It’s my favorite time of year – otherwise known as the “hey kids stop playing with those new toys until all of the thank you notes are written! Yes, that means YOU playing Just Dance on the Wii and YOU with the headphones in listening to your new iPod Nano and YOU playing Mozart on your new baby grand..oh and YOU drinking coffee like you have 4 new coffee gift cards and YOU too(me) wondering why Santa never fills your stocking.”
Writing and sending a Thank You card is the single most amazing thing you can do as a human being – really. I start them young and remember fondly my mother rounding us up, setting us at the table with our list, cards, stamps and her address book. And can I say I am so glad I have 2 writers/readers now as my part of the job is so much easier.
Now, instead of getting the hand-cramps myself – I just give them the old evil eye to make sure they are getting it done,and reiterate the importance of this practice of humanity.
Funny thing is, Eloise LOVES writing thank you notes..her thank yous from her birthday were works of art…and if she doesn’t receive a thank you from a friend for a gift she gave – she will ask them why she never received a proper thank you card. Perhaps not proper etiquettte..but still.
Eloise would like to share some tips on a proper thank you card…
Example of a BAD thank you note
Thank you for the money.
Example of a PROPER thank you note..
Thank you so much for the money. You are so sweet to remember my birthday. I plan to use the money to pay for some iTunes for my new iPod. I hope to see you soon as I miss you so much. Are you getting snow in New Mexico? We have lots of snow here.
Each thank you note should have a nice greeting, a sincere thank you, a personal mention of why you appreciate the gift and/or what you plan on using the gift for, and perhaps another personal mention of them – like “I hope you are feeling well” or “enjoy your vacation” or “how’s your golf game”..and then a nice signature. Notes should be hand-written and mailed – not emailed or phoned in. And it’s even really nice to add a cute sticker on the outside of the envelope.
When my grandmother died 5 years ago – what her daughters found were boxes and boxes of boxes of almost every handwritten note she ever received. My mom delivered to me a large box of every note, card, post card AND thank you note that I ever wrote to her. It was so amazing to see my 8 year old self in those thank you notes to her – with swirly letters and hearts dotting my ‘i’s’. To think these thank you notes were so important to her that she saved them forever.
In the generation of email, text, IM and twitter – the handwritten note is mainly a thing of the past..but please, never let the proper thank you note go by the wayside – sit those kids down, even at 2 years old and show them what you are doing..and do it every time until they can do it themselves. Let them know why it’s important.
So what are your thoughts on thank you notes – do you do them? Do you have your kids do them?