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.

A GIVEAWAY!

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.

20 Comments

  1. Beverly, how true this is. Very inspiring and convicting. I think note writing is a lost art, but when I receive one I see how special they really are. I do keep mine and put them on a bulletin board to encourage me. Your article will help me pick up the pen and do it more often. Thank you for your beautiful words. (Your story is funny although at the time I’m sure it seemed so aggravating and exhausting to think of writing them all again.

    1. Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for your kind comment. It does help when we can re-read a kind note that someone has written us, especially if we are having an off day. Words are important and we can do so much to encourage others with just a word or two. It’s been 40 years since that disaster thank you event and it seems like yesterday. I have always wondered who didn’t get their note and thought of me in a negative way. I guess it could be funny now that it’s been so long….I’m not sure. 🙂

  2. Hi Beverly! I still have a thank you note from you after retreat and it was a truly special note. I agree with you and always try to remember to write thank you notes but sometimes struggle with words. I know what’s in my heart but it doesn’t always come out on paper the same way. Oh well. Hopefully it sounds better to the receiver than i think… I always love reading your blog. Thank you.

    1. Jo! How sweet of you to share that! I bet it does sound better than what you think it does. I think you are always good with your words. Thank you for being a reader of my words. 🙂 Blessings on your day!

  3. I agree with you on the importance of writing thank you cards. My dear aunt was a wonderful example to me in the art of thank you notes. She always sent a thank you, even if she had thanked you in person or on the phone. I have tried to teach my children this and my parents say how nice it is to receive and the only thank you notes they get are from us. I think it has become a lost art, one that needs to be brought back.

    1. Hi Theresa! I think it’s a lost art, too. How wonderful to have sweet memories of your aunt who was a beautiful example of thankfulness….and manners. 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Blessings on your day!

  4. Thank you my friend. I’m not the best at card writing but I try. This is a very good reminder for me. Love reading your blogs. Happy New Year.

  5. Thank you for your thoughts on Thank You notes. Sometimes I get so busy I fail to send them out, and it bothers me! The problem is, that a lot of people today don’t even give it a second thought; especially young people of today. I have been to so many showers and weddings, and make meals for people here, and I don’t receive a single thank you note; except from one of my good friends. Being in Midland right when I was married and my children being married there, we received such love and attention and gifts like you did. There was so much love for everyone involved, and I taught my children to always give thank you notes for everything.
    Thank you for your blog!

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

    1. Gayla, thanks so much for your comment! Isn’t that amazing to think that someone would be brought a meal and never have the thought to send a thank you? That’s hard to imagine, but, with our culture the way it is, I can see that happening very easily. As a pastor’s wife I have a feeling you see that a lot. Just chalk it up as bad manners…. or they mailed you a cheap thank you card and it got tore up in the post office machines. 😉 The Lord sees your good deeds and you will be blessed I’m sure with all that you do for others. Thank you for all that you do to encourage others in your ministry with your husband and with children at the daycare. Happy New Year and thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  6. Hi Beverly,
    What a great article on Thank You Notes! I have always been a big fan of sending them for a gift or just because.
    I have taught this to my children and they enjoy doing it.
    Something that helps our family is making a list first and making each card personal.
    So happy to say I have received cards from you over the years and have kept them! You also gave me this book years ago and I love it. You continue to be such a blessing to many people and I am thankful for you! Happy New Year!
    Shelley

    1. Thank you, Shelley! I love your idea of making a list first and making them personal. That is so important, isn’t it? You are so sweet, thank you for the sweet comment! I’m thankful for you, too and miss seeing you so much! Blessings on your New Year and enjoy that sweet family of yours!

  7. Beverly, what a great reminder to all of us that we should be thankful for things given to us and let that person know how thankful we are! I still have a thank you note that Sid Smith wrote to me years ago. I will always treasure that note!

  8. Love your thoughts Beverly! I feel like a did an okay job with thank you notes after wedding and babies, but I hate to admit that I didn’t do that great when I went through cancer treatment. I think because the meals and thoughtful gifts were spread out over several months, rather than a short time frame (and maybe not feeling that hot 🤣) , I just failed to stay on top of it. Then after so much time had gone by, it just didn’t happen. That being said, I’m not certain I sent you a thank you note for the bracelet you gave me through my mom….so, I apologize if I didn’t, and say THANK YOU right now. It was so thoughtful of you and I still wear it!! Love your blogs!!

    1. Oh, Denise! You are so sweet! Thank you for your sweet comment and being a reader of His Heart, My Desire! 🙂 That is too funny about the bracelet. I’ve never thought anything about it. I would say that going through cancer like you did deserves not having to worry about something like that. Everyone knows and if someone gave you something during that time, they did not expect anything in return at all. The best thing is you are healed and doing so much better. You gave everyone a pretty big scare and I know your family is so very thankful as so many people that love you dearly. The Lord answered prayer and I am thankful for that! Blessings to you and your family! Love you!

Leave a Reply to Margaret Wilson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.