Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thank you notes

When did writing a thank you note go out of style? Growing up, we wrote thank you notes for all gifts - birthday, Christmas, First Communion, graduation, Confirmation, engagement, bridal, wedding and baby shower gifts. My children are 7 and 3 years old. They both know they are expected to write thank you notes for gifts they receive. Admittedly, I help my 3 year old with his. I write the text and he scribbles his name. But he is getting the idea that when someone goes to the thought, effort and expense of sending you a gift, the least you can do is acknowledge it and thank them for it. Sara, age 7, knows that she must write a thank you note within 3 days of getting a birthday or Christmas gift. My dad and aunt recently went on a European cruise. They brought back beautiful gifts for her. I told her she must write the thank you notes before she can play with the gifts. She was excited to play with her new treasure but I've learned that without a deadline, the notes would collect dust on her desk, half-written.

In this fast-paced, immediate gratification society, people have decided they are too busy for common decency and courtesy. Call me strict. Call me old-fashioned. My kids are learning to say please and thank you. I want them to grow up knowing how to express their gratitude and appreciation. My kids love getting mail. I remind them every time they balk at writing a thank you note. Tis better to give than to receive. But, in our house, if you receive then you better give a thank you note.

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