Excerpt from The Letter Box

by Mark Button & Diane Button

  1. Write a letter for a particular occasion, to be opened now or in the future. On some occasions, you may wish to ask another special person to write a letter or note to include with yours.
  2. Add photos or other special memorabilia such as newspaper clippings, world statistics, grocery receipts, magazine articles, quotes, cartoons, or any other interesting memorabilia. You may choose to personalize your stationery with stickers, stamps, calligraphy, art, or drawings.
  3. Seal the letter, specify the occasion it should be opened on the envelope, and (if possible) mail it, “care of” yourself at your own address. Remember, for those letters that will be opened in the future, the postmark and stamp mark their places in history.
  4. Finally, look for a box or album to keep your letters in, such as an old cigar box. You may want to try your hand at making one yourself, turning an ordinary box into a special one.
  5. Have fun!

Tips to Make Your Letters Last a Lifetime

  1. Since these letters may be sealed for decades, it is important to choose permanent markers and pens. Plain ink may dull over time, so we recommend fade-resistant, waterproof ink. Craft stores carry a variety of these in different colors and tip styles. Be creative.
  2. Paper should be acid-free so it will withstand the test of time. Higher pH paper may crack or deteriorate over the years; it may also damage your photographs.
  3. Glue should be permanent as well. Ask a craft-store retailer for the kinds that are used by library archivists.
  4. You may wish to archive your letters in your computer or make copies to store in a separate place. As your collection grows, this testament of your love for your friends and family will likely become one of your most cherished possessions.

Tips for Letter Writing

We all want to know that we are loved. Each letter box is a golden opportunity to create a legacy of love and to guarantee that a piece of your heart lives on. Whichever way you choose to convey your deepest feelings to those you care about, the most important thing is to get them down on paper. Don’t be afraid to show the real you. Those who are dear to you will love you and accept you, flaws and all. Share your memories of your own past as well as memories that include the person for whom the letter is intended. Children will want to know about things they did and family adventures they may not remember. Parents, friends, or mentors will be touched to learn how special they are to you. Be lavish with praise, generous with your heart, but above all, write from a place of love.

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