5 Steps to the Perfect Mother’s Day Letter 8

Mother's Day LettersMother’s Day is just around the corner.  Are you ready?  Too many college students these days forget to give their mother a present for Mother’s Day.  In the busyness of life, it is easy, much too easy, to forget until it is “too late”.  First, it never is too late.  Your mother will appreciate a late present more than she would no present.  Second, giving your mother a gift should be made a priority.  Giving your mother a present shows her that you love and appreciate her.  Often, children will send their mother flowers, a box of chocolates, or a short card.  While this is better than nothing, the best present is a real, handwritten letter.  A pre-written, store-bought card with your signature is simply not enough.

A true, well-crafted letter is a large endeavor.  Set aside at least an hour to write your Mother’s Day letter.  Fill you letter with quotes, Bible verses, personal thoughts, and childhood memories.  If you feel like it is taking too long, simply remember that your mother will probably treasure this letter for the rest of her life.

Brainstorm

Before you even start writing, brainstorm ideas of points to include.  Write down specific things that you love about your mother, special memories from your childhood, things that make you think of your mother, quotes and Bible verses that remind you of your mother, and ways that your mother excelled in raising you.

Plan Your Letter

Rather than simply writing your thoughts in a random order, plan your letter logically.  A letter can be written in semi-essay format.  Below is an example planning outline for a mother’s day letter:

Introduction – Greetings, Introduce Topic

Paragraph I

Paragraph II

Paragraph III

etc. – Continue for each paragraph

Conclusion – Recap the points covered in your paragraph, and restate your love.

Your planning outline helps you order your thoughts logically, but do not feel like you have to strictly adhere to it. It is simply a guide which you are free to modify as you write the letter. For example, you might want to write two paragraphs on one topic, or you might find that you do not have enough information for a certain paragraph. Feel free to modify the outline to fit the information that you have available.

Write the Rough Draft

On your computer, write your letter’s first draft.  Instead of slowly making each individual sentence perfect as you go, concentrate on simply getting your thoughts on paper.  If you have a trouble with a particular sentence leave a blank space and continue with the rest of the letter.  You can come back to the difficult sections later after you have finished the rest of the letter.  Your goal in this stage of letter crafting is to get your thoughts on paper.

Edit Your Letter

Now, go back to all the trouble spots on your rough draft and fix them.  Use spell check to find any misspellings.  Use a thesaurus to replace any vague wording.  Vary your sentence patterns.  For example, instead of starting all your sentences with the subject, add sentence openers such as, “When [something happened]…”, In [some location]…”, “With [some person]…”, etc.  Another way to vary your sentence patterns is by using what is called a rhetoric question.  For instance, “Do you remember when [something happened]?”  Using these different techniques will make your letter easier to read and, therefore, more of a treasure.
Once you think that your letter is perfect, read it out-loud.  It is amazing how many more mistakes can be found when a letter is read out-loud.  While you are reading, check for grammar errors, incorrect words, and difficult wording.  By the time you are done reading the letter out-loud it should be almost perfect.

Fountain Pen

Write the Letter

Now that your letter’s content has been written, it is time to had write the final copy that you plan to send.  You might be wondering, “Why can’t I email or print the letter off my computer – isn’t it the same?”.  While it is the same content, a handwritten letter shows love and care that a computer-printed letter can never replace.  We all know that getting a real, paper, handwritten letter in the mail is much more exciting than receiving an email, or even a computer-printed letter.  Printed letters are excellent for business communication, but handwritten letters are far superior for personal contact.

Get out a piece of card stock paper, find a black pen (or better yet, an old-fashioned fountain pen), and write your letter.  Make sure to follow proper letter format, and write in cursive rather than printing.  Once you are done, fold your letter, put it in an envelope, and send it via snail mail or deliver it by hand.  This loving, personal letter will be treasured and kept long after the flowers would have wilted or the box of chocolates would have been eaten.

What do you think about Mother’s Day letters?

Photos by Chantal and Irargerich, respectively.

8 thoughts on “5 Steps to the Perfect Mother’s Day Letter

  1. Reply Sudeep May 8,2009 6:54 AM

    Hello
    Ohh this blog post just made my day . Thanks for this excellent piece of advice for writing mother’s day letter .I always preferred letter to a gift or roses and stuff . Unluckily even emails do not have that same affection as do letters have.Thanks once again
    Regards
    Sudeep

  2. Reply Vin | NaturalBias.com May 9,2009 7:30 AM

    Great article! Letting other people know how and why you care for them is one of the most inspiring gifts you can give.

    I think this idea can still be very effective with a typed letter. I recently started using the American Greetings website to make my own card which allows me to type my own message in it, and if you don’t use too large of a font, there is enough room to write a letter.

    While a typed letter may not appear as personal, it allows the opportunity for more editing and rewording which can ultimately result in getting your message across more clearly. To me, that’s the most important factor in writing a letter, and to make sure I do a good job of it, I’m willing to sacrifice a bit on the risk of it being viewed as impersonal.

  3. Reply Nate Desmond May 9,2009 7:35 AM

    @ Vin

    You are right – it is important to edit your letter. If you noticed in my article, steps 3 & 4 were writing and editing on the computer and then step 5 was copying to a handwritten letter. The computer is a great place to edit your letter.

    Thanks,
    Nate

  4. Reply Vin | NaturalBias.com May 9,2009 7:46 AM

    That’s what I get for reading too fast! Sorry about that! It’s a good example for college students to avoid doing the same. 🙂

    I especially like your suggestion to read out loud. I do that all the time with my blog posts and it’s amazing how many akwardly worded sentences I discover as a result.

  5. Reply Nate Desmond May 9,2009 7:48 AM

    @ Vin

    No problem, I make the same mistake all the time. 🙂

  6. Reply Rachel May 9,2009 1:39 PM

    What a sweet idea Nate, and excellent tips to make sure that the letter is just perfect.

    I’m rather old fashioned in that I always write with a fountain pen. There is something rather beautiful about carefully formed writing in ink on thick, luxurious card stock.

    Thanks again for a lovely post.

  7. Reply Vicki@collegeparentcentral May 11,2009 6:30 PM

    Mother’s Day is over, but this is a wonderful post and good advice for any special occasion. I know I’ve rarely kept the e-mails my college aged children have written, but I still have almost every single card or hand-written note. They’re just plain special.

    Also, except for the hand-written final stage, this is good advice for any writing project – school paper, business letter, or even e-mail. Planning ahead and editing makes an enormous difference in the final product.

    Thanks for a great post!

  8. Reply liz May 5,2011 8:35 AM

    I did a search for how to write the “Perfect mother’s day letter”, in hopes of getting some pointers from the oh so great and powerful Internet. To my surprise, such an article exists.. THANKS!

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