Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thank You. Thank You Very Much.

The lost art of the Thank You note.  It may bring up memories of you and your mother sitting at the table/desk/counter with her pestering you to "hurry up and write your Great Aunt So-And-So and remember to tell her how much you enjoy using the such-and-such" when in fact you can't remember exactly what that such-and-such was  in the first place and you'd have been better off with some underwear.

Here in the South, we pride ourselves as a beacon of civility.  THE Good Manners capital of the United States, if you will.  Even if you're not in the South, when someone asks where the polite people live, I'm sure your thoughts drift toward our neck of the woods.

Which brings me to my point. Thank You notes have fallen by the wayside everywhere...even here in the deep South.  My heavens.  This IS a tragedy and I'm doing my best to resurrect the lost art of Thank You note writing with my children.  (Mom- if you're reading this, H is working on hers. You should get it before July 4th.)

My oldest is in Cotillion. Have I told you that? It's like Finishing School for 6th grade boys and girls in our area.  The girls wear dresses and gloves. The boys wear coats and ties.  Once a month they meet for their classes and they're called "Dances".  They are learning how to be young ladies and gentlemen.  Last week's lesson was on Thank You notes.  My oldest is working on hers right now and I love it.

A handwritten Thank You note is special.

I'm not talking about the fill-in-the-blank kind you get at party stores.  I'm talking about the special cards that may or may not have lines where your child can get used to showing gratitude for someone who went out of their way to do or give something to them.  It's special.

I figured in this crazy electronic age full of evites, texts and email that I could offer up some suggestions for your younger family members when it comes to writing a note of thanks.

First, start out with Dear (fill in the name).  Use Mr. or Mrs. where appropriate and start it on the top of the lower portion of a top fold- card or the right hand side of a side-fold card.

Thank the giver specificially for the gift.

Next add a sentence or two about how the gift will be used or enjoyed.

Thank the giver once more for remembering the special occasion.

Closing and signature.

I know we all want best handwriting with this. I mean, who wants to read chicken scratch?
Hey you, 6th grade kid of mine, are you using your neatest handwriting? I'm taking your picture to publish. Wouldn't want to embarass you or anything with messy handwriting!

Moms- it is a pain, it is time consuming, it can cause wailing and gnashing of teeth.  BUT the person who receives the note will feel appreciated and your child will be learning a valuable lesson about gratitude.

Hope this didn't come across as "preachy"!  It was on my mind this cold Saturday afternoon and I thought I'd share.

Also, I'm NOT Emily Post by a long shot.  The suggestions I gave are from my years teaching writing to elementary age kiddos.

I hope you find them useful!

Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Love the picture of J and Piper. Mine do the same thing with each other.