With all of the emails, texts, and other types of electronic messages all around us these days, it may seem that the art of writing letters and cards is slowly fading into oblivion. After all, who wants to wait days, if not weeks, to receive some hard-to-read words scribbled down on a piece of paper, when it would be so much easier to just read an email?
But sending and receiving letters is about much more than just exchanging information. It’s about a person who decides to take the extra time and effort to actually write words down on a piece of paper. And then, going to the added trouble of making that trip to the post office to potentially wait in a long line to finally send it off.
That’s right. It’s about someone deciding to go into all that effort and spend a few cents on postage just to make their message personal and individual. And it means a lot. Because receiving a handwritten letter, card or even postcard in the mailbox is truly something special.
That’s what World Stationery Day is all about: preserving the art of writing words on a page, instead of just sending electronic versions of letters that cannot truly be touched but only seen on a screen.
If that’s not an honorable cause, what is?
History of World Stationery Day
Humans have been writing for thousands of years, since prehistory. The Dispilio tablet is thought to be the oldest written record on Earth, dating back to around 5200 BC. After that, writing seemed to spring up in a whole host of different places, being especially prominent in the Near East.
At the time, the main reason that writing became a necessity was because the information needed to be transmitted, particularly in order for political expansion to be able to take place. Rulers and authorities were most in need of communication and they were also very educated. But, most of the time, they didn’t even do the writing themselves. They had scribes on their staff who would record for them everything that needed to be written down.
Eventually, records, financial transactions and historical events were documented using writing as well.The Mesopotamian writing system is thought to be the oldest, dating back to 3600 BC. Certainly, before the use of paper or ink, this system was based on the simple concept of pressing a triangular-shaped stylus into soft clay.
As everything does, writing slowly evolved from these triangles into what it is today. In fact, more than 1 billions trees are used each year to make paper for books, newspapers, magazines, stationery, notebooks, journals and more! Paper is a big industry and stationery is an important part of it.
World Stationery Day was created in 2012 to help make sure the art of writing would not go extinct, as some feared it might. This concern was due to all of the technological advancements of our time, making the effort of writing much less practical than other methods of communication.
Even so, studies have shown that people who write with their own hand are probably more engaged in the topic. This means, writing (and therefore stationery!) probably isn’t going anywhere.
How to Celebrate World Stationery Day
For those who are wondering how they can properly spend this day, there’s nothing to worry about! Lots of options are available for taking a little bit of extra time to appreciate all of the beautiful things about writing on stationery, such as:
Write a Card or Letter
The first thing on the to-do list for this day is unbelievably simple: write a card or a letter. Get those pencils sharpened and ready or grab a favorite pen! The folks who created World Stationery wanted to make sure that writing endured despite the wide array of more efficient options available, so everyone should try to do their part to help achieve that goal!
Head Over to the Stationery Store
As World Stationery Day celebrates the written word and all things stationery, feel free to buy a few kinds of stationery and vow to use it whenever there is a chance. This could include grabbing a few different colors of paper and envelopes from the office supply store. Or it might mean special ordering personalized stationery that is printed with a monogram or full name.
While at the shop, don’t forget to stock up on different writing utensils, such as pens of different colors or pencils (whether traditional or mechanical). Some people like to make their letters extra special by using a wax seal kit that is reminiscent of times past but adds another level of personalization.
Write A Poem
Letters and cards aren’t the only kind of activity that stationery is used for. Grab a pretty piece of paper and use it to write a lovely poem. It can be an epic poem or simply a haiku, using the five, seven, five format. The subject can be meaningful or funny. In fact, World Stationery Day would be a great time to write an ode to how much people should adore stationery!
Send Stationery for Holidays
If a holiday is coming up, especially a big one like Christmas or Easter, make a point of handwriting cards and letters to send to friends, family, and other people who are deeply cared about. Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day are occasions when people are especially appreciative of receiving a card. However, it doesn’t even need to be a special occasion! Simply write a card or letter to a loved one–just because.
Find a PenPal
Having a penpal used to be quite the novelty–especially if it was a person who lived overseas in a different culture and time zone. Although many people might think this tradition is dead, it isn’t! In fact, PenPal World helps individuals connect with people all over the world who want to write letters to each other.
Send a Card Through the Mail
Are you organizing a party in the near future? Do you need to thank all of the people who came to your wedding for their lovely gifts? Has a close friend been ill a while and could use a cheery get well soon card? Whatever the occasion, World Stationery Day can be every day, so join in the fun!