The Importance of Saying Thank You

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Before the holidays, everyone is so focused on getting Christmas cards and season’s greetings out to friends and family and co-workers and even acquaintances. We make lists. We design cards. We get new family photos done. Now that the holidays have come to an end, it’s time for a different set of cards to be sent out.

We enjoy receiving cards as much as we like sending them, displaying them for everyone to see. A sign of how many friends we have, how popular we are, how much we’re loved and thought about. Then the holidays come and go; the frivolity tappers off, the decorations are put away and the cards are taken down from their display.

With the memories of the gifts we received and the parties we attended still fresh in our mind, this is the perfect time to take a moment to send out a new set of cards, thank-you cards.

It’s easy to see how this task can get forgotten. The New Year has started and everyone is getting back into a daily routine. We say we’ll do it next week but then a school event happens. We push the task a month or two. The snow starts to melt and we figure it’s too late to send them now; we’ll make sure to do them sooner next year.

Unless it’s a baby or wedding gift, etiquette states thank-you note should be sent out a week after receiving a gift but even Emily Post agrees you shouldn’t let that timeline deter you from writing one. Of course if the gift was opened in from the giver and they were thanked at the time, a thank you note isn’t necessary. The same is true if you call and thank someone. However, like with Christmas cards, I love to send (and receive) hand written greetings in the mail. I think it shows that you have really thought about the person and the gift they have given you, especially in the digital age where it’s so easy just to send a text or email message.

Thank-you cards aren’t only for adults. Just like teaching our kids to say Please and Excuse Me, I think we as parents need to instill the importance of saying Thank You, both verbally and in the form of cards. So my kids better understand, I like to explain how someone took time from their day to go out and choose this gift just for them. These people want to know you received the gift, that you liked it. Emily Post offers some great tips on how to involve your kids in the thank-you note process.

If you were to buy a gift for someone, wouldn’t you like to hear that they received it and appreciated the thought? You may not say that or even expect it but deep inside you know you would like to hear it. Kids and adults alike could benefit more from being thankful for what they have and the people in their lives.

Imagine how your dad or grandma or friend would feel receiving a small note from you, thanking them for thinking about you during the holidays. Imagine how you would feel receiving a similar note. And why stop at just Christmas. One of my favourite thank-you notes was from my son’s teacher, thanking me for supplies I had donated to the classroom. I didn’t donate items for the recognition but I felt wonderful reading that the teacher appreciated what I had done.

Take a moment, grab a piece of notepaper or a thank-you card (EverythingMom found 8 fabulous thank-you card ideas) and write a short note of thanks to someone who sent you a gift or just did something special for you during the holidays. Trust me, the recipient will love receiving it and you’ll feel great sending it. And who knows, maybe next year you’ll have a nice display of thank you cards, showing everyone how many friends you have, how much you’re loved and thought of.

Thank you for reading this.

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