The best gift for a friend is a hand-written letter.

The best gift for a friend is a hand-written letter.

Are you wondering what to give your friends for their birthdays? Christmas? You can't go wrong with a hand-written letter. Here are a few reasons why. Read more here.

The best gift for a friend, I believe, comes from your heart. When you are not with your friend and remember their birthday, you can write them a letter to show them that you care about them and appreciate their friendship. This does not have to be an extravagant gift; it can be something small and simple that will let your friend know how much they mean to you. It might seem old-fashioned or out of style, but I think it’s the best gift you can give to a good friend because it will come straight from your heart.


Gift cards have gotten out of control

Retailers love them, and consumers love to get them—but it's clear that we've got an unhealthy attachment to cards with monetary value that can be spent or saved at our discretion. Gift cards don't promote personal relationships; they encourage convenience and impersonal exchanges, even when we're doing something special for friends and family members. A handwritten note offers way more than a piece of plastic can: It shows people you care about them, it lets you say what's important to you and it gives you time to put together something more thoughtful than a gift card so lame it doesn't deserve capital letters in its name. So why not give away some time?


A personal touch makes everything better

We all have friends and family members who live far away—the ones we wish we could see more often. So why not do something that lets them know how much they mean to you? Make a personalized card or letter and send it in snail mail instead of firing off an email. You’ll get to think about what you want to say and choose your words carefully, so it’s likely that when your friends read it, they’ll remember exactly what you wanted them to hear. Plus, there’s nothing like opening an envelope with a stamp on it: It feels like you’re being personally cared for, which makes giving gifts feel special, too.


People are creatures of habit

They like their routine, they like to have plans and they don’t like change. If you’re going to ask someone to make time in their busy schedule to sit down and write a note, make sure it’s worth it! A hastily written card accompanied by a store-bought gift isn’t worth either of your time—or theirs. Make sure you take some time on both sides of that exchange: write something meaningful, put thought into what you are giving them (it doesn't have to be expensive!), and send it with sincerity.


Staying connected helps everyone involved

Staying in touch with friends and family is important on many levels, but getting in touch regularly can also help you stay on top of your professional game. If you write out what you’re doing or have done, it will force you to think back on your last few months or even years and remind yourself of what an accomplishment (or how much progress) you’ve made. Keeping in touch like that doesn’t just give us perspective; it also lets others know we value them as well as ourselves—allowing us to grow more confident in our abilities. And, writing down all those accomplishments helps keep our memories sharp, making sure we don’t forget any of them before they’re fully formed!


Use paper from sustainable sources

Most of us are familiar with how trees are cut down to make paper products, but when we don’t pay attention to which brands we buy, we risk helping companies destroy forests or engage in other unethical practices (for example, through child labor). When you’re buying birthday cards, printing term papers, or writing letters from your own home office, make sure your paper is sourced from sustainably managed forests and plantations—your eco-conscious friends will thank you.


Get your supplies together before you start writing

In addition to basic stationery items, you’ll need postcards and stamps. The postcards should be blank on one side (you can buy them that way). If they are preprinted with anything, like maps or photos, they won’t work well. Also, make sure your stationery has enough room for writing! You may want to write something short and sweet in pencil first so you know how much space you have.


Nothing comes close to a handwritten note in terms of value-added

We remember things better when we take the time to write them down, and people are no different. Sometimes all it takes to strengthen a friendship or improve your relationship with someone important in your life is taking out some paper and writing them a quick note. And you know what? It’s just plain fun! So why don’t you pull out your fancy stationery and write your BFF (or anyone else who deserves it) today? You have everything to gain!


Keep the content honest and make sure it feels natural coming from you

If you write it, they will come—because it’s exactly what you would say to them if you were in person. The value of handwritten letters has been diminished in our digital world, but still retains meaning and personal significance to some degree. So if you want to make your friend feel extra special, take some time out of your day to show them how much they mean to you by writing a hand-delivered note. It might be their favorite present.


Pen choice matters!

If you want to make your handwritten letters stand out, try using a pen that hasn’t been used in years. There’s no better feeling than turning on an old pen and watching it work just as well as it did when you first purchased it. A pen that writes like new can make all of your notes look and feel special—so even if we’re talking about scribbling down some hastily written shopping list, it can feel much more special than simply picking up your favorite ballpoint!

Take your time quality takes time.

Work on it over several days if need be. This isn’t something you want to rush through or even pause in between sentences. Handwriting seems to convey warmth and caring in a way that typing on an electronic device just can’t match. Whether it’s your mom who longs to hear from you or an old college buddy, there’s something special about getting (and sending) a handwritten note. Plus, handwriting reveals something about you that digital notes don’t: You might be left-handed; your penmanship may be small and sloppy or impeccable and gorgeous; you may use crazy colors of ink or stay entirely in black—all of which can tell your recipient more about you than any typed message ever could!

Ethan Norris

She'd made her decision, and she was terrified, despite the fact that she remembered how small she was.