Do you send thank you notes?
At our house, everyone sends thank you notes. My children have been required to send notes on their own since they were able to write their name (and I think they have had personalized stationery since they were born…not kidding!) It is not always a fun task but (most) times a requirement. They send them not only to friends but also to family… something I believe in very strongly.
|From my talented friend, Emily McCarthy's beautiful website!|
Whenever a gift receiving occasion occurs, a special party is attended, or a kind invitation is extended… you can be sure the moans and groans will be following from the peanut gallery. They know what's coming.
However - In this crazy, busy, technology driven world we call life, I find it is more important than ever that we should slow down and go back to the simple but meaningful gesture of expressing gratitude to others. The reason is two-fold….
Most importantly, it lets the person who gave the gift, hosted the party, made the casserole when you were sick…whatever it is... know that their time, efforts, and thoughtfulness were appreciated. It will put a smile on their face… and all it really takes is LESS THAN 5 MINUTES! None of us are too busy or too important that we cannot extend such a simple kindness… And let's not ignore that it is, quite frankly, the right thing to do. While sooner is definitely better than later - the gesture will be happily received so don't get hung up on the fact that you did not write it in the first 24 hours as Princess Diana used to do. As they say at NIKE… Just Do It!
Second, encouraging and engaging in gratitude is good for our soul. Research shows that expressing gratitude makes us happier and healthier and since gratitude is a social emotion - it requires us to see how we have been supported by other people… (Hence the nice gift, the party invitation, the casserole….) and strengthens our relationships with them. A warm and fuzzy WIN/WIN on both accounts.
As the holidays were winding down and I was sitting with my girls writing our thank you notes together at the kitchen table, I was reflecting on the LOST ART OF THE THANK YOU NOTE …. and I think it is time it made a come back.
What do think?
With thanks for reading,
PS: Here are two great articles to support the GRATITUDE research:
The New York Times