Stationery is something I’ve always adored.
I used to buy box after box of it, and I’d actually use it. When I was little, my mom made sure thank you notes were always written after birthdays, Christmas — anytime a gift was given. They could be written in pencil, pen, marker or Crayon, but they were always written. As I got older, I fell out of the habit of consistently thanking people with a note, but I still liked to buy little packs of notecards to have on hand for whenever I happened to remember to write one.
I wrote a lot of letters during my elementary school years to friends and old neighbors who had moved away; many were decorated with doodles, flowers, stickers and bubble letters encouraging my pen pals to “K.I.T.!” When I went away to college, I wrote many to my parents, as well as to friends I graduated from high school with. Some were hand-written, others were typed, many were greeting cards and — if I wanted to go all out — it would be a greeting card with a separate, multi-page letter inside. I had a laptop back then, and I remember being enamored with the assortment of silly graphics and Wingdings gems that I could litter my typed pages with. By the way, when the time came to finally send it on its way, the stamp was often as important as the card or stationery design. I’d stand for minutes on end, staring at the stamp dispenser inside the post office, trying to pick the best offering…as though anyone else ever notices the stamp.
I realize that not many people regularly use pen and paper to keep in touch or say thanks anymore — including me, and I wish that I did more than I do. I’ve even failed at sending Christmas cards out for three years in a row. Whether greeting cards or gratitude, there are so many expressions of thanks that we could probably all give to others, and I’m sure we wouldn’t even need to think about it that long. I’ll bet the list would come easily, and I’ll bet it would be lengthy. I know that mine would.
Tonight I am thankful, yes, for family and friends. But I am also thankful for those who have been my partners in crime over the years, who’ve provided shoulders to lean or cry on, who have given patient ears for tales both serious and silly, and for their company which has made my happy days even sunnier, and my bad days not as gloomy.