Grandma Chris taught me the lost art of a handwritten Thank You note. At least it was becoming a lost art back then. My generation slowly got too busy to write Thank You notes and bought the ready made ones from Hallmark that only required our signature at the bottom of a nicely worded sentiment.
The current fast track Thank You expression comes in the form of an ecard, if at all. I often use ecards, but they lack the needed feel of something in your hand that spreads emotional warmth up through your arm and into your heart.
With the holidays coming there will be plenty of opportunities for handwritten Thank You notes. Gifts of hospitality and kindness deserve Thank You notes just as much as a Christmas or birthday present. Who doesn’t wear a smile when discovering a personal note mixed in with the junk mail and bills sitting in the mailbox! Receiving my little granddaughters’ handmade Thank You notes shortly after Christmas is more pleasurable than the gift itself. My daughter, Kati, is passing on the spiritual legacy of kindness that Grandma Chris handed to me.
How to write a Thank You note:
1. Keep your supplies of Thank You notes in a handy location such as a desk drawer or near your bill collection basket. This way you can express your thanks spontaneously without the needed burden of hunting down supplies.
2. The sooner the better is the theme when it comes to writing Thank You notes. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to express your thanks with freshness and enthusiasm.
3. Keep it short. Thank You notes are just that–notes!
4. Enjoy yourself while you write. That tone will come through in your words and bring pleasure to the one receiving the note. I sometimes write my Thank You notes on my day off when I can enjoy my morning coffee and a few moments of quiet reflection. Other times a quick lunchtime writing binge can add a touch of humor to my notes as I take the time to enjoy the break after a busy morning at work.
5 Instead of writing, “Thank you for the Christmas gift,” you can express your gratitude more specifically. For example, “Your gift of cozy slipper socks is warming my toes as I write. Thank you for helping me survive the cold mornings in New York.”
6. End your note with a brief sentiment and your name, such as “Blessings, Susan,” or “With love, Susan.”
Gratitude seems to be the daily expression on Facebook and Twitter this month. Maybe Ann Voskamp’s message in One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are has worked its magic into other’s hearts as it did mine—making gratitude a daily expression. Perhaps the lost art of a handwritten Thank You note will once again become an expression of gratitude in a world that has forgotten how to properly say “Thank You.”
Have you learned the lost art of a handwritten Thank You note? Who did you learn it from, and who have you passed this art on to?
Helping you build a spiritual legacy, Susan Gaddis