Keeping in Touch Tuesday: New Year’s Cards

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A Pleasure to Meet You
Happy New Year Everyone! My name is Samara, and I’ll be with you every Tuesday here at Tranquility du Jour. I’m thirty years old, live just outside Phialdelphia, PA, and I have a penchant for the written word. Even though we no longer technically need it, there is still a magic that takes place when pen meets paper and that enchanted act will continually—but not exclusively—inspire this blog. Here are my thoughts on what Tuesdays will look like (I am open to your thoughts):

The Plan for Keeping in Touch Tuesdays
In our world of fast food and faster communication, I’d like to remind everyone of the importance of corresponding slowly and effectively with other people and also, believe it or not, with yourself. There are ample of ways of getting in touch with friends and strangers alike these days, but many of the means to do so lend to more distance and misunderstanding. Every Tuesday, I will write a blog that emphasizes thoughtful ways to communicate with friends and family as well as with yourself.

This Week
I will take an every-other-week approach to this blog. One week will cover communicating with other people through old-fashioned letters, phone calls, and long walks. I’ll also discuss the language of gifts—suggesting gifts that are low in monetary value and high in generosity.

The next week, I’ll discuss the importance of keeping in touch with yourself through reading, journal writing, spiritual quests, and solitude. I believe solitude is our greatest loss in the digital age. As long as there’s a computer or an iPhone nearby, one never has to be alone. But being alone is oh so good for the soul.

New Year’s Cards
To get us started, I’ll begin with a keeping-in-touch practice that I discovered two years ago. It’s sending New Year’s cards. Don’t be afraid, New Year’s cards aren’t the major act that Christmas cards are. It’s simple, thoughtful, and well received. Most card outlets sell New Year’s cards these days—Target has a nice selection. And so you buy a stack—there are usually six – ten cards in a pack—and send them to six or ten of your friends. It’s not a matter of picking favorites among your friends and family, it’s a matter of considering who could use the message most. Do you know someone who had a rough 2009? Or perhaps there’s a person you’ve been meaning to get back in touch with forever. There’s no time like the present! I love the sentiment of a New Year’s card. It’s like saying Happy Fresh Start! Happy New Beginning! The possibilities are still endless!

Pick a morning or evening and have some music on in the background (I recommend the new Norah Jones album), or keep things quiet if you prefer. If you’re a tea aficionado like me, then tea is a must. Take a deep breath and write. Fill the cards with warmth and well wishes. Put a piece of yourself in each one. Dropping the cards off in the mailbox will feel like major accomplishment, I assure you.

My favorite part of sending New Year’s cards is that no one is expecting them. The hectic holidays are over, and everyone is recovering. Here, you have an opportunity to pleasantly surprise someone. If you’re up for doing this, you have the entire month of January. I walk around saying “Happy New Year,” until Valentine’s Day.

The Chosen One If the idea of six – ten cards exhausts you, then I recommend sending at least one. Find a blank piece of paper and start someone’s year (not to mention your own) off right. An old friend. A new friend. Perhaps even the person you live with—if you’ve lost touch with him or her lately. Pick a person. Any person. Send good vibes through the mail.

Samara O’Shea is an author and professional letter writer. Visit her Web site at and follow her on Twitter.