Love letters: 'Like a hug and a kiss on a piece of paper'

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Writing a love letter is one of the most romantic gestures.
Photo / Thinkstock
Writing a love letter is one of the most romantic gestures. Photo / Thinkstock

A 20-something Chilean traveller recently walked into a fancy stationery store in Auckland. He purchased three pieces of delicate cotton paper, an envelope and a wax seal. He was writing his girlfriend back home in South America a love letter.

Red Letter Day owner, Lindy MacDonald fondly remembers the romantic man who was going to have one gushing girl on Valentine's Day.

"It is just your personal communication with your lover to say you've taken the time to say, 'you are so important to me'," says the paper passionate wordsmith from Matakana.

MacDonald has always loved the art of letter writing and when she met her pen-collecting husband from Scotland, the pair decided to open a stationery store selling "exquisite writing instruments, accessories and stationery".

They recently opened a second store in Ponsonby and MacDonald believes a boom in letter writing is on the horizon.

"Technology has taken over and it's easy to send an email... but it then becomes very impersonal."

It's this, she says, that is fuelling a resurgence in getting out a pen and paper and sending someone your thoughts.

And there's no greater romantic gesture than sending and receiving a hand written love letter, she says.

"When you see a handwritten note or letter or card you can actually see the effort and the personality of that writer," she says.

"When you see ink on paper you can actually feel the thought and the sincerity and the time that somebody's taken who's thinking about you, you have that in the back of your mind as you're reading that letter.

"A letter or a very well written card is better than going into a shop and spending ex-amount of dollars and getting them to wrap it and you to give it - any monkey can do that.

"It's personal as a couple. It's almost like a hug and a kiss on a piece of paper. It's what you've laughed about together, how somebody makes you a complete couple. How joyous it is to be in that relationship. At the end of the day love is what makes the world go around.

"The feel of the paper, the weight of the paper, that's important to me. But really, in the general scheme of things, the important thing is to have it written.

"It is absolutely the sentiment behind it. The words have to come from your heart. You don't have to use really purple prose or flowery language to be hear. You use the words that are your words.

Tips for writing a love letter:

* Write the date at the top of the page - this gives the note a meaningful time stamp.

* Use your own words. You don't have to be a poet to express your feelings.

* Recall fond memories of your time together. Tell the person how they made you feel.

* Pick some special stationery - something that reflects the receiver's taste will let them know you went that extra mile.

* Keep it personal using nicknames and insider gags that you share.

* Throw a few hugs and kisses on the bottom - they always go down a treat. Lipstick kisses and a spritz of your signature scent are cheesy optional extras.

Have you ever written or received a love letter? Do you have any tips for writing one?

Nicky Park

Editor of Life & Style.

Nicky lives to wine, dine and thrive. As Life & Style Editor at the New Zealand Herald online, she feels lucky she can call this work. Nicky crafted her writing skills as a cadet for an Australian news wire. Amongst the coverage of sport, news, finance and courts she found a favourite in features. A stint as a foreign correspondent sent this chipper Aussie across the Tasman, covering the big issues of the Pacific Islands. Every single day Nicky relishes the opportunities she has to mix and mingle with interesting people, feast on delicious food, visit new places and write all about it. Nicky wants everyone to make the most of their minutes, learn lots and live their best life.

Read more by Nicky Park

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