Showing an Attitude of Gratitude

Small plant with a thank you card

In the aftermath of wedding showers, baby showers, birthday parties, and graduations there is one common factor, or rather I’ve always been told there should be:  a personalized thank you note. Staring at a lengthy list of pending thank you notes may have the same effect on you as that final research paper from college.

I must give credit to my girl Emily Post who must have been the early 20th century’s very own Proverbs 31 woman. She paves the way for social conduct even today. Many of her ways have fallen by the wayside in our fast-paced culture, but her advice on thank you notes weathers the test of time (well maybe not the parts about stamping and wax seals).  Now, if only I could put this advice into practice. I was sending my wedding thank you notes out as we nibbled on our first-anniversary cake.

Just for fun, here’s one of Mrs. Post’s sample letters following a baby gift: 

“Dear Mrs. Norman: 

Thank you ever so much for the lovely afghan you sent the baby. It is by far the prettiest one he has; it  is so soft and close—he doesn’t get his fingers tangled in it. 

Do come in and see him, won’t you? We are both allowed visitors (special ones) every day between 4 and 5.30! 

Affectionately always, 
Lucy.”  -1922
A simple Google search will lead you to many more of these gems. That same afghan likely doesn’t pass our safe sleep standards, but it is definitely a plus that his fingers don’t get caught. All jokes aside, the tone of gratitude and appreciation here cannot be ignored. That’s what is most important after all.

Adjusting your mindset and vision as you begin writing

Help the process of writing thank you notes to feel, well, less like a process. Growing up, I was coached to “just write a simple note of thanks.” It never felt genuine, so I never had the drive to complete the task at hand. When I stop looking at the blank note in hand and start imagining the recipient, I have a renewed purpose.

Adding a creative flair

Help personalize a thank you note. A photo card or a child’s drawing is a fun way to show gratitude for a gift that you have received.

Finding age-appropriate ways to involve your child in writing thank you notes

If the gift was for them, this will instill the importance of showing gratitude. Toddlers and preschoolers can “sign” the card and add a drawing. School-age children can copy a template and put on the address labels and stamps. Teenagers can be expected to complete the process on their own; don’t ask my mom how successful that was when I was said teenager. 

Different ways of saying thank you

A thank you text is a nice way to thank a friend for joining you for a playdate or for small favors. However, nothing shows gratitude like a note you took the time to write or design. Receiving a thank you note in the mailbox is always a welcome sight amidst the piles of junk mail that seem to take residence in there.
Remember it is more about the attitude of gratitude than the physical act of mailing a polite note. A late note is better than no note at all. That being said, time to get started on the thank you notes for my son’s birthday party last month. 

What are some creative or convenient ways you have found helpful for showing gratitude to others? 

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