I’m a HUGE believer in thank you notes. Just like I’m a HUGE believer in the RSVP! Call me old-fashioned, but I believe thank you notes are a must. And, I don’t mean via text, email or other digital platforms. Sure, it’s easy to shoot off a quick text or email to say thank you, but nothing replaces the simple and meaningful gesture of a handwritten note. There’s just something magical and refreshing about opening the mailbox to find something other than junk mail in it.
I was raised in a household where we sat down and wrote a thank-you note within one week of receiving a gift. Boy, did I loathe having to sit down and painstakingly write out those notes of appreciation–especially since it was one of those “because I told you so” tasks. It wasn’t until I received a package of my deceased grandmother’s belongings recently that I realized the magnitude of just how much those thank you notes were appreciated. My grandmother had held on to several of our thank notes from our childhood. I was completely overwhelmed by the number of memories that came rushing back to me as I read through the notes and I couldn’t believe my grandmother had kept them all those years.
Take a moment to think about why we write thank you notes. When you take the time to write out a note, you’re telling someone that they are worth the extra effort. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out…just a simple note of your appreciation. You are letting that person know that you received the gift and you are acknowledging the time and energy put into the finding the gift. Also, there is no better way to develop an attitude of gratitude than by writing a thank you note. It is easy to think about what we do not like about a gift, but when we sit down to write a note we have to find a way to be grateful and express that gratefulness.
Short. Sweet. To the Point.
Most of my friends still write thank you notes. There were two common excuses for those that do not. The first excuse was time. Who the heck has time to sit down and write a bunch of thank you notes… especially when you have a gazillion other things to get done. This one is tough for me too. But, to help alleviate the stress I spread the task out over several days and I always make sure to have thank you cards on hand. My favorite place to buy them: the dollar spot at Target! They aren’t fancy, but they let me say thank you without breaking the bank. The second excuse was “I have no idea what to write without being repetitive.” Writer I am not, so I feel you on this one. Remember, the note doesn’t have to be long and complicated. Make it short, sweet and personal. A quick search on Pinterest led me to several blogs and posts offering steps to write a heartfelt, but short thank you note. Here’s one my favorites…
Getting the Kids to Write Thank You Notes
How about the kids? How do we teach them the art of writing a thank you note when some of them can’t even write yet?? Again, I stress the importance of instilling in them (and ourselves) the attitude of gratitude. By having our kids write thank you notes (or help in the process) we are teaching them to be appreciative. I have younger kids, so this can definitely be a stressful and arduous task. My oldest can’t write more than a few sentences without it taking an hour, so I write the letters (with his help) and have him sign them. As he gets more proficient at writing, I plan on using something like these adorable fill-in-the-blank thank you notes that have prompts.
So, what are your thoughts on the thank you note? Timeless tradition or a huge waste of time?