Are Thank You Cards Still Necessary?
Or is it just old fashioned?
She always says that it is fine to stop sending presents if you are feeling unappreciated. A gift is not an obligation, it is something you want to give. If someone is ungrateful and never gives any kind of acknowledgement, why bother? An empty card will speak loudly and clearly and may open up a conversation that needs to be had.
Growing up, my mother always displayed the thank you cards she and my father received in the mail after they had given someone a gift. She still does this!
My daughter, on the other hand, reads and tosses it. She wants to know what the point is in sending a card when you can email or text your gratitude. She isn't ignoring the gift giver, she is just relaying her thanks in a different manner.
Is this a generational issue?
My Personal Take on Thank You Cards
I am a big believer in writing thank you cards. When I had a conversation about it with a friend, she wanted to know why I was annoyed when I did not receive one from a person.
I really had to think about it, and it boiled down to this...
When I send someone a gift, it represents a lot more than the item, check, or gift card that I am giving. First, I have to work to earn the money to buy a present. That may mean saying yes to a sub assignment that I really do not wish to take because I have so many other things going on in my life, but the need for additional income for extra items (like your gift).
There is the time factor to consider. While gift cards are easy and convenient for some people on my list, for others, I like to give something more personal. That means taking the time to shop, whether it be in a brick and mortar store or online. The gift that I give also represents time that I had spent on you when I may have had other things that I needed or wanted to do.
When you think about it, there is more involved in buying a gift that meets the eye.
How to Write a Thank You Card
It is really very simple!
Notes of appreciation do not have to be long and flowery, but they do have to be personalized. For example, here is one that I just wrote to one of my students when she gave me an end of the year gift.
Thank you so much for the Stabucks gift card, I like to buy hot vanilla lattes when I go there, and I will think of you on my next visit! It was so thoughtful of you to remember me.
I really enjoyed being your teacher this year. Have a fantastic summer!
Yes, it is time consuming to repeat this twenty times, but I am so happy that people have taken the time to show their appreciation for what I do for their children.
Three or four sentences is adequate to convey your thoughts of gratitude.
Big No-No's When Writing a Card of Gratitude
Is it better to receive some kind of card than none at all?
I break down the task into small amounts, like write five at a time, so they do not feel overwhelmed. One rule that I have is that they cannot spend any gift cards or cash until the thank you note has been written!
Over the years, I have received thank you notes that are shortcuts. To me, not only does this show bad manners, but it also demonstrates a lack of appreciation for the present that was received. These are some of the faux pas I have received:
1. Including a thank you note in the goody bag. It was written before the gift was received!
2. A mass email from the parent, thanking everyone on the list for their gift.
3. Not sending a card or note at all!
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Different Kinds of Thank You Notes
Fill in the Blank Cards
Once your child is about four or five years old, s/he can write their own thank you notes. One of the best inventions for teaching your child the habit of writing notes to family and friends are fill in the blank cards for kids. Children can pick a favorite character or theme and write the person's name,the name of the gift, and sign their own name. Young children feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when they do something themselves.
When I was a new mommy back in 1995, there were no photo thank you notes available. I had to develop pictures of my daughter at the store or give everyone a picture from the photo package that I bought. Picture cards did not exist back then! Now parents can select a single photo or a collage of photos for their thank you cards. You can choose from greeting card size, note card size, or even a postcard. These kinds of cards can be used for children of any age, and all of these designs can be customized
Finally, there is the old fashioned blank photo card for the person to write their words of gratitude and appreciation. A few handwritten sentences go a long way in making the gift giver feel acknowledged.
In my opinion, writing a thank you card should never go out of style.
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