Writing paper should never be ruled, illustrated, perfumed, even lightly decorated, oddly shaped or folded. Exception: Very small children may use all kinds of amusing, colored, ruled, and illustrated paper, provided it is not vulgar. The prime reason is practical: if a paper delights a child, it makes the task of writing less painful; ruled lines help him in another way.
Vogue’s Book of Etiquette and Good Manners
Condé Nast Publications Inc. (1969)
As young mothers, Ellen and I spent countless hours of cajoling, wheedling, nagging and threatening to get our children to write thank you notes. We knew it was our job to instill the virtue of thankfulness into our offspring as we tried to put them on the path to good manners and good citizenship. Ellen invoked the you can’t use your present until its thank you note has been written rule to persuade her children (usually successfully) to accomplish this obligation promptly. Having delightful stationery on hand for a child to use for the thank you’s makes a mother’s job of navigating her children through the social graces just a bit easier.
I recently stumbled on a reference to Vogue’s Book of Etiquette and Good Manners (1969 edition) and just had to have a copy of my own. While some of the examples of proper etiquette seem charming and quaint in the 20-teens, many other observations still ring true. This purple linen-covered tome (it weighs about 4½ lbs.) provides rules for daily living and special events, as well as the history and/or logic, behind the rules.
When it comes to stationery back in the late 1960s, Vogue provides several pages filled with descriptions about the use of formal v. informal and men’s v. women’s, as well as house stationery. Since most business correspondence is now done by email, many of the finer points listed have become superfluous, but the book’s practical reason for children’s stationery is as true today as it was almost 50 years ago.
Vogue’s idea of delightful children’s stationery in 1969
The Gracious Posse’s stationery site offers some delightful modern choices for boys and girls with lots of appealing color choices.
Start your correspondents at a tender age. Choose the Super Slab (7.2″ x 8.5”), pair with a box of crayons and let them draw a thank you note.
Letting children help choose their stationery design is even more likely to encourage them to actually write the notes once they arrive. Sit together at the computer to select the perfect design, color and sometimes even the font.
Speaking of arrival, the host of our stationery site, Embossed Graphics, turns orders around quickly. We have been impressed with how fast customers have been receiving their personalized stationery and napkins. If you want help in choosing your selections and/or ordering, we are happy to assist. Simply email Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is always easier to exercise your good manners and send that thank you note when you have stationery that suits your personal style to a t. Children feel the same way. Making it a delight to write a thank you note when a child is young will help instill a good habit that will serve the child for a lifetime and keep mom from turning into a nag.
March 9, 2017