Yesterday was letter-writing day.
January 18, 2012

I recently started setting aside one day a week to write letters with Charlotte.  Good old-fashioned letters.  To her two uncles and her aunt who live abroad, to her grandparents and great-grandparents who live too far away, to her aunt and uncle who also live too far away, and to her two darling penpals.

It’s a lot of letters so if you’re family or friends and you aren’t on the list, please don’t be offended.  We’re still trying to find the best way to fit in everyone we like writing to.  It’s going to take a couple months, I think!

She gets the art materials of her choice (yesterday it was glue, glitter, confetti stars, a tin of crayons, and a few sheets of stickers) (this is what she created) and goes hog-wild while I take a pen to paper.  It is messy cubed, but it is also good fun.  When I tell her that we’re going to write letters today, she gets very excited - in large part because she is beginning to understand that when we send mail to other people, they send mail back.  And at the end of our letter-writing, we write a postcard together for her collection.

And OKAY, while I’m on the topic: GLITTER.  Glitter.  One time, Donald and I watched a Demetri Martin act where he called glitter the herpes of the craft world.  AWESOME LINE, that one.  We joke about it all the time.  Anyway, I have always had a rule that glitter is only used outside, but I find it remarkably difficult to write letters outside.  So yesterday I made an exception and let the glitter happen inside.

At first, it seemed fine.  Through some incredible feat of magic, when Charlotte was busy dumping a solid pound of glitter and confetti stars all over herself and the table and the floor some stray bits actually landed on her artwork.  So she was super proud of herself and after I stripped her down and scrubbed her up and then picked up every last speck of glitter, I was pretty proud of how well the whole HERPES OF THE CRAFT WORLD thing went down.  But then the glue on Charlotte’s artwork all dried and as it dried the glitter dust started flaking off and right now I have three pieces of glittered-up paper sitting in my dining room and if a dog ten miles away even thinks about farting ten large chunks of glitter immediately go flying through the air and attach themselves to my hands or my kid’s face or Donald’s clothing.

Glitter was clearly invented for the sole purpose of irritating the crap out of parents.  The end.

But I digress.  So.  Moving on: my goal for this week is to print out some current photographs of Charlotte to include in our letters.  I think she will enjoy writing notes on the back of them and I’m sure that people who haven’t heard from us in two years will be happy to have an image they can hold or prop up against a frame or stuff in a shoebox out of sight.

Tell me: when is the last time you wrote a letter?  And what is the coolest mail you or your kid have ever received/sent?


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  1. By Alicia S. on January 18, 2012

    We LOVE writing letters over here! Matthew writes letters just about everyday of the week. Something he just started doing on his own one day (before he could write) and has just never stopped. Most of them get thrown away or put in a little folder I keep of his artwork and stuff, but on the holidays he loves sending his crafts to grandparents and stuff, even though both sets live right down the road. Now that he can actually write and is learning to spell a lot of words on his own, I want to get him a pen pal SO BADLY in the next year or so.

    Spencer and I are always finding papers with letters scribbled all over them stuffed inside of our mailbox from him. It’s adorable.

    Lol, A few months ago I made our oldest daughter write an apology note to her grandmother because she snuck the VERY EXPENSIVE Ipod mom-mom bought her to school and it was lost. Matthew immediately took out his own paper and started writing a letter, too. At the end I asked him who it was for and he said, “Mo Willems.” (author of the Elephant and Piggie early reader series, lol) “I’m saying sorry to him because Mary lost her Ipod and to tell him he is my favorite.” I considered actually sending it to Mo Willems, but I didn’t think he’d appreciate it as much I me and his father, lol.

  2. By on January 18, 2012

    two words for you- glitter glue.
    way less mess going on and I don’t think the glitter flakes off the same way.  I’m not sure how large of containers you can get of it.  I usually get a pack from the dollar store that has 10-12 different colors in tiny containers.

  3. By on January 18, 2012

    Ohhhh, we have a glitter-free home over here. Lol

    And exaggeration, but I’m not sure I’m ready for glitter. The first year my husband and I were in our first home, we had a Halloween party and confetti decorated a table. We were still cleaning ip confetti that would sneak out from under baseboards until the day we moved (like 3 years later). I wouldn’t bs surprised if our tenants are still finding little black and orange spiders and pumpkins. So, with my confetti experience, glitter is def. off the craft list. Lol

  4. By tara pollard pakosta on January 18, 2012

    My girls just wrote a thank you note to my mom for their Christmas gifts (American Girl Dolls).....I have to get them mailed out. I even had photos printed of them with the dolls.
    I didn’t send out Christmas cards this year, but I had a cool idea in November. Every single day I was going to send a card to someone to tell them I was thankful for them! I think I ended up doing about 10-12 of them!
    I had my girls make handprint turkies for that little project! it was pretty cute. I had found an old handprint of Savannah’s from when she was a baby and used that for some of them too, made copies. it would be super cute to do that with Charlotte!
    I love her little glitter projects, though I HATE glitter!!!
    tara

  5. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on January 18, 2012

    What a fantastic idea - I love it!  And I’m making a mental note to myself to never buy glitter for upcoming projects!  :)

  6. By Lisa on January 18, 2012

    I have been meaning to set aside one day, just ONE day to write some letters but, in the past few weeks, I haven’t done it.
    I need to write to some friends who live about 5 hours away and I also have to write our sponsor children. One is almost 16 years old and one is 5 years old. The last letter I received was from the 5 year old, Wellington, and I was thrilled! He drew me a picture- just a scribble but I was very happy to see it! We started sponsoring him a couple months ago and I still haven’t written to tell him anything about me so I’d better do that…. maybe tonight!

  7. By on January 18, 2012

    I have always been the one to write letters. In highschool. After highschool. In college. After college. The good deed was hardly ever returned though. I still pressed on. Then came email. Same unfortunate scenario. My kids do write thank you notes, but other than that, I’ve retired my pen and paper. It makes me sad, but if no one is going to write back then I’m going to stop wasting my time. It’s an old art that has pretty much died. Sign of the times, I guess. :insert tear drop:

  8. By on January 18, 2012

    Last night was thank you note night at my house. And then my step-son worked on a letter to Derek Jeter. I think he is on his second draft, not sure if there will be a third draft or not.

  9. By Sarah Christensen on January 18, 2012

    Erica - I know what you mean.  We’re lucky to have a few people in our lives who are extraordinary at writing back - so I’m the flake!  But what a bummer to write and write and not have anyone write back =(

  10. By Brooke on January 18, 2012

    A note about glitter. Beware glittery tulle from the fabric store. Sadie picked it out for homemade tutus, and I thought, how fun! Exactly five seconds after I paid for it, I realized my mistake. The glitter is by no means affixed to the tulle. My car turned into a glitter bomb. My couch, my living room. I can’t bring myself to finish making her and her cousin’s tutus, for the thought of All That Glitter.

  11. By Mary @ Parenthood on January 18, 2012

    We are also a glitter belongs outdoors kind of house. This basically means no glitter from Oct-April because of our climate (although this year we could have been making glitter crafts right up until Christmas - crazy!)

    Glitter glue works well too though, and I hear you can make it by stirring glitter into the glue, though I haven’t exactly tried that!

    We’ve been writing a lot of letters recently - 50 Christmas cards (first time ever), thank you cards for Christmas gifts and we’re going to send out birthday cards to every member of our extended family this year. But I agree, very few people write back. I know our letters are appreciated though, so we will continue. Some of our recipients are older and have trouble holding a pen, so they get a bit of a pass. But for those others? Even sending my toddler a cartoon in the mail would make her day…

  12. By on January 18, 2012

    I use glitter for a health lesson about germs. I sprinkle glitter on the hands of half of the class, and they proceed to greet the other half of their peers with a friendly handshake. Then, we look at how the glitter transfered (ewww, germs!) when we had contact with the glitter friends. Even better, we then try to get the glitter off using just a dry paper towel. That, of course, is ineffective, and they are then allowed to use warm water and soap (for more than .23654 seconds) to remove the germs.

    Cover your sneezes, friends!

  13. By Mailis on January 18, 2012

    We have glitter paint and glitter glue and these narrow little bottles of various colors of glitter…Jude is REALLY into glitter. Thankfully he is also into vacuums. ;)

    Also, YAY!!!

    Charlotte looks like she takes all of this very seriously. SOOOOO cute.

  14. By on January 19, 2012

    here’s a “letter story” for you.

    just before christmas i recieved a letter, with heart stickers and glitter-glue drawings on it.

    it was a two-pages long hand-written apology letter, destinated to someone who apparently has the same name and last name as i do.

    the person who wrote it mentionned that she wasn’t sure this would be the proper adress but she would try to send it anyways.(seems like they hadn’t spoken in years !)

    and unfortunately, the adress WAS wrong. i had no idea who that lady was. and there was no return adress, no last name.

    that was really weird. i felt like i shouldn’t be reading it. but i had to, i had to find out who that person was.. but i didnt !

  15. By on January 25, 2012

    Sarah,
    Have you ever visited the blog http://www.giverslog.com? She does a section called “Happy Mail” that you and Charlotte should definitely check out.


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