it was probably as far back as 2001. Yes, FOURTEEN years ago! It was right around the time I got my first computer and began using a keyboard to type everything. And although my typing skill has excelled over the years, my handwriting skill has gone to shit. Ever since I got online, I began sending email letters and e-cards instead of mailing them by post.

Currently, the only person I send an actual birthday or Christmas card to is my brother Tom, and that's about it. In fact, if you all remember last Christmas, I sent many of you e-cards and think that was very lazy of me.

It's sad, because I used to love writing letters and sending cards. However with the Internet being so convenient, I send all my greetings via the Web, and really, it's just not the same as getting a hard copy of a letter or card because they're tangible.

Don't get me wrong, I admire how far technology has come; especially with the Internet because it's allowed people from all over the world to connect who wouldn't otherwise meet any other way. And I've taught myself a great deal through the Internet, things I didn't think I could ever do. Also, we can communicate and send information through the Internet so much faster than doing it by post.

And yes, I know we're saving lots of paper by using the Internet, but still, it's nice getting a real paper card or letter.

When I was a kid, I used to spend part of my allowance on buying stationary because I was an avid letter writer. I took such pride in my penmanship and owning nice paper with matching envelopes.

Kind of like these...


Oh, and I also used sealing wax because I thought it was so classy!

Do any of you remember these sealing wax kits?


I even had my own personal seal with the letter "R" on it



What surprises me though is how card and stationary companies are still in business. Because like with bookstores and music stores, the Internet has caused many companies to closed down with having the online convenience of purchasing books, eBooks, and music.

Oh well, there is definitely pros and cons about technology and the Internet. In many ways it's brought us closer together. But in other ways it's moved us further apart when it comes to having that "personal touch."

This is one of the reasons I'm glad I don't have a cell phone. Because if I did, I may be tempted to start sending birthday cards and gifts via TEXT...


Have a faaaaabulous weekend everyone!
X

30 comments

  1. Oh, how I adored my stationary when I was a young girl! I had various pen pals and it was so exciting to get mail! My husband had one of those wax seal kits, too. I also enjoyed the various writing tools, like colored felt tip markers (skinny ones) and old fashioned stylus pens where you had to change the ink cartridge.

    I sent a letter I wrote by hand just last month to a friend who moved away. I have gotten away from birthday cards, but do still send a few to people who never seem to be online.

    Fun topic! Happy weekend!

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  2. What a relief to know it isn't just me who has lousy handwriting skills, and all due to using the internet. Every time I write a card (yes I still do that) I wonder what happened to my penmanship. I got to the stage when I couldn't seem even sign my name, although that has righted itself now. Imagine the terror when I couldn't sign a purchase slip in store. Still don't write letters though. I don't have to worry about replying to letters since they're mostly from banks asking for money... smiles.


    I used to love sealing wax and still have a piece that came with a seal inherited from an aunt. The seal as like a chess piece - I can't bear to throw it away.


    Interesting post, Ron, as always. Enjoy your weekend x

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  3. Rob LenihanJune 26, 2015

    Oh, gosh, Ron, I can't even remember when I actually wrote a letter to someone.

    I do send real world cards to my friends and loved ones because, as you say, I want them to have something tangible.

    But I don't do much more than write a brief note and sign my name--Hallmark does the rest. My penmanship was so bad it drove the nuns to distraction and I know it has only gotten worse over the years.

    I do love those beautiful stationery sets, but they seem so ancient now--like medieval monks writing on parchment. I never did the sealing wax routine, but I do like the Royal Seal of Ron. It looks so regal.

    Great post, buddy! You really brought back some great memories of how things used to be. And, by the way, as far as texting goes, there is actually a song called "Text Me Merry Christmas"--I kid you not! Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmhfdQlOiy0



    Have a great weekend!

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  4. " I had various pen pals and it was so exciting to get mail! My husband had one of those wax seal kits, too. I also enjoyed the various writing tools, like colored felt tip markers (skinny ones) and old fashioned stylus pens where you had to change the ink cartridge."

    OMG, yes, I had various writing tools as well! In fact, I too had one of those pens where you had to change the ink cartridge!!! And it's funny you mentioned 'pen pals' because when I was still in Catholic grammar school, the nuns offered us a list of pen pals to write to from various parts of the world.

    "I sent a letter I wrote by hand just last month to a friend who moved away."

    WOW...I am sooooo impressed! I think that's AWESOME!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! Happy weekend to you!

    X

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  5. Good morning Valerie!

    "Every time I write a card (yes I still do that) I wonder what happened to my penmanship. I got to the stage when I couldn't seem even sign my name, although that has righted itself now. Imagine the terror when I couldn't sign a purchase slip in store."

    HAHAHA! Yes! I've had the same thing happen! Anytime I go to write a check, I actually have to concentrate very hard to fill in the lines and sign my name! And there have been times when I had to tear up a check and write another one because my handwriting was so BAD. It's gotten to the point where it feels foreign to me how to write with my hand. I think I may need to go back to school for penmanship!

    "I used to love sealing wax and still have a piece that came with a seal inherited from an aunt. The seal as like a chess piece - I can't bear to throw it away."



    Oh, that's sound wonderful! And no, don't throw it away because it's such a great reminder of days when we did write letters :)


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady! Have a lovely weekend!


    X to you and Joe

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  6. Hey there Rob!

    Okay first, I LOVED the video clip you shared! OMG...it's FAAAAAAAAABULOUS! I watched it TWICE and will probably watch it again over the weekend. It was so cleverly done!

    "I do send real world cards to my friends and loved ones because, as you say, I want them to have something tangible."

    I think that's AWESOME!

    "My penmanship was so bad it drove the nuns to distraction and I know it has only gotten worse over the years."

    I used to love to write, but honestly, my penmanship has gone to shit over the years. I can't even write a check without making a mistake and having to write another one!

    "I do love those beautiful stationery sets, but they seem so ancient now--like medieval monks writing on parchment."



    HAHAHAHA! Yes, you're so right! Which puzzles me how these stationary companies are still in business. There's a privately owned stationary store about two blocks from where I live and I often wonder how they stay in business?!?


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. And again, thanks for sharing the video! Have a super weekend!


    X

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  7. Ron, what a great post! And you touched on some really good points about technology and the internet. "In many ways it's brought us closer together. But in other ways it's moved us further apart when it comes to having that "personal touch." I agree!


    I still send paper cards through the mail but haven't written a letter in so many years. I can't even remember the last time I wrote a letter using a pen. What's a pen? Lol.


    When I was much younger I had a few boxes of stationary but never owned a sealing wax kit. Looks like fun!


    Have a wonderful weekend, Ron x

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  8. Ron, this post brought back so many memories for me in my youth! My mother was very serious about letter writing and using matching paper and envelopes when sending letters, so she instilled that within her children. We also had to use ink cartridge pens and not ball points. She was VERY proper. I often wondered what she would think of computerized emails and e-cards Lol.


    I had several boxes of stationary and pens in my bedroom desk. And I also had sealing wax. Like you, I took pride in my penmanship and writing letters. I do still send paper cards through the mail, but haven't sent a hand-written a letter in many years. It's funny how our penmanship skill has gone to the wayside since technology took over, isn't it?


    Great topic, Ron!

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  9. Hola Denise!

    I truly admire how far technology has come over the years because in many ways it's very positive. Yet, it's also taken away a personal touch of communicating.

    "I still send paper cards through the mail but haven't written a letter in so many years. I can't even remember the last time I wrote a letter using a pen. What's a pen? Lol."

    HA! You're right...what's a PEN?!? My handwriting has gotten so bad over the years that I've actually forgotten HOW to write!

    "When I was much younger I had a few boxes of stationary but never owned a sealing wax kit. Looks like fun!"



    Yes, it was fun because I had different colored sealing wax. Some of them even had glitter in them!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a wonderful weekend!
    X

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  10. Hello there Elaine!

    "My mother was very serious about letter writing and using matching paper and envelopes when sending letters, so she instilled that within her children. We also had to use ink cartridge pens and not ball points. She was VERY proper."

    I would have adored your mother because I felt the same way when I was a kid. It was all about the proper presentation in sending a letter that I enjoyed!

    " I often wondered what she would think of computerized emails and e-cards Lol."

    OMG, she probably would have been totally against it.

    "It's funny how our penmanship skill has gone to the wayside since technology took over, isn't it?"



    Yes, it is. All those years I spent in Catholic school learning penmanship have been forgotten :(


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific weekend!
    X

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  11. Ron, as much as I love how far technology has come I have to agree with you because it's taken away other skills, like handwriting and person to person communication. I must be an old soul because I think I would have enjoyed the times of letter writing and sealing wax. There was something more personal and it took more effort.


    I do send cards through the mail, but it's very limited. And the last time I ever wrote a letter by hand was when I was a kid in school and wrote a letter to Santa Claus Lol.


    Interesting post, as usual, dude!

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  12. Me, too - I loved stationery and notecards and also had sealing wax and a stamp! I wrote letters all the time. In particular, my great-aunt and I wrote to each other weekly. My grandmother and I also corresponded frequently and in each of her letters, she'd enclose a dollar. When I graduated from boarding school, I used to look forward to the multi-paged letters of my former roommate, who had moved back to Scotland. But you know what? I also love long emails and have friends I correspond with. I send birthday cards to a few family members, but those are less fun. Give me an email any day - those I go back and re-read. Also, I'm going ot admit here I do not like ecards. Not because they are lazy but because they bore me. I'd much rather have someone email me to commemorate a birthday or whatever, even if it's only a paragraph or so.

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  13. Geraldine H.June 26, 2015

    What a great post RON. I love REAL letters , fancy stationary and all but sadly it's not too often that I send OR receive one, in recent years.

    Years ago , my dear mom would sit down once a week to write LONG letters to 5 relatives of ours. When she was finished, she would ask me to read through them and correct typos etc. I was honored that she felt ok with sharing these "grown up" letters with me, in this way.

    I love sealing wax but I never did have one of those cool kits. I love yours.😁

    Hope you have a lovely weekend. It's way too hot here in BC and I'm still on a blog break but thought I'd stop in to see what's new with you. Glad I did.

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  14. It is such a delight to receive handwritten correspondence in the mailbox! I still have tons of pretty stationary...I admit I rarely use it though I should.

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  15. Oh god Ron, I love this post! Call me old-fashioned but there is nothing nicer than receiving a REAL card or letter in the mail. Now mind you, I do send cards but it's been ages since I've written a letter. I have an aunt who refuses to use a computer to send letters (emails) or e-cards and will always send the real thing by post.


    And do you know what I also think is a shame? How books are now being made into eBooks. I don't own a Kindle and never will because I would much rather read a PAPER book.


    Great post topic, Ron! Have a fabuloso weekend!

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  16. "It is such a delight to receive handwritten correspondence in the mailbox!"

    I agree, Suzi! I can't even remember the last time I received a handwritten letter.

    "I still have tons of pretty stationary...I admit I rarely use it though I should."



    On one of my first computers (Windows 98) there was software installed that allowed you to make your own stationary and greeting cards. Oh how I miss that!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic weekend!

    X

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  17. Hey ho Robert!

    " I have an aunt who refuses to use a computer to send letters (emails) or e-cards and will always send the real thing by post."

    Oh, I think that's AWESOME! More of us should be that way.

    "And do you know what I also think is a shame? How books are now being made into eBooks. I don't own a Kindle and never will because I would much rather read a PAPER book."



    Meeeee too! I am so behind in technology because I don't even have a cell phone let alone a Kindle - HA! If I'm going to read a book, I want to hold it in my hands, not read it through a computer.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a fabuloso weekend too!


    X

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  18. Hello there Geraldine!

    "I love REAL letters , fancy stationary and all but sadly it's not too often that I send OR receive one, in recent years."

    Me too! I really miss the days of letter writing, but it seems that everything nowadays has gone technical; thus we're slowly forgetting how to write.

    "Years ago , my dear mom would sit down once a week to write LONG letters to 5 relatives of ours. When she was finished, she would ask me to read through them and correct typos etc. I was honored that she felt ok with sharing these "grown up" letters with me, in this way."



    Oh, what a WONDERFUL memory! Your mother sounded like such a special lady! Don't you love how we have great memories of our childhood and parents?


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Especially since I know your still on a blog break. That was so nice of you.


    Have a lovely weekend!
    X


    P.S. The weather here has been very strange. We get 4-5 days of REALLY HOT weather, and then it cools off for a few days. Right now it's cool, so I'm enjoying it!

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  19. "...as much as I love how far technology has come I have to agree with you because it's taken away other skills, like handwriting and person to person communication."



    Yes, it has, Matt! I'm holding off for as long as I can without getting a smart phone because I don't want to have Internet access when I'm away from home. I need a break from technology.

    "There was something more personal and it took more effort."

    My sentiments exactly. It was more personal and took more effort.

    " And the last time I ever wrote a letter by hand was when I was a kid in school and wrote a letter to Santa Claus Lol."



    HAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG, that made me LAUGH!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent weekend!
    X

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  20. " I wrote letters all the time. In particular, my great-aunt and I wrote to each other weekly. My grandmother and I also corresponded frequently and in each of her letters, she'd enclose a dollar."

    OMG, I did the same thing with my one of my cousins! She and I lived in different towns, so we would write letters to each other every few weeks with sealing wax on the back of the letters. We would also sometimes send each other candy through the mail that we stuffed into the letters!

    " But you know what? I also love long emails and have friends I correspond with."

    Yes, I do the same thing with friends who live out of state or in Europe.

    "Also, I'm going ot admit here I do not like ecards. Not because they are lazy but because they bore me. I'd much rather have someone email me to commemorate a birthday or whatever, even if it's only a paragraph or so."



    I see your point.


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific weekend!

    X

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  21. funny you should ask. i wrote a letter two days ago but have been trying to do so on a regular for several months. it's nice to get a letter in the mail.

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  22. Ron, I totally "get" this post! I, too, was a stationary addict when I was young. In fact, I had a best friend who moved away, and we corresponded regularly until college (when she somehow happened to attend the same school I was attending!) -- and after graduation, we've continued to write. Of course, now it's more like you've said, typing our letters rather than hand writing them -- and isn't it rotten how BAD our handwriting has become?! I guess the nuns were right -- practice makes perfect!!

    While I never had any of that sealing wax, I do remember lots of stickers and such. Oh, and wasn't it just the BEST to receive actual handwritten letters from that special someone??! And to send letters on scented paper?!?

    Happy weekend to you, dear, and I'm trying to play catch-up from my break!

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  23. BRAVA! That's AWESOME, Val! I think I may do that too, just to see if I can still write a letter - HA!

    "it's nice to get a letter in the mail."

    It sure is!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Hope you're having a fantastic weekend
    X

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  24. Helloooooo there Debbie!

    " In fact, I had a best friend who moved away, and we corresponded regularly until college (when she somehow happened to attend the same school I was attending!) -- and after graduation, we've continued to write."

    I think that is so AWESOME!

    "and isn't it rotten how BAD our handwriting has become?! I guess the nuns were right -- practice makes perfect!!"

    HAHAHAHA! You are SO right about that! When I think of all the years I spent learning proper penmanship and how I don't even use it any more, it's such a shame.

    ",I do remember lots of stickers and such. Oh, and wasn't it just the BEST to receive actual handwritten letters from that special someone??! And to send letters on scented paper?!?"



    YES! And I totally forgot about SCENTED paper and STICKERS!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you had a great time on your blog break. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
    X

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  25. Oh my gosh Ron I LOVED the wax stamps! I had a blue wax candle and a burgundy one and of course... a "K!" I wrote letters JUST so I could seal them!!!!! I remember how it smelled and how it felt when you pushed down and the was pushed out from behind the stamp.

    I wrote lots of letters, having been in a Navy family. I kept in touch with people for years with my letter writing. I remember how excited I would get when I received letters back. I feel sad my kids will never experience this - the times have truly changed.

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  26. "I wrote letters JUST so I could seal them!!!!! I remember how it smelled and how it felt when you pushed down and the was pushed out from behind the stamp.:

    OMG, yes, yes, yes, Katherine! And you're right, there was a distinct smell to the melted wax that I always LOVED!

    "I feel sad my kids will never experience this - the times have truly changed."

    Isn't it a shame how kids today will never know that experience? Yup, times have truly changed.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

    X

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  27. I can so relate to this post and the ambivalence of personally writing and typewriting, Ron. You're right, since the computer, it's much easier and paper saving by sending emails, etc. but love sending and receiving cards. Have beautiful white PM stationery and love to seal with wax. To me, it really shows I care.
    Even as a writer, I always write my drafts by hand. There's a fluidity between the brain and hand, and pen to paper which I believe helps to express an idea more organically. There's even been studies about it. Yet, there are many writers who just type on the typewriter or computer. I guess whatever works.
    And you wouldn't believe the collection of pens. Adore pens. I'm addicted. And if anyone asks what to get for a bdy/Christmas present, hands down, I ask for a pen. That would be a fun post, wouldn't it?
    Hope you're having a wonderful week, Ron! :))

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  28. "Even as a writer, I always write my drafts by hand."

    Petra, I think it's AWESOME that you still write your drafts by hand. Brava! And I'm sure your right about the fluidity between the brain and hand by using pen to paper and being more ORGANIC. Plus, it also takes more time to write by hand so perhaps the brain processes more. VERY interesting!

    "And if anyone asks what to get for a bdy/Christmas present, hands down, I ask for a pen. That would be a fun post, wouldn't it?"



    HA! I think that would make for a FUN post indeed!


    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this post topic, my friend! You've added MUCH!


    Happy week to you!

    X

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  29. You summed up the twenty-first century mindset quite well! In fact, when I tell students in my capstone classes they need to MAIL handwritten notes to guest professionals who visit class, their client and to any interviews they have, they look at me like I have three eyes and a horn on my head. It's sooo easy just to type an email and hit SEND. But how many times have we done that and then regretted what was said? At least with a handwritten note, we have a cooling-off time where we can revise our words.if necessary.

    And I remember having sealing wax and pretty stationary! :-) It was waaayyy cool!

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  30. "It's sooo easy just to type an email and hit SEND. But how many times have we done that and then regretted what was said? At least with a handwritten note, we have a cooling-off time where we can revise our words.if necessary."

    You know Lisa, that's an EXCELLENT point you brought up! And you're right, with typing an email we more apt to say something in haste, without thinking about it. Whereas with handwriting a letter, the mind has more time to process what is being said.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having a FAB week!

    X

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