It seems that thank you notes are a thing of the past for most people.
They might argue that they cost too much.
Some might say they just aren’t necessary.
Others see them as a waste of resources…as in “they’ll just wind up in the trash anyway.”
I beg to differ.
I am glad that thusfar in my life, sending a personal thank you note to anyone that has given me anything, whether it be a gift, money, second-hand items, time, hospitality (like watching my children without payment or hosting a family weekend away), or an unexpected treat of one kind or another, has not been a burden of any kind on me or my family.
Bring Back Thank You Notes!
First, let’s remind ourselves of what a thank you note is.
A thank you note is a small gesture to show gratitude for someone else’s efforts.
It’s a way to simply acknowledge that someone’s work, thoughtfulness, or act of kindness and love has not gone unnoticed.
It allows the giver to know that the recipient received the items.
It is a way to communicate, on a very basic level that seems all but lost these days.
Do they cost too much?
I don’t think so.
Yes, the cost of stamps has increased dramatically over the years and it’s likely that the note and envelope either get recycled or tossed, but rarely is the cost or time invested with a thank you note more than the cost or time involved with the initial act.
And, sometimes, it may be worth even more.
Are they necessary?
I think so.
Saying “thank you” is not something that we should let disappear in our culture.
The only way to insure that this doesn’t happen, is by teaching our children to say thank you, not only in custom, but also through the act of writing a paper thank you note.
I remember when writing letters was the main way I “spoke” to friends I had met at summer camp that lived on the opposite side of the city or my cousins in another state.
Technology has changed that form of communication into something quicker, cheaper, and a bit more impersonal.
If you embrace technology more than the act of writing a personal note, call and say thank you or text a quick message, or even step that up a bit and attach a picture of the gift being used or a video of your children saying thank you.
I ask you to pause and think:
How nice is it to get real mail amidst the junk that hits your mailbox?
How excited do children get about creating and writing valentines to other kids in their class?
The joy of “snail mail” is still alive! Why not attach it with the importance of thanking people for their efforts and thoughts of you!
If you still don’t want to invest the time or money it takes to write thank you notes, consider sending fewer notes for more occasions. I tend to group my birthday and all of our Christmas thank you’s together. Or I combine both boys’ birthdays, my husband’s birthday, and Easter together.
I want my children to grow up thanking others. I look for ways to incorporate writing and communication into our daily lives. Thank you notes are a perfect place for these goals to come together!
In the example above, you can see that they aren’t even writing words yet, but I can have them tell me what to write, creating the language experience. They can add pictures and stickers or stamps!
Here, my oldest practiced his self portrait and extended it into drawing his brother as well.
You could also do something simple like these footprint cards!
When is the last time you wrote a thank you note?