As we prepare to enter into a new year, it’s important to shine a light on something that you might not have known while there’s still time. Did you know that December is a nationally recognized month specifically dedicated to writing a note to friends? When you think about it, the concept is unique and it’s needed.
Letter writing, also the main mode of communication at the time was invented in 500 BC. Later, in the 18th century is when it grew in significant popularity and this century became known as the “Great Age of Letter Writing”. Now, in 2022, we romanticize the idea of writing by hand and it’s more of a form of nostalgia rather than necessity.
During a month where gifts are at the forefront of the mind of many, it’s important to take a step back and realize what simple things can hold just as much weight and one of those things could be a note….a note to a friend.
What Is This Focus of Recognition All About?
Warm greetings are an understatement when you think about the different things that December brings and writing a friend a note is a great way to end the month. This recognition month isn’t to be confused with World Letter Writing Day which falls on the first of September although the concept is similar. The difference is, this form of recognition lasts a full month and not just a day. Also, any type of note will suffice versus an entire letter. It’s also important to note that there are a couple of days throughout the month that is dedicated to strengthening friendships. December 26th which was “send a thank you note day” or December 28th which was national “call a friend” day are perfect examples.
Even December 7th is national “letter writing” day. The entire month comprises various days and events that should stem into blossoming connections and friendships and stronger relationships with those that you care about. While you don’t have to write a full letter and not every day, many people will often take advantage of the opportunity to add a nice holiday touch or start the upcoming year with a well-thought-out and sincere letter to a friend or family member.
Writing as a form of communication is a type of lost art and December gives people the chance to reestablish the importance of something handwritten. There are also many variations that can be spun throughout this recognition month whether digitizing your communications but with special typography or personalizing your note-giving experiences, it’s also a chance to get creative.
How Is This Beneficial for Seniors?
Almost everyone that is 65 or older has written at least one letter in their lifetime while most Americans today haven’t written a letter within the last 5 years, if at all. Not too many young people or those within younger generations have had the opportunity to do something like this without technology involved and while this isn’t always the case, most of the time, you won’t see too many children writing a letter to a loved one outside of school activity.
Writing a friend month is a good opportunity for seniors living in Florida to have more reasons to write a letter again…if that’s something they enjoy or find interesting to do. It’s also an opportunity to share something with your grandchildren and to bring a touch of nostalgia into their lives. Also, have you thought about what this could be the start of? This could be the beginning of a new tradition with those you care about whether a friend group, family members, neighbors, or all of the above. Writing a friend, in any way, can be special and it can spark new levels of insight in others.
Not to mention, writing to a friend or anyone for that matter can present a few benefits such as;
- An outlet for your feelings
- Gaining clarity on different situations
- Strengthening different relationships and bonds
- A way to mark periods in time
It’s even more interesting that forms of expressive writing have been shown to improve the functioning of the liver and lungs and can even help to combat certain diseases. This could be a sign to make writing to a friend in December a habit, or even an activity for every month.
Ways That You Can Participate
You don’t have to pull out a quill and ink to participate. Essentially, all that’s needed is for you to simply send a note to a friend and you could do that in any way that you see fit. If you are a senior living in Florida, consider doing something for your neighbors or your closest friends while also sending an invitation for lunch, tea, or a game of pickleball if you want to increase your sociability. The idea is to strengthen bonds, express appreciation and love, and do something that you wouldn’t do every day.
In a time where text messages and email have dominated communication, finding a unique way to express your thoughts is the fun of it all. Here are a few ideas that you can use to participate right before 2022 ends;
- Send out a handwritten letter to a friend that will arrive in the new year expressing things you should do together in 2023
- Create a small photo collage out of cutouts for a friend to decipher the message within it
- Send a card with a heartfelt note in the middle
- Deliver a voice message to someone that you care about of you reading a poem or short story
- Write micro letters and hide them around a family member’s home to motivate them through the new year
Making Someone Smile Through Simple Gestures
The simplest gestures hold the most weight and they are also the most fun to coordinate. A simple smile can mean the world to those that need it so imagine a personalized note arriving at the right time or when someone least expected it. If you’re a senior living in Florida, think about the people around you, whom you’ve met in the past year, and whom you spend your time with. The end of December is the perfect time to express your gratitude toward those that make you smile, give you energy, and make every day special.
As we go into 2023, allow your thoughts, prayers, aspirations, and observances to reach others and stay in their thoughts as we take on a new period in time.