Letter Writing Day

Observed on December 7th, just two days before Christmas Card Day, Letter Writing Day is a holiday that encourages everyone to write letters to friends and family. Yes, we know that email, texts, and social media posts have almost replaced the age-old practice of writing letters.

We still think the practice of writing a letter is more personal and heartfelt than communicating by electronic means. So, anyone wanting to tell someone something extremely personal is going to want to give this holiday a try. Trust us, writing a letter is something worth taking a few moments out of your day to do.

The History of Letter Writing Day

Letter Writing Day was invented in 2014 by Richard Simpkin. At the end of the 1990s, Simpkin undertook the task of writing to some of the people he considered to be Australian legends.

People he felt should be remembered and the people he felt shaped Australia. People such as cricketer Sir Donald Bradman. He then took those letters and placed them in a book that he published in 2005 called “100 Australian Legends: The People Who Shaped a Nation.” Nine years later, he would go on to create World Letter Writing Day.

A Very Brief History of Letter Writing

Letters have existed since ancient times, and people in Ancient India, Egypt, Rome, Greece, and China have exchanged letters. These letters were written on different materials, including wooden and clay tablets, animal skins, papyrus, pottery fragments, and even metal.

Letter writing really began to pick up speed during the 17th and 18th centuries. Then, when the dip pen was invented in the middle of the 19th century, it became even more popular. It would remain popular until the invention of the telephone, and then, when electronic communication hit the scene in the mid to late 1990s, it saw another decrease in popularity.

Now, many people consider letter writing to be a lost art—one that doesn’t appear to be coming back ever again. It’s just too easy to send a text or email, so fewer people are writing letters.

Observing Letter Writing Day

If you want to take a few moments to participate in this holiday, then all you have to do is be willing to embrace the craft of letter writing. You can do this by writing letters to family, friends, and colleagues.

You can also celebrate this holiday by improving your own letter writing, by reading some of the books on the subject, or by taking a calligraphy course. Of course, if you want to make this day even more special, then you can read some of history’s most famous letters—many of which are easily found on the Internet.

This includes Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” from 1963; the letters to the police from Jack the Ripper in 1888; or Gandhi writing to Hitler to stop the war. Also, be sure to use the hashtag #WorldLetterWritingDay to spread the word about this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
December 7 Saturday
Next year (2025)
December 7 Sunday
Last year (2023)
December 7 Thursday
Activity & Action