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One of things my mom managed to instill in me while I was growing up was the necessity of writing thank you letters. If I had been a guest at someone's home or received a gift from someone, it was good manners and a courtesy to respond to it with a written thank you note. Writing cards or letters at all seems to be gradually becoming a lost art, which is a shame since getting "real" mail in the post is one of the nicest ways to make someone's day. Over the years I've gotten several surprised and grateful thank you responses to MY thank you cards, which is a pretty clear indicator that such courtesies are not necessarily commonplace any longer.

One of the things on my 6-year-old nephew's Christmas wish list this year (among all the PlayStation and Xbox and Wii requests) is to get "Mail every day." Wouldn't that be lovely? Mail every day! And I don't think he means bills and junk mail and advertising and more bills. I think he means cards and letters from his friends and family. What more could you want for Christmas?

I haven't written a lot about politics here or the election, but I couldn't sleep for 2 nights running for worrying that the crushing disappointment of 8 years ago (4 years ago I was just numb) would be repeated. I have been less and less proud of the government of my country over the past near-decade and less and less willing to admit my nationality to strangers or other foreigners. As a military brat who has spent a great deal of my life overseas, not being proud to be an American has been a horrible feeling, and I am thrilled that I can once again hold my head up high.

President-elect Obama has a hard road ahead of him. The uphill battle is nowhere near over and the magnitude of the mess he has to begin cleaning up must seem staggering. I hope he can continue to handle the weight of so many people's hopes and that the American people will realize that THEY have only done the first part of their job. It's up to all of us to help him get the job done.

I suspect that Mr. Obama's mailbox is overflowing with mail, both with the thank you kind and the good luck kind, along with every other kind of mail you could ever imagine. There's another one coming shortly from Sweden, courtesy of my half-Swedish, half-American daughter, karinek: Letter to the President

And this post is mine: Thank you, Barack. Thank you so much.

Cracking Me Up: Obama Comes Out as French
mood: optimistic
music: Corrinne May—Beautiful Seed


getting "real" mail in the post is one of the nicest ways to make someone's day. You need to add a disclaimer: "except when it contains a jar of Vegemite" :)

I was taught the same thing and I do this as a matter of course. But yes, sadly card and letter writing is becoming a dying art. I notice this especially at this time of year as I prepare my Christmas card list. Your nephew is one very smart little boy - it gives one hope for the future and for the written word.

I loved Karin's letter and I join you in ushering in Barack Obama as the new president.

Even letters with Vegemite are MODERATION. Heh.

Aaaw, that made me tear up..

Me, too :)

That Karin, she's a pretty awesome kid. :)

Thanks! I think they both are :)

Karin and Martin have BLOGS? How cool!

Of COURSE they do! :D ...they don't write in them very often, just now and then, but I think that's enough for kids their age :)

Way to go Karin and Liz! As the father of girls Karin's age, I'm sure those are the kind of letters he most appreciates.

I suspect it will get lost in the mountains of mail, but still it was fun that she wanted to do it.

Loved what you wrote...

I have been in OBAMA delirium for days here....happiness, total happiness...and homesick too...I want to be THERE to FEEL IT! Feel the joy of the people in my country!

Waiting for the vote and then the results was like waiting to give birth! (minus the pain...nearly)

Karin's letter is lovely...sorry I couldn't post the account barrier didn't like anything I tried to enter and I'm too tired to work more on it now.

Karin, I'm sure Barack Obama will be so pleased to receive your letter! He's a good man who will do great things for the USA and the world!

Thank you for sharing!

karin's letter!!

karin's letter made my day!! wow-- thank you for sharing that!

and oh, I am so badf about writing thank you notes-- or writing letters at all, in fact, I'm pretty sure I owe you at least a half dozen *thump on the head to me* I do need to address this-- HA, pun for you, my friend!!


Re: karin's letter!!

HAR! I want mail every day for Christmas, too! :D

i was also raised with sending handwritten thank you notes for any gifts received- be it by mail or at a party etc. i also was taught to send a small something when i have been a guest at someone's house (flowers, etc). it amazes me how many people don't send cards. getting snail mail has to be one of the nicest feelings in the entire world.

loved k's letter.

I agree about snail mail. It totally brightens one's day :)

I love the thrill of real mail as well... in fact, I'm planning on a lovely little letter-writing session later this morning. Karin's letter to Obama is beautiful! Judging by the reams of hate-mail that I myself have received from friends and family just for supporting Obama, I can start to imagine what he must be going through -- the elation of being elected tempered by the horrible sentiments of ardent Republicans. Oy. (I may be proud to be an American right now, but I am thoroughly ashamed to be from Texas. In my defense, though, I moved away as soon as I could!) Thank you and your precious daughter for supporting a great man through an incredibly tough time!

I am really sorry that your family and friends are treating you so badly for having different beliefs than they do. :( That is really sad. I hope you can rise above it.

Well... I'm definitely learning maturity, restraint, and how to grow a few new layers of skin. The good news in all this is that my husband and I have all the influence in the world over our own daughters and can hopefully teach them the open-mindedness and social consciousness lacking in some of the other people we know. Plus, I resolutely believe that love wins. Their attitudes will get them nowhere. Okay, off my soapbox now. :) And thanks for the address!

I was going to say, that in a situation like that, I guess the best and only thing you can do is to "be a duck"...let it roll off your back. You can't change their minds, and it's not worth letting it crush you.

Oh, and would you mind telling me the mailing address for Obama fan mail? I have a little girl who might be interested. :)

We sent it to the DC address on his Senate page:

Is it ok if I show this to my mom, she's going to melt. We both appreciate the sincerity and beauty that is seeing the world through a child's eyes.

Thanks for sharing Liz!

Of course! Feel free to share ;)


When I first read your post, I thought, wouldn't it be neat if you nephew received letters from all sorts of people around the world who read your blog? Kind of like a postcard "chain letter" project that people used to pass around all the time.

Then I got to Karin's letter and just melted. It's perfect. I had had stress in my shoulder for days starting late last week. And then Wednesday I realized it was gone. I kept wondering what was causing the stress, and I guess now it was actually the election - who knew? I, too, hope Americans realize that we all have to help Obama succeed.


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