I’m a big fan of thank you notes.
When someone gives me a gift, I want them to know how grateful I am.
Now truth be told, I’m not always consistent in sitting down and penning a lovely note sharing my appreciation. Sometimes, life pulls me in too many directions submerging me in too many distractions that ultimately gain priority over the note. It happens. But for the most part, I will make sure to sit down and write a note or send a message of gratitude, just to make sure they know how much I value their thoughtfulness, their gift, their generosity.
When I give other people gifts, I don’t have such expectations. I really don’t. I’m just excited to give… It’s a really wonderful feeling, isn’t it?
I love that.
When I do receive a thank you note, it often catches me by surprise and immediately warms my heart and confirms to me that I did give a good gift after all, and they appreciate it.
I really do love that too.
I’ve actually come close several times, to sending a thank you note back to thank them for their beautiful thank you note. Crazy, I know. But sometimes, that‘s how much it touches me to get them.
I actually think thank you notes are exquisite and incredibly significant, in any shape or form or scratchy penmanship. Gratitude is good.
I make my kids write thank you notes, whenever they receive gifts. They know that after Christmas or birthdays, they will be sitting at the table, pen in hand with multiple cards to complete. They don’t enjoy this task, because it’s laborious and time consuming… But they get it. They know that this is simply what you do, when you are blessed with people in your life who give you gifts.
You thank them.
I’m always so impressed when my kids bring home thank you notes that have been written by their friends, after their friends have a birthday party. It pleases me so, to see the misspelled, sloppy words that still beautifully give the same message of gratitude. Their parents get it too.
I also adore every personal hand written thank you note that every teacher has given in response to gifts we have given them.
What great role models they are…
I have my kids write thank you notes to every one of their teachers toward the end of each school year. It’s time consuming. Laborious. And necessary. My kids actually enjoy doing this task, despite the writing. I’m guessing it’s because they are truly grateful, and want to tell them. I’m also guessing the teachers like to know that they are appreciated too.
It’s a good thing.
But I’m finding the trend of writing thank you notes is slowly dissipating into what may in fact become an obsolete obligation.
What a shame.
After celebrating three graduations this past spring, I was excited to have given my gifts to these three lovely young women. They may not have been a huge gift, by some standards, but to me- they were thoughtful gifts I chose carefully to both support and celebrate their achievements. I truly wasn’t expecting anything in return.
Or so I thought.
I found myself wondering all summer, if they liked their gift. At random moments, I would ponder if they spent their gift cards, or enjoyed the items I carefully picked out for each one of them. And it started to bug me that I didn’t know. I never received a thank you note from any of them. I became a little bitter, the more I thought about it. The more I wondered. The more time had gone by, with no mention of my gift or appreciation for it.
Now, I understand how busy life can get. I really do, especially when you are young and venturing off into the world of independence. I get that my perspective is traditional, perhaps old-fashioned to some degree- and theirs is, well, not.
I’ve found myself questioning the parents of these girls too, whom I know quite well. I realize they are probably not hovering over them at this stage of the game, instructing them on what they ought to do. Maybe they just assumed their kids DID write thank you notes.
I just hope they liked their gifts.
I hope they’re grateful.