I love creative ideas that keep correspondence with my family and friends fresh yet short. But sometimes, my creative juices need a jumpstart.
Family and friends don’t always live close. Those that do still like the quick connections that social media brings.
My grandkids are growing up and finding their way in life. Grandma isn’t always on their radar, and she shouldn’t be. But Grandma still wants to be a part of their lives, even if it’s long distance.
Relationships are important! Especially as we grow older and realize that our time for nurturing meaningful relationships is slipping away.
Here are some things that keep my notes fresh, short, and encouraging. Use them in text messages, emails, postcards, letters, gift tags, or cards.
Include a photo
1. Recently, I sent a morning text message to each of my granddaughters with a simple note saying, “Just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you at school today. And I promise not to bribe anyone with this photo.”
Attached was one of their baby pictures.
The youngest quickly responded with, “Is that me?!”
Others sent emoji hearts or a quick “I love you too” message.
Tada … instant Grandma – granddaughter moments.
2. I also make my own gift tags, and they often include a fun photo of the person instead of their name.
I insert the photo into a document, shrink it, print it out in color on my printer, then cut it out and paste it onto a gift tag or card. Easy Peasy.
3. When I travel, I send postcards with photos of where we’re staying to my family with a funny antidote about the trip. BTW, I still have my mom’s postcards from her travels with my dad saved in a box. Priceless!
4. Occasionally attach a photo when writing a quick email. Family and friends appreciate seeing a visual reference to what you’re sharing, even if it’s just a photo of you and your pet.
5. Memes are great to attach to text messages or social media messages if the meme is funny or encouraging. The key is to know what your recipient finds entertaining or helpful.
Make your correspondence personal
Does your mind ever go blank just when you sit down to write a letter or card, especially when you want to make a personal connection? Me too. Brain fog is a drag.
I figure I’m not the only one with that problem, so here are some sentence starters to help you get past that roadblock. Just fill in the blank and add a few sentences to complete the thought.
6. My favorite memory of you is _________________________..
7. It always makes me smile when I see you ______________.
8. I can always count on you to _______________________.
9. I love how you always encouraged me by __________________.
10. I’m so glad you’re my (mom, sister, grandchild, friend) because _____________________.
Use questions wisely
I’ve learned that most people don’t appreciate a list of questions they may feel obligated to answer. So, use them wisely and with purpose.
Here are some sample questions for your quick correspondence with family and friends.
11. Real quick…I’m updating my prayer list. Anything you’d like me to be praying about for you?
12. I heard you’re sick. How can I help? I’m available to run errands, drop by some meals, or babysit.
13. How did the interview (date, doctor’s appointment, dinner, trip, etc.) go? Catch me up when you have a few minutes.
14. It seems like ages since we chatted. I’ve missed you. When would be a good time to call or meet for coffee?
15. How does your calendar look for getting together for (name a holiday, a family gathering, a lunch out with friends, etc.)?
There you go–fifteen creative ideas to jumpstart your correspondence with family and friends. Enjoy the process of strengthening your most important relationships.
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