My guess is, most of us have a love-hate relationship with the mail. If what arrives in my box is an indication, it is filled with junk mail, catalogues and bills. (Ugh!)
But, on those occasions I find a cards and letters, I get a little excited.(Yeah!) Cards and letters used to be common place. Before affordable phone calls, before the internet, most of us kept family and friends up-to-date with cards and letters.
My great-grandmother would send a letter (several pages long) every week to my mom. One of my aunts would drop me a postcard with a puppy or kitten on it every week. Those were special days!
Holidays tended to find many cards filling the mail box. Most had personal notes or family letters – especially those in December.
I even remember writing letters every week to family and friends. Sadly, I have gotten away from the practice and resorted to mostly communicating via the internet.
If you are a caregiver of older adults, they likely have the same types of memories about the mailman. During my visits to senior living communities I see many of the residents perk up as the mailman enters the building.
“Any mail for me today?” is a common question.
With these memories in mind and the approaching of National Cards and Letter Writing Week the first week of November, I’ve put together some songs and discussion items around cards and letters.
As I write this I am hearing the following song playing in my mind.
(If you prefer, there are recordings by many other artists including the Beatles.) I see this as a great song to move and groove as a group.
Some songs to sing that mention cards or letters include:
- Down in the Valley
- Love Letters in the Sand
- I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
- Return to Sender
- Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah
Songs that might lend themselves more for listening and discussion:
- P.S. – I Love You (Beatles) What P.S did you add most often to letters?
- A Dear John Letter Did anyone ever write or receive a “Dear John” letter?
- Sealed With a Kiss (Brian Hyland) Ask if anyone ever sealed a letter with a kiss (wearing bright red lipstick).
- Airmail Special Did you ever send or receive airmail? From/to where?
- Take a Letter, Maria Did you ever dictate a letter? What kind was it?
Do a little letter pass to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”. Pause the music and the person holding the letter answer one of the questions:
- If you were to write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?
- Who sends you the most cards and letters?
- Who do (have you) sent cards and letters to?
- Why do you like to receive cards or letters?
- When are you most likely to receive a card or letter?
- How do you feel when your mailbox is full?
- How do you feel when your mailbox is empty?
- What was the funniest postcard you ever received?
- A letter from _____ would surprise you.
- Who were you most likely to write when you were in your 20s?
If you have access to a computer, share the National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection.