Kennedy: Write a letter, lick a stamp, give the gift of encouragement

One day earlier this month, I dropped by the newsroom to check my mail.

The volume of snail mail has slowed to a trickle these days, but I still occasionally get a handwritten letter, and it always lifts my spirits.

For a certain generation of Times Free Press readers, a handwritten card or letter is still the apex of civilized communication, or more to the point, Southern manners.

A personal email, while always appreciated, is sterile in comparison to a letter.

Putting pen to paper, licking a stamp and dropping off a letter at a post office shows a level of investment that most people simply aren’t willing to make in 2020.

I’ve noticed that about 90% of postal letters are positive, usually either notes of thanks or congratulations.

Imagine my delight then, when my recent newsroom visit turned up not one but five pieces of handwritten mail.

I immediately

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HTSI editor’s letter: fashion, art and undercrackers

It seems a bit daft that, in 2020, the presence of a female designer at a major label should still be seen as something exceptional. But a look at the current fashion landscape finds comparatively few female creatives at the top. Even Mrs Prada – for so long a torchbearer for the feminists in fashion – has nominated a male designer, Raf Simons, to work alongside her at the brand. 

How To Spend It editor, Jo Ellison
How To Spend It editor, Jo Ellison © Marili Andre

When Maria Grazia Chiuri was appointed creative director of Dior womenswear in 2016, she became the first woman to lead the house in its near 70 years. Immediately, she stamped her agenda onto the fabric of her vision – her first look for the house featured a T-shirt that read “We should all be feminists”. But it is for another point of view that we have featured her this week.

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What is a gift letter for a mortgage?

Buying a home can be thrilling, but when it comes to saving enough money for a down payment, that thrill becomes complicated.



a group of people smiling and looking at the camera: A father and sons


© monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images
A father and sons

Many times, homebuyers turn to family and others to get enough cash upfront for a mortgage. In fact, 27 percent of homebuyers aged 22-29 and 20 percent of those aged 30-39 received gifts from relatives or friends to help with their down payment, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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These down payment gifts, while common, must be documented accurately in what’s known as a gift letter in order to be applied to a mortgage.

What is a gift letter for a mortgage?

A gift letter is a document that helps satisfy a mortgage lender’s requirement that a borrower’s down payment funds are coming from legitimate sources, explains Jessi Bostic, broker/owner of Kismet Lending in Salt Lake City. The

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