By Guest Blogger Heather Miller
My grandmother had a huge part in my upbringing. She was 50 years my senior and I spent more time with her than I did with any other member of my family. I chose to hang out at her house and run errands with her well into my teens while my friends were out doing less geriatric things. She was my best friend, and because of that I picked up a lot of old people habits along the way. I read Reader’s Digest, watched Hee-Haw, ate dinner at 4:30pm, and wrote Thank You notes. Lots and lots of Thank You notes. Regardless of whether someone gifted me a pencil or a new laptop, there was to be a Thank You note in the mail the next day, otherwise I was deemed ungrateful, and that was not happening, not on my grandma’s watch.
I have always instilled this particular “old person” trait onto my daughters as well. Be it a birthday gift or a random act of giving, if they receive a gift, they are to acknowledge it with a quick note, or drawing, to show that they are grateful that the gift giver took the time out of their day to think of them and get them something. My nine year old does not even need to be reminded to do this now. She receives something, breaks out all 258 of her neon, sparkly, gel pens and goes to work. It is something that, as a mom, I take pride in. I am not raising ingrates, my grandmother would be so proud! That being said, it has lately crossed my mind, is the appreciation of the Thank You note dead and gone? I mean, can we not just shoot a text or Facebook message to show our gratitude? Hell, I’m sure there is even a cool meme that could be shared at this point.
After giving it some thought, I have decided that no, the Thank You note is not dead. Not for our family, anyway. While it could definitely be replaced with a number of other ways to communicate gratitude these days, it still holds a place in my heart. For me, every time I see my girls taking the time out of their day to stop and properly thank someone for thinking of them, it makes me so proud and reminds me that my grandmother instilled something very important in me. It feels good to let people know that you really do appreciate what they have done for you, be it a big or small gesture. And who doesn’t love to get snail mail?!
So, what do you guys think? Do you have your kids write Thank You notes or do you go another route to make sure that they express their gratefulness? At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter which option you take to make sure that the people who go out of their way for you are acknowledged, just so long as they are. What are some of the other ways that you let people know?
Thank YOU for taking the time to read this!