Thursday, January 1, 2009

Thank You Notes...Lost Art?

Toys are spread all over my house. Now. Now that my children have written their thank you notes to those who were the givers of such nice expressions. One pet peeve of mine is thank you notes. Or rather, the lack of in this day and time. I think it is becoming a lost art to write thank you notes. It is becoming a lost art to write period, but especially thank you notes. I think the combination of a fast paced world coupled with the fact that manners are so many times left to the wayside are to blame.
I make my children write thank you notes if they are given something each time. My oldest son loves to tell me with each note he has to write, "None of my friends have to do this." and "But I said thank you..." But for me, it isn't enough. The rule is that one cannot play with the toy, use what is given or spend it if it is money they receive, until a thank you note is in the mailbox. Only then can they. If someone goes out of their way to do something I believe in letting them know you appreciate it.
I began this practise very young with my children. Before they were able to write, it was a "thank you drawing". Then as they began to write, I had many forms of thank you notes that were preprinted, where the kids would "fill in the blanks".
Now, it is all up to the children on what they write. But I do require more than "Thank you. Love, ___". Three or four lines will suffice, but enough to express thanks.
It is such a wonderful exercise in thankfulness. This Christmas, while writing their notes they really become aware of all that was given, be it a gift, or someone hosting a party we attended. And they are appreciative, especially in seeing it through notes of blessings scattered about the table.
J. Smooth's Thank you notes:

Sister Sledge's:
(click for closer view)
And while I am on the subject of thank you's....

Dear Sweet Friends,
Thank you for the gift of friendship this past year. It been such a blessing. A wonderful gift -because it has meant so much to me. Everyone should be so blessed to have such an encouraging and supportive group of people around them. I never in a million years would have thought I would have found such a community of friendship and fellowship through blogging. I am so appreciative.
I excitedly look forward to the year ahead and what all adventures it will bring.
This New Year, I want to wish you all peace, love, happiness and prosperity.
As to my friends and family- Your thank you notes are in the mail!
Sincerely, Thank you!
May you be greatly blessed.
PS- A special "Happy Birthday!" to sweet peeps who are "New Year Babies".
Cheers to you!
"High May"

"Bob" (mine and Big Daddy's former middle school principal)

and "Grannie"


Mari said...

You are a good Mom! I think us Northerners could learn a little something from the people down South, because I think they have better manners! I think that will be one of the things I resolve to work on this year - writing notes, especially thank you's!

Tammy said...

YOU are a great mom....I need to do better with the thank you notes!

Happy Happy New Year!

Bama Belle said...

Happy New Year my friend! I agree 100% about the Thank you notes. I am obsessed with them! Many of my friends will call and ask if they should send a note for this or that. I always tell them it is NEVER wrong to send a thank you note, just NOT to send one. SO you are always better off to send one.
My children are required to send them as well. I like the idea of not getting to play with or use the gift until the note is written! Brilliant !!!!
Take care! It is 2009, New beginning!

Gina @ Six in the Country said...

I love this! I *used* to do it, and I have no idea why I ever stopped. I really need to get back into that habit. Thanks for the great nudge!

Mrs. Schmitty said...

What a great momma you are!! I believe in thank you notes too.

Happy New Year!

Leigh said...

You are all to kind....tell it to my kids-especially the one in particular that gripes. I do hope that one day they can appreciate the things that I try and teach them and continue to do these things as adults.
Clearly, I need to share my stationary box with them. LOL! I love stationary and have two boxes, actually, of cards and what not. But as long as they write the letters, I cannot complain to much. You pick your battles....

Bama Belle- a close friend of mine, Janet U.A. (we went to school together in middle and high school) gave me the tip in not allowing them to play with the gifts until they write the thank you. She shared that with me some 15 years ago. It was great incintive to my child (one at the time) to get the letter written promptly. I cannot take credit for that one, but it is one that I use to this day.

For the new year- it is a great "resolution". Happy New Year to all! And thanks again, for reading.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

The first think on my list of promises this year is to write thank you notes. It is a lost art!

Have y'all got your peas on? Happy New Year!

♥georgie♥ said...

Leigh, I think it is GREAT that your children do this...what a fab mom you are for instilling this trait in them...

Ya know Leigh I could come here and just stare at your blog header-I swear i can hear the waves crashing when i see the pic...

I am so glad I found your blog!
Happy New Year to you too!

giants fan said...

happy New Year!!

and good job making them write the notes!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

All the very best to you and your wonderful family, in 2009, Leigh!

Susan in the Psych Ward said...

You can add TRay's hubby to the list of New Year's Babies!!!

Leigh said...

Peas on, Sandi! And cornbread.

Georgie! You are such a sweetheart! Thank you. So glad we "found" eachother. I enjoy you.

Giants Fan- almost our anniversary...on that day O hate. LOL! But glad that I met you!

Thank you Pat. I wish you the same. Those Ozark pics make me jealous!

Susan- I had no idea. Happy Birthday Mr. Ray! And many more!

Nicolle said...

You are doing a wonderful thing for your children. My grandmother and mother have both always stressed the importance of thank you notes. I probably go overboard and write too many, but I think they are so important! Good for you and for your wonderful kids! They will be so much better off for learning this! :)

Shonda said...

Leigh, I agree completely. I have always given thank you notes not only for gifts received, but also for special things - for instance, a neighbor that puts on an amazing Christmas light display. I have always made my daughter send out cards since she was old enough to write, and I'm proud to say that now at age 16 she actually asks me where the thank you notes are so she can get hers sent out. I think it comes down to realizing we are blessed and appreciative. By the way, I love your blog.

"J" said...

I was soooooooooooooooooooooo bad last year with Thank you notes and there was no reason for it! Even though I used the move, the work on the house and all the other busy stuff as an excuse! Which it was not!

This year that is one thing I said I'm going to do! Regardless!!!!!

The years past I would even send my boss and Shad's boss Thank you cards for our Christmas bonus! Company's don't have to do that! This year I have yet to send a thank you card and each day it flips me out as I lay my head down at night to go to keeps popping into my head! It's never to late! I'm going to do that tonight! Thank you for double reminding me! The holidays just had me wigged out! It all came so fast! I didn't even get our Christmas cards send out! UGH!

I think it is WONDERFUL that you have your kids sit down and write thank you notes! My mom never had us do that! When my uncle married my aunt she was in shock that I didn't send a thank you note for something as a teenager! Then it dawned on me and I've tried to stick with it! Not that we were spoiled kids or not appreciative...we were. We were just never taught! You are such an amazing woman, friend, wife, mother and daughter

Anonymous said...

I also have my kids sending out thank you notes and they enjoy it. We make our own cards and they draw pictures etc and have fun!