Beanstalk Paperie
Patricia Shannon

As long as gifts are given and received, the handwritten note will never die in the South. Why? Because Southerners know there’s only one appropriate way to thank someone for a gift: with a handwritten thank you note.

Down South, we start them young. It’s not unusual for a new mom to order baby his first set of personalized stationery before the birth announcement hits mailboxes. The first few years, Mom will pen the notes and adorably sign “Love, Jackson” in her elegant cursive script. He’ll take over his correspondences once he’s able to hold a pen and form a few letters, though; mom will likely need to translate the scribble in small type within parenthesis at the bottom of the card.

From there, Southern children are instructed to pen handwritten letters to their friends and families for occasions big and small. We send notes of condolences, notes of congratulations, thank you notes (of course), and notes just because. You see, we have a lot to say and we take the art of handwritten letters seriously.

We have stationery for spring and summer, stationery for fall, and stationery for the holiday season. While we didn’t necessarily invent the Christmas letter, Southerners have staked our claim to this holiday rite of passage. Everything from the handwritten cards to the stamps will be painstakingly selected. If the Post Office runs out of Nativity scene stamps and a Southerner is left with no other appropriately festive choice, she will always defer to the American flag stamp. It’s a classic.

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When a Southerner falls in love, he knows there’s nothing quite as romantic as handwritten love letters. And, if said lovebird suddenly comes down with a case of writer’s block, he won’t let that keep him from putting pen to paper. Southerners looking for inspiration for just the right words can look to these romantic sayings for inspiration. No need to thank us, but if you do, just make sure it’s handwritten.

When letters are handwritten, there’s no spell check aside from our good ole eyes. How keen is your grammar prowess? Take a look through this letter to find out.