The Power of a Handwritten Note

Instead of sending a text or email, consider picking up your pen and sending someone an encouraging note (they will thank you).

Happy National Handwriting Day! The day is celebrated on January 23, which is John Hancock’s birthday. As you’ll recall from history class, John Hancock was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence. Who can forget his flourishy and standout signature?!

When was the last time you wrote someone a personal note in your handwriting? 

If it’s been a while, then grab a pen, pencil or your favorite writing instrument, and get writing! 

It’s that simple.

I took a few minutes today to write some notes to my family because they are the first ones who came to mind.

Take a minute to think about people who you could encourage with a note. Can’t think of anyone? Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind people who you want to recognize or thank. There are so many people who get overlooked because they simply serve in a role that we don’t pay attention to often. These are just a few folks who came to my mind:

  • Friend
  • Family member
  • Teacher
  • School cafeteria worker
  • Beloved pastor or minister
  • A person who inspires you
  • Mentor
  • Essential workers
  • A grocery clerk
  • School crossing guard

Writing comes naturally for me, but if it doesn’t to you, here are some writing prompts to get you started to inspire you to send a handwritten note:

What I love about you is ….

I love it when you …

My favorite memory of you was when …

Thank you for …

You are so special to me because …

One of my favorite things about you is …

I’ll never forget when you …

In a previous blog, I wrote about how we can use scripture to encourage others so consider including a favorite verse with your note to make it even more meaningful and special.

Several of my family members’ love language is words of affirmation so a hand-written note really speaks to their hearts.

Are you reading this after National Handwriting Day? Don’t worry! 

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so you’ll have another opportunity to handwrite a note to a loved one.

This pencil cup holds some of my most favorite pens. Your writing instruments can make the whole process of writing a fun and happy activity.

To motivate me to write more, I have a variety of notecards, cool pens and stamps to make it more enjoyable. I even have a collection of some fun stickers that I like to use.

Think about the last time you received a hand-written note in the mail. Isn’t it such a wonderful feeling to know someone thought of you and took time to send you a special note?

Hand-written notes are such a personal and warm touch in a cold digital age.

And they last much longer than a text or email. I have some letters and cards from family and friends who are no longer living. Their notes are a piece of family history for me, and I cherish them all the more because it includes their handwriting.

Let’s get back to valuing penmanship and the written note!

Who will you send a note to today?

Happy Writing!

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Recycle Christmas Cards into Gift Tags

Don’t throw away those Christmas cards you have piling up! Recycle them in a new and fun way as gift tags.

What to do with all of those Christmas cards you received? Before you trash them, consider recycling them as gift tags for your presents next year.

The girls and I recently spent a couple of hours making tags that you see in the photo above, and it was so much fun! It’s such a kid-friendly activity and a creative way to spend some time together during winter break. It’s also a flexible craft in that you can keep it really simple for small hands or go all out for those more advanced crafters.

Gather your supplies

Here’s what we used for our gift tags. Your craft supply may look different from ours so just use what you have and improvise if you don’t have everything on this list. I’ve listed our items as a guide.

  • Christmas cards – the traditional kind with no family photos.
  • Good pair(s) of scissors – get multiples ready as other members of your family will want to join you as they see how much fun you’re having!
  • A hole punch or two (we had a couple on hand).
  • Paper cutters – These are completely optional but they do make cutting straight lines easier because I am straight-line challenged! We also had a rounded corners tool (see photo below) that gives your tags a nice look and finish. Note to moms of littles: My kids are older and are able to use these tools on their own so please modify this craft to suit your kids’ ages and craft level.
  • Your adhesive of choice – Glue stick, rubber cement, double-sided or scotch tape, etc.
  • Card embellishments – We used Christmas stamps and washi tape but you could use stickers, glitter, scrapbooking leftovers. Use your imagination and get creative!
  • Items for tracing to make gift-tag shapes – we used drinking glasses or even rectangular-shaped Christmas stamps to make our card cut-outs. And some pencils, pens or fine-point Sharpie markers for tracing.

Christmas cards …

Here’s a pile of Christmas cards that we received this year. What I like about this craft is that even the simplest, Dollar-store card can be transformed into a sensational gift tag!

Good pair of scissors (or two or three!)

A pair of scissors for each family member is recommended! And in case you’re wondering, yes, those are kitchen shears – which work great, by the way! Parent supervision is always advised when you’re doing crafts with sharp objects.

Hole punch and paper cutters

Since some Christmas cards are pretty thick, it takes some “mom muscle” at times to punch out holes for the tags! The other tool you see here is my most favorite card-making tool – a rounded-corner punch – for those times when a straight edge just won’t do.

Adhesives …

Christmas tags
We used double-sided tape, a glue stick and even colorful washi tape as adhesives. Glitter glue would also be fun (if you look past the messy part!) Rubber cement also works great, along with spray-on adhesive.

Tag embellishments

embellish gift tags with stamps & washi tape
These are just a few of the items we used to embellish or dress up our gift tags. Washi tape gives you some fun options, and it comes in handy when you want to cover up something on a card.

Items for tracing to cut out shapes

What worked well for us is sticking to simple shapes such as circles, rectangles or even triangles since they’re shaped like a Christmas tree. Look at other gift tags you have for ideas and inspiration!

Tutorial for making a gift tag

Play around with different ribbon types for different looks

Bonus tip: Save your cards to pray for your family, friends!

A friend of mine in a business networking group I belong to passed along this idea about Christmas cards, and it was too good not to share. His family saves their Christmas cards each year and has them out all year long. Each night when they do their prayers, they pull out a Christmas card and pray for that family. What a neat way to encourage other families by praying for them all throughout the year. Put the cards in a place you see often so you don’t forget. Won’t you join me in starting this new prayer tradition for the New Year?

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