Monday, April 21, 2008

The Letters You Keep

On a shelf in my childhood bedroom there is a box full of letters. Letters from my mom and dad written to me at camp, letters from Mr. Bliss in those early dating days, an acceptance letter welcoming me into the university program that I so coveted admittance to, letters from my college girlfriends sent during summers spent at home. There is a beautiful letter that my parents wrote to me on the occasion of my college graduation that I will always treasure and that will, most likely, make me cry every single time I read it.

I have a new flock of letters to add to that box. The only problem is, I can't bring myself to tuck them away just yet. Being engaged is a wonderful thing. And my advice to the newly engaged is this: before the wedding planning has really begun, before you are dealing with logistics and budgets and checklists, enjoy those first two weeks when you are smiling non-stop and staring at your finger and dreaming about the life that you are about to build with your fiancee.

During those weeks, your mailbox will be full of lovely cards with heartfelt messages of congratulations and affection inside. They will come from likely sources - your favorite aunt, your best friends - and they will come from unlikely sources - friends you've lost touched with, former co-workers who've heard the news. Neighbors may bring you over a basket of cheese and wine to enjoy together, champagne will be gifted upon you, future bridesmaids will send you flowers and you may receive a distinct blue box in the mail that will catch you by surprise and make you smile as you think "this is the crystal bowl that will always remind me of this ridiculously happy time."

These are the letters and notes that I have kept for the past six months, and I can't bear to put away just yet.

Crane is holding a contest throughout the month of April (9 more days left!) celebrating the letters that we save and cherish throughout our lives. Tell your story here: and you could win $500 towards a Crane stationery wardrobe.

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