Say Thank You

  Thank-you notes, those things my mother used to have me to write after birthday parties or Christmas gift-exchanges.  I wasn’t necessarily thrilled by the idea of sitting down for an extended period of time, writing endless notes.  Each letter was written in somewhat begrudging submission to my mother’s wishes, very convinced she just didn’t want me to play.

  Yikes, what a kid.

  My mothers intentions, however, were not to keep me from those new trinkets and toys - but to cultivate a sense of gratitude in her little girls.  I realize now that the time spent writing those little notes required me to think through the reason I was (or ought to be) thankful for the gifts I had received.  

  We, as a species, are not born with gratitude within our hearts.  Our sense of entitlement is ever-increasing.  Everything is new, constantly being made shinier, prettier, more entertaining, more convenient.  I want what I want when I want it, simple as that.  When our focus is on the next thing, we forget about the things that we have.  We forget to say thank you. 

  Gratitude must be cultivated.

  How can we cultivate gratitude?  One tangible way to encourage a thankful heart is to practice the art of writing thank you notes.  

  Receiving a gift is not the only time a thank-you note is due.  A party thrown in your honor, when someone treats you to something, when someone takes time out of their day to do something for you.  It’s the little things that really matter.  Realizing the little gifts, and remembering to be grateful for them, is what will cultivate a heart of gratitude.  It’s best to send out a thank you note within a week of receiving the gift, attending the party, and so on.  The note doesn’t have to be super formal, but here are a few things that you can include - if you’re feeling lost as to what to write.

  Say hello “dear so-and-so” or maybe “my darling so-and-so”
  Thank you  This is kind of obvious, but say thank you for the specific object/experience/ etc. - it’s     also good to go into a little detail.  Instead of simply saying, “thank you for the sweater” you could     say, “thank you for the lovely pink cashmere sweater”.  (Lucky you, a pink cashmere sweater!)
  Go into detail Tell them how you plan to use the gift or how much it meant to you that they would     do this-or-that for you.  “I can’t wait to wear the sweater this winter, it makes me feel cozy and           glamorous all at the same time” (Because who wouldn’t feel cozy and glamorous in a pink                 cashmere sweater?) or “It was so kind of you to take me to the ballet, I’ve been wanting to see             Sleeping Beauty for so long.”  (Woah, this hypothetical situation is very much in your favor -             cashmere and the ballet!)
  Say something nice In particular, mention something related to the person, and then mention hopes   of seeing them again soon / or that you’re looking forward to seeing them soon at this-place-or-           event.  “I so enjoyed your company, it was fun to catch up.  We must do it again soon.”

  Restate the thank you and say goodbye “sincerely” and “best wishes” will do just fine.

  I hope that encourages you to take the time to write more thank you notes, it really is rewarding.

Mary Grace

1 comment:

  1. This is perfect, especially as we approach a time when people give gifts. *wink*wink* But I totally agree. It's a great practice to help you appreciated every little thing, instead of giving into vanity and falling for the next fad.