In a world of instant gratification and hurry up gotta get there, sometimes it's easy to forget those little niceties that may seem to be from a time gone by. In reality, it is worth it to take a minute...
Before I was old enough to write a thank you note on my own, my mom would ask me to color a picture for the person we were sending a thank you to. When I was done, she would write a note from both of us on the back of my picture and send it to the person we were thanking. As a little kid, I'm not sure that I completely got the concept of gratitude yet but I understood that a thank you was a socially polite thing to do. When someone had us all over for dinner, we would send a thank you via snail mail. After a birthday party, we would send thank yous for gifts received.
When I was old enough to start writing my own thank you notes, my grandmother got me a small box of monogrammed stationary with the letter A printed in a lovely script on the front and a nice pen. When she gave them to me they came along with a conversation about why it's nice to send a thank you note. She spent some time explaining that when someone gives you a gift, they take the time to pick something that they think you'll enjoy, take the time to wrap it and so on. We are not only thanking them for the gift but for the thought, their kindness and for remembering us on an important occasion. Ok, so at this age I understood much more what it meant to be grateful.
As an adult in a digital world who receives entirely too much junk mail (a topic for another day), my heart races when I see a handwritten personal piece of snail mail correspondence in my pile of mail. It doesn't matter if it's an invitation, a thank you note or a letter - even a postcard makes me happy. A thank you note in particular warms my heart. This is physical proof that someone appreciates something I did for them. It's a mini form of validation -- not only is it gratitude, it is a mini reflection of a kindness I extended to someone else. In this crazy world that is such a nice little thing to experience. As an adult I totally understand the concept of being grateful -- expressing as well as doing kind things for those I care about.
So before you brush aside the idea of doing thank you notes this holiday season or anytime really. Think twice. Thank you notes should be quick and fun not drudgery -- so be yourself. You're not writing War and Peace - short and sweet totally gets the job done! You can use whatever stationary you like and postcards work great too. Pick a pen you like writing with and some pretty stamps. Make it a fun event. (Nope, it's not ok to send an email thank you note.) A thank you note isn't the place to share other
news, ask for recipes or talk about other topics. A thank you note is
just to say thank you.
Here's what makes up a good thank you -- hoping to make writing little thank yous of your own as painless as possible.
• say hello
• say thank you
• mention how you'll use the item
• mention seeing them (past or future)
• thank them again
• sign off
Here's an example that does all those things;
It was great to see you at the holiday party. Thank you so much for the custom handmade scarf and mittens. They're absolutely beautiful and your master knitting skills totally show - you know blue is my fave color! I can't wait for it to get cold again so I can wear them to the outdoor skating rink.
*for information about the cards shown, just click on the images
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