Receiving a thank you note is always a pleasure, but sometimes you have to write them to get them!
Part of that equation is the power of setting a good example. When we write thank you notes regularly to our children and grandchildren, even for small things, we set a powerful example of everyday gratitude. It's important to say “thank you” in person, but a written note is tangible evidence of that gratitude. It allows us to express our thanks in a way that's usually more memorable, especially if we apply a little creativity to the way we write a thank-you note.
We can include a photograph or drawing, write a silly poem of thanks, or share a story of how much we appreciate the gift or kindness. A good thank you note is a model for our children and grandchildren to follow as they write their own thank you notes.
Which brings us to the second part of that thank-you note equation.
As a kid, I was a slacker about thank you notes. A cranky great aunt-by-marriage noticed this lack of etiquette on my part and complained loudly to my grandparents and parents. I felt terribly embarrassed until it occurred to me that she never ever wrote thank you notes herself for the gifts or kindnesses others extended to her. She only demanded thank you notes from others.
I never worried about thanking her in writing again.
This holiday season we'll have lots of opportunities to thank others for what they've given us, or what they've done for us. I want to remember to look for ways to say -- and write -- thank you in ways that are fun and creative. I want to let the people I love know I appreciate them and the effort they make.
I want to make them smile.