In October 2010, an American woman called Hannah Brencher started…
Writing a letter to a dear friend is like giving them a surprise gift. If you’d like to make someone’s day, this blog post outlines how to write a great letter which is guaranteed to make your friend smile.
There are many reasons you might want to write a letter to a friend — perhaps you just want to say ‘hi’, you might want to thank them for something they have done recently, or maybe they are not well and you want to cheer them up. They might have moved away (or you might), in which case letter writing is the perfect way to catch up until you can see each other again.
So, what do you write in your letter and how do you lay it out? I’ve compiled some top tips below.
Use nice stationery
Pretty stationery will make your friend feel extra special. Why not find some themed stationery based on one of your friend’s favourite things? Personally, if I received a letter and envelope decorated in cats, I’d feel really loved (and I’m sure the postman or woman would love it, too!)
Date the letter
Make sure you date your letter, especially if you’re sending it abroad, so your friend knows when you wrote it. This could be important for dating any stories you share with them, and will also be useful in the future if they re-read your letter years down the line.
Write the letter
Now, this is the fun bit! Here are some tips for writing the letter itself:
- For your greeting, I’d recommend ‘Dear [name]’, followed by a more relaxed greeting, such as ‘Hi/Hey/Hello [nickname]!’
- Ask how your friend is and what they’ve been up to — asking them questions is essential as it shows you are thinking about them, and also gives them something to respond to in their reply.
- Tell them what you wrote to tell them — this could be that you miss them, you’re thinking of them, you hope they get better soon, etc.
- If appropriate, share all of your news, stories and gossip with your friend (although you may decide you’d like to strike a different tone depending upon the situation).
- Include any in-jokes the two of you have.
- End your letter with a friendly closing line. This will be unique to you and your friendship, but might be something like ‘I miss you loads’ or ‘Love you lots’.
- Sign off with ‘Love [name]’ and some kisses, if that’s your thing.
Decorate the letter & add some goodies
This stage isn’t crucial, but if you’re a creative you might want to decorate your letter with drawings, ink stamps or stickers. Adding in some photos could be a nice touch, alongside anything else you think your friend might like. I often send my pen pals one or two teabags, for example, so they can taste my favourite blends without having to buy a box themselves.