What is it about the handwritten note? I know I love it when I receive one. I keep a basket full of the notes and cards that I have received because some days, I just need an "atta girl" and even an old one will do the trick.
Unfortunately, I am not as prolific at writing them. If I love it...wouldn't someone else? I often have good intentions, but don't get around to it. I need to develop the habit of always having a stash of notes with me, so that when moved to do so, I can jot a quick note while the thought rests on my heart. This is more of a process issue for me, than an inventory issue...plenty of cards, but I am a purse-changer...so I would need to take special care to make sure I move them to the purse-of-the-day (an incentive might be an extra point during one of those purse-inventory/scavenger games that we all love to play at bridal and baby showers).
In this era of text messages, IMs and emails, the note written by hand stands out. Is it because it is unique due to your penmanship (or lack thereof), while any email looks like any old email? Is it the appreciation that someone took the time to pick out the paper or card, look up your mailing address and actually went to the expense of the stamp?
Now, I'm not saying that it is not OK to email your thoughts and appreciation...to shoot a text message that says "Ur Gr8! Thx!" Those are certainly better than doing nothing. And, they are both convenient. But, next time you want to express some heartfelt gratitude for a friendship...an act of kindness...the services of your child's volunteer coach...the time or effort for that person at church who seems to do everything and be everywhere...why not take the time to grab a card and a pen. You will be rewarded with their appreciation for doing something that seems to be so unique these days. And, maybe they will tuck that envelope into a book and get to relive that feeling every time they see it. What a gift to give someone!