The Art of Saying Thank You…
Happy New Year! I love the way 2020 looks, don’t you? I asked if you were ready for 2020 in my picture. That’s a silly question isn’t it? It really doesn’t matter if you are or you aren’t, because it’s here!
I love fresh starts so the beginning of the year is always a fun time for me. I came down with a cold and I think I’m about over it, but, I don’t have much energy. I do have energy to think and contemplate on how I hope my 2020 goes. So much controversy these days about resolutions and goals. I love setting goals and yes, I make resolutions with myself. Only I know if they don’t work and if they don’t, so be it…if they do…yay me! I think we should always be striving to be better in an area of our lives that we need improvement on or starting a new project or learning a new skill. It doesn’t even have to be the first of the year to do that, but, what a great time to begin…..the beginning of 2020. As I was journaling some thoughts and also wondering what I was going to write about on my blog, I thought….I’ll just write about the things I’m working on. Two things might be accomplished.
#1- It will help me to be more diligent in my task
#2 -It might encourage someone else in some way.
I will share one thing on each post as not to overwhelm anyone. (or myself) They also aren’t in any order of importance. I will choose something that is really speaking to me for the day.
Guess what is speaking to me today?
Being Diligent in Writing Thank You Notes!
I first have to tell you my horror story about… Thank You Notes!
When I was engaged to be married to my Jim, the deacon and staff wives at our church gave me a beautiful wedding shower. At that time in my life I was not used to receiving gifts at all. If you follow my blog and know of my childhood, you will understand. One of the deacon wives told me that I needed to go pick out china, glassware and various things that I would like to set up housekeeping. That idea just blew my mind and I was very uncomfortable doing so. But, I did it and with the guidance of this particular lady who happened to work at a very nice bed and bath boutique. She helped me pick out some fun things. I never dreamed I would be given most of it. What fun that was setting up our little house with such beautiful things. I was also told that I needed to send out thank you notes to everyone that came to our shower. I was given a list of all the gifts along with the names of who gave them to us.
One day I went shopping in a drugstore for some shampoo etc. and I saw a basket full of small thank you cards. They were plain white with a beautiful “Thank You” font on the front of the card. They were marked down to $2.00. I bought several of them. While we were on our honeymoon I wrote out thank you’s each day. I read up on how to write the correct thank you note and was so proud when I finished them. We bought stamps and put them in the mail. Done! Yay!
Then a few weeks later, I received a package from the post office. Inside was a note that said many of my cards had been destroyed due to the size of the cards and weren’t salvageable. They did have a few that were barely intact that they sent back to me. The note also said that some of them went through and they just weren’t sure how many made it and how many didn’t. I was dumbfounded! I didn’t have a clue what to do. 40 years later, I know what I should have done, but at the age of 20, I was clueless. Where was that deacon wife….I should have called her. I sat down and rewrote a handful of cards to some that I could read the names on and just let all the rest go. I am pretty sure my name was not spoke of in a positive way for all those that didn’t receive a thank you from me. I shared my story with as many that would listen, but, who knows.
All that to say, since that time I am a stickler on thank you notes. Not from others, but, from myself. I cannot rest until I get a thank you out for a gift or a kind deed that was done for me or my family. I’m sure I’ve dropped the ball many times, but, I have tried my best. When my kids were young, I taught both of them the art of a thank you note. They wrote thank you’s each time someone gave them a gift, even when we were told, “No, we are family, you don’t have to write a thank you.” We did anyway. By the way, don’t ever make a child feel like they shouldn’t have to write a thank you. It is only building character and a skill that they will need for the future. In my humble opinion.
Having a thankful heart is the beginning to having a good attitude about things and people in our lives. If we become unthankful and think we deserve things that are given to us, we will eventually become bitter and ungrateful. Writing a thank you note is just an outward showing of your true heart. It also has to be taught. Our children aren’t born with the knowledge of how to show thankfulness for someones kindness. We teach them those things.
I have a collection of books on etiquette and have read a lot on the art of note writing. By the way, be sure to read at the end of this post about a give away of one of my favorite books.
I’ll just sum up my own advice on writing a thank you note.
*You don’t have to use fancy notecards, it can be as simple as just a piece of paper and envelope. What fun it is though, to have an assortment of cute thank you notes that match your personality. I always have a large assortment of notecards at my desk ready to write at a moments notice.
*In a simple thank you, you can get straight to the point and thank the person you are writing for whatever deed or gift was given to you. Always name what was given and tell something about it. Such as why you love it or how you will use it. If someone gave you a monetary gift or gift card, mention the amount. “Such as Thank you so much for the generous gift of 1,000,000.00. I plan on buying a house next spring and this will come in handy.” Instead of “Thanks for the money.” One of my favorite thank you’s that I received from a young man said, “Thank you for the birthday gift, I can’t remember what it was but, thank you!” That made me laugh out loud. I saved it in my keepsake box. At least he was honest, right?
*I read that you have up to 10 days to write a thank you. I guess that is about how long it would take for someone to wonder if you received their gift and liked it or not. If I happen to wait longer than that, I will apologize for taking so long to write.
*For me, if I have several thank you’s to write, I have to pace them out. There is something about writing several notes at once. It makes me feel so rushed and my writing gets sloppy and I’m writing to get it over with. Isn’t that terrible? So, I have learned to pace myself and only write a few at a time, so each note will be more meaningful. Maybe I’m the only one that has that problem. When I have a thank you to write, I put it on my to do list and mark it off when I put it in the mail.
*Something else to think about is, you can write a thank you note to someone just for being a blessing in your life They don’t have to give you anything but their kindness and friendship. You could change someone’s day or life just by sending a simple little note in the mail. Everyone needs affirmation. I bet you can think of several that you could send a note to right now.
I hope that helps somehow. I know for me, I want to be more caring in my note writing and being thankful for the people in my life. Oh, how I shudder to think of all the people that I may have offended because they never received a thank you from me for a beautiful wedding gift. I do know how it feels to go and pick something out special for someone or even give money to and you never hear a word. You want to ask about it just in case it got lost, but then, you don’t want to offend at the same time. I’ve heard ladies over the years say very hurtful and mean things about someone when they didn’t receive a thank you for a gift they gave. I never want to be like that.
When we give a gift, we give it. No questions asked, nothing expected in return.
But….what a joy it is to receive a kind note from a thankful heart. It can make your day a little brighter.
Who do you know that needs to have words shared with them to make their day a little bit better! It’s so easy. All it takes is time.
I have 5 brand new copies of one of Joy Weaver‘s book. She is one of my favorites on etiquette and is also a dear friend!
You know I love comments so be sure to leave a comment and I will draw five names from the comments section. If you aren’t a subscriber, click on the link on my sidebar and you will begin receiving my latest updates whenever I make a post on my blog. If you do subscribe, your name will go in on the drawing as well.