Tuesday, June 01, 2010

in praise of Sunnygrams

Such a good thing.

Last year, we set Mom-in-Law up with a Sunnygram account. She has been receiving weekly, via snail mail - for real, hard-copy (yes, printed on paper!) newsletters. Each newsletter is filled with news and photos of - Mom-in-Law's family.

How to?
Those who are on her 'Sunnygram contact list' submit e-mails in her name to the Sunnygram company. Each week's submissions are then compiled by the Sunnygram service into a hard copy newsletter, which is then snail-mailed to M-I-L that same week. Newsletters are printed on heavy duty 8 1/2" x 11" paper, and have been anywhere from a page to five or more pages in length. Whether the newsletter is bulked up or skimpy fewer in pages depends entirely on how many e-mail submissions come in for the week. It also depends on the length of each one and how many photos are attached. Each newsletter entry is composed directly from the text and photos of the e-mails.

M-I-L doesn't have or use a computer. Nor does she wish to. Her preferred modes of communication with family have always been via in-person visits, phone calls or cards and letters sent through the postal service.

The reality is that before Sunnygram newsletters, Mom-In-Law wasn't always bombarded with regular communication from her brood, and would sometimes bemoan that fact. Sadly, she felt out of touch. Now, with weekly newsletter updates, M-I-L is more or less 'caught up' with family news/trivia. This makes for a very happy camper. No doubt she'd still love to get those visits, calls and cards --- but the newsletters serve as a nice bridge 'in between'.

The woman fairly raves about her newsletters. She eagerly awaits her weekly Sunnygram. If ever another positive testimonial was needed by the company...

For those of us on her Sunnygram 'senders list', it takes but a few seconds or minutes to create an e-mail note, with or without photos attached. Mom-in-Law appreciates long letters but one liners thrill her as well. She wants, very simply - to hear word. Thus, it behooves us senders to commit to a moment set aside each week to send a note. It really is as simple as sending a 'Twitter tweet' or a 'FB share'. Even the briefest word from those of us whose lives and schedules are so busy (much busier than M-I-L's is anymore) is important. It really does serve to brighten her days.

I bought a sturdy box, covered in a rich blue fabric, that, coincidentally, picks up the accent color of M-I-L's living and dining rooms (whooooohoooooo!). Gave it to her for Sunnygram storage. M-I-L's got those newsletters numbered and filed away in chronological order. Easily accessible. To read and re-read. Which she does.

When I go for a visit, I go through and read her Sunnygrams, so I too can find out what's up with the rest of the fam!



Lauren said...

Great idea to give her a box to store them in!

baffle said...

she's so into it.
and happy that you are a regular contributor.

House Dreams said...

you guys are the best!
Keep on doing the wonderful things you do!

Conn said...

fantastic... i used to print out my blog pages for granny... but that became a chore... and pages were cut off mid sentence.
this is a great idea. i must check it out. thanks for the inspiration.