Write Christmas


Slim Paley photo

There’s something very beautiful about the written word, isn’t there?  As “Snail Mail” not so slowly becomes a thing of the past, leaving the U.S. Postal Service mired in it’s gummy path, and talk of eliminating cursive writing from the public school curriculum (horror of horrors) is being bantered about, It’s time to write a letter to…someone…

Yes, I love my computer, and all of my various techno gadgets, but I will always write my lists & notes in long hand.

I’ll forever cherish the beautifully written word (and a word written beautifully)  fine penmanship and the lovely paper it sails upon.

And I’ll teach my grandchildren (if and when I have any, and if they’re awfully good) to write in cursive.


Helen Norman

What say you to the banishment of cursive writing class in the American school system??





Slim Paley photo

A sweet Christmas present idea, my husband says this is one of his most favourite things I’ve ever given him and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.  

Keep your written thoughts for yourself, & tear out the beautiful passages at the end of each page to scatter where ever the heart desires… the mirror’s edge, under a pillow, 

tucked into the Christmas tree…

Slim Paley photo

Notepads available from SugarBoo Designs

(Also available for “Dear Friends” & “Beautiful Child”

I gave my husband his on a vintage metal clipboard, which he loves.


Slim Paley photo

.MThe Letter



  1. At the snooty country day school where I learned to write, we were taught to write in itallic, as opposed to cursive. At this point I am grateful to see anythng legibly (sp?) hand-written, whether cursive, itallic, or printed. The state of handwriting (my own included) has become an embarassment for our nation!

    • Great to hear from you Reggie love your blog also. Once cursive goes, next goes learning to write with pen and paper.

  2. I, too, love the written word and receive real enjoyment from writing and sending at least one note or card a day to someone I have thought of. Sometimes it’s a greeting card I will see that reminds me of a friend….that then becomes the vehicle for the note. I gather papers and pens and stash them for these special moments. There is nothing more enjoyable than writing and connecting with friends in this way. Receiving a note, for me, is a gift.
    When i was 26 I visited Monticello and was impressed with Thomas Jefferson’s routine of writing a letter to a friend each morning before beginning his day. I decided it was something I would enjoy emulating. So, for the past 41 years, with few exceptions, I have managed to do so.

  3. you are my own private (even though I know I share you) muse………..I cherish each of your posts, thoughts, suggestions, visions, ideas, securities, small insecurities…

    I have horrible cursive writing (maybe from having skipped 2nd grade where they taught how to write the letters and wound up in 3rd grade figuring out for myself where to start forming a “b”, etc., so although I love to read the (cursive) written word, the typewriter/computer has been a boon for me personally……but believe cursive should not die.

    Hope I can order “One Hundred gathered thoughts” here in Australia.
    Joy to you dear Slim.

  4. What a lovely post slim. Handwritten letters have played a profound role in my life. I exchanged love letters with my first love at the age of 17 when he moved away temporarily. I again exchanged love letters with the same boy now a man, 25 years later. We are together now and store our letters in a locked chest. I cherish them and the history they reveal. Thanks for the reminder of the beauty of handwritten love notes. They could be from parents to children, vice versa or from one lover to another. My favorite post so far, beautiful!

  5. I think it is shameless that my grandchildren may not learn cursive. I still hand write thank you notes when I visit someone’s home. Oh, and actually put a stamp on the envelope and mail it !

  6. Thank you. I, too, love my computer and the ease with which connections and ideas are shared (and photos!!!). That said, I went to a very exclusive convent school where we had “penmanship” through 12th grade. (This didn’t seem important at college) But all these many years later, people comment on my hand writing (although is has really deteriorated) and when I truly want to make a point, communicate with my children, etc. I choose to write in cursive as my brain seems to work better. My emotions seem to find a greater expression when hand written and I know that a deeper impact is made. Deleting cursive from the American school curriculum would be a travesty.
    Thank you for bringing this to the table.

  7. All your posts are beautiful, but this one spoke to me in particular. I love the gift to your husband and I can understand why it would be one of his favourites. I also think it would be a shame to do away with cursive writing in the school system (same thing is happening in Canada). The handwritten word is so much more personal (messy or neat). Maybe we should all begin to save our letters….. I’m sorry that I haven’t done so, as it seems they may become relics of the past.

  8. Tactile and sensual, emotive and vibrant… cursive writing on 100% rag stationary or deckle edged papers are so expressive… says so much more than I heart u. Thanks Slim!

  9. oh can’t wait to give & get one for a gift. So beautifully written, that post! I use the hand written note for birthday wishes,thank you’s, thinking of you. Hope they don’t take away cursive in schools-what a shame. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  10. I get a thrill whenever I see an actual letter in the mailbox. I have a friend who is so creative that her envelopes scream with fun, vintage stickers, colorful decorations, and, of course, her beautiful handwriting. It would be a shame to lose cursive writing, along with art and music dwindling from our school systems. ahhh, the good ‘ole days. I learned with a quill and ink well on my hand made wooden desk. My braids would dip into the ink now and then. I still address my Christmas cards by hand and usually write a small note inside. Yes, the Christmas cards that I have not yet written. Yes, those ones.

  11. Hummm-hard to fathom not being able to write….does everyone carry a printer around with them? or a computer? what about jotting down a quick grocery list standing in line at the dare we say possible defunk postal office? I hope I am not around to see this–what a pity. One of the reasons I collect vintage ephemera is for the beautiful penmanship our ancestors had. What will happen to all the fun memories of love letters and someones hard to read writing that we laughed about? I think alot of these things they propose for schools is to scare us into spending more and more money on them instead of balancing their budgets and learning to live with the funds they have.

  12. I think, since you asked, that it is outrageous. A travesty– somebody stop this! It is absurd. Let’s ask our Founding Fathers what they think. How will future generations study our old handwritten notes, letters, documents, etc.? I don’t mean to sound pretentious, but written history in my family runs very deep (two signer’s of The Declaration of Independence from my Fathers side, and one from my Mothers, and I never pull out that old chestnut). Future generations need to be able to read it. It is the reason they will be here. My father, and all previous generations, had to learn Latin in law school. I read a few paragraphs of a recently graduated, law student, and let’s just say , as my mother puts it, “he slaughtered the Kings English”. Cursive writing harks back to the Greeks and Romans. I am sorry, but I was already in a tither about this. Where can I picket? 🙂

  13. Another lovely post. I love the organic comprehension in France’s preschoolers learning graceful arching dance movements that will be incorporated in their beautiful hand painstakingly taught.

    I learned calligraphy from my favorite (art) teacher Sister Cabrini..which I used a lot in life– hand writing all the wedding invitations and envelopes for a best friend’s wedding–table place cards for 300 for a ball I chaired at the Montecito Biltmore (Coral Casino), etc.

    My favorite handwritten notes are from my mother and one from my son when he was 10–hilarious. It’s the little things that make gorgeous memories and add up to a gorgeous life. Which you are aces at…

  14. Thank you so much for this amazing post–the comments are incredible as well!

    Writing is a form of personal expression. I still have notes from my younger days where I would try and make my writing as Gothic as possible–little crosses or daggers for the “T”s for example. A note received from a blogging friend revealed more about her personality than all of our exchanges had–just from her loopy soft writing.

    My Christmas cards are always late but that is because I draw them and write each one. It makes me happy to do it!

  15. Of course I love the written word…I’m one to get completely OCD over dictionaries, thesauruses, stationary, pens, card stock, hand engraved invitations, etc. There is a tactile quality to print that obviously can’t be recreated on a computer. As much as I love my techie gadgets, I savor sitting by a fire and writing a note to someone I love in long hand. I love the “100 Gathered Thoughts” book above!! Another similar gift idea that a loved one gave me for Christmas was a small booklet they made (by hand–but you could type it on a computer if you had to!) that read, “100 Things I Love About _______” (my name was there in that blank space, but it could easily be Slim’s or any one dear to your heart.) And the 100 things were very simple. When my loved one got to a stumbling block, he wrote, “#46. We’re already on 46? or #59. We’re almost to 100!” So it’s fun to try but don’t think every 100 spaces has to be a specific quality of adoration. Anyway, Slim, thank you for writing on this topic. I am also a believer of books (stacked on the floor, piling over by the bedside table), cavernous libraries, and cursive writing. xx

  16. Beautiful as always – the handwritten word is a precious gift we give each other. There is nothing more personal we can give to each other than the gift of a letter and it is a gift. Someone who took the time to get out paper and pen and sit down and think only of you at that moment in time. I too love technology and get excited about each new advance that comes down the pike but to give up handwriting – never!

  17. I would even go so far as to say calligraphy is a “dear part” of my rituals….my mother’s handwriting at 88 years young is beautiful. Long live cursive. franki

  18. My Mother had the most beautiful calligraphic penmanship I’ve ever seen. What else will “they” take from this and future generations?

  19. I too love to put pen to paper. I can only hope that the powers that be over the education systems everywhere see the error in their judgment regarding teaching cursive before its too late.

    Love this post and the Sugarboo Notepad.


  20. Odd thoughts…so you are a “kiss, kiss” Slim signer. I am a “hug and a kiss hug and a kiss” signer. @Jim T…did you know “a French letter” is a euphemism? What will historians do with the lack of handwritten, personal correspondence? Thusly Slim inspired I think I should get back to my Christmas cards. xoxo Mo

  21. Beautiful post Slim! I, too, am a fan of the written word and saddened at the demise of cursive. I attended a french-immersion K-8 school and had to learn to write cursive with a fountain pen and blotter! In contrast, cursive writing was eliminated from my 10 year-old twins’ curriculum last year. Not only do they not write cursive, but they can’t read it either.

  22. Lovely post, Slim. I can’t imagine a more personal gift than the one you gave your husband. (I don’t know if mine would be as appreciative!)
    I look forward to your posts with your fun sense of humor and your beautiful photography, but this really touched me. The idea of omitting the learning of cursive is so sad…

  23. I couldn’t agree more about cherishing the hand-written word. When my husband and I were dating in college we wrote letters to each other every day in the summers when we were apart. We still have those letters. What mementos do today’s dating couples create to look back on in later years? I used to have a great pen pal relationship with my favorite cousins. It wasn’t until the early nineties that I began saving those letters because I had begun to perceive that this form of communication was in its death throes.

  24. my husband left yesterday for a 4 day business trip. When I got home I found a romantic, hand written note..What a joy,,
    The exact words in a text message just wouldn’t be the same

  25. I would peek at your blog periodically, but your 25 days are really hitting home. Now I have to check in before I go out each day – I’m hooked! I, too, love to write and receive notes. It is always so heartwarming to find a handwritten note sitting there for you in the morning or arriving with the mess in the mail. My kids are teenagers, but I still tuck one into their lunchbags now and then – not too often to embarass them!

  26. I love all this and, of course, shudder at the thought at our young’un not learning cursive writing. I loved, loved, loved my penmanship classes as a kid. Who amongst us during dull classes didn’t superstitiously practiced perfecting our autographs? My friends and I had autograph books, and I even had an autograph hound in the shape of a Dachshund that everyone in my third grade class envied. My teacher even signed it. Every year for my birthday I always got my monogrammed Crane stationary–in ‘Windermere’ blue-replenished, along with refills for my Parker Fountain Pen. One bummer note, though–as life marches on-my penmanship is sorely lacking in those soaring ‘S’s, and perfectly rounded ‘O’s . I can always spot a Boomer by their handwriting.

  27. I have a wall in my kitchen painted with chalkboard paint, writing on that wall is sadly almost the only time I do hand write. Sometimes I come home to find sweet notes from my partner written on the wall, even being written in pastel chalk it truly is so much sweeter than receiving an e-mail or text message.

    Great day 13 post Slim!

  28. Long live letters! My daughter’s stationery business is proof that people still want to connect through words on paper! Treasures! Your gift to your husband is beautifully made – straight from your beautiful heart!

  29. I’ve heard that hand-written letters will be the next collectable. I tried but could never imitate my mother’s beautiful cursive handwriting – each letter perfectly formed at the correct slant in straight horizontal lines. (Mine always inched toward the top right corner with each line) She passed away in February at age 92. Her hand was smooth and steady to the end. The letters I saved are choice treasures. My third grade students disliked learning cursive (complaints of cramped hands) but hopefully they’ll appreciate the experience in years to come. Merry Christmas!


  30. We are being attacked as decent human beings every day , our morals , our values ,
    common sense , this is just one more attack on traditions and conservatism .
    We are lucky to have someone like you in our lives , Thank you

  31. Couldn’t agree more that not teaching cursive in school is a bad idea. Although emails, texts and the like are handy often the meaning behind the text becomes lost or misconstrued. ,

  32. Wow!! Joe Cocker! I’d forgotten what a gritty soulful sound he made. Who would have thought something so rockin’ could have been made out of the anemic Box Tops (right?) version. I have now been propelled out to the kitchen to make Mexican wedding cookies.
    Thanks for the jolt of energy, Slim.
    And thank you too for your very much appreciated sanity, humor and elegance. Habitually Chic led me to you. What a happy find!
    PS Now I have to find all those past entries with music that I didn’t think I had time to listen to.

  33. Love everything about this post — I would be very sad to see cursive eliminated from the schools. Mine was never elegant, but it was mine. I’m addicted to buying each new sheet of stamps from the post office, love making cards and envelopes and will be late with the holiday cards because I want to write a note in each one. And, I adore Joe Cocker! Thank you.

Would love to hear from you!