This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. All opinions are mine.
Growing up, my mom was always very firm about writing thank you cards after Christmas and birthdays. We were always told to make a list of anyone who had given us gifts, then dutifully work our way through it and send each person a note to thank them. Bonus points if we included a drawing or a particularly thoughtful note (not allowed: “Thank you for my birthday present.” High fives for: “Thank you for the book you sent me! I started reading it right away and my favorite part was ____________.”).
And the tradition goes back (at least) two generations . . . I remember spending a weekend with my grandparents when I was in middle school, during which a friend took me out for the afternoon for lunch and a movie. When I was dropped back off at my grandparents’ house at the end of the day, my grandma had already set out a stationary set in my bedroom with a little note to remind me to write a thank you to my friend before going to bed.
What a nice lesson to teach your kids—to take a few moments to express gratitude for someone who has gone out of their way to do something special for you.
I’ve tried to keep this tradition going, especially since it seems to be getting more and more rare to get thank you cards. (Are they in fact becoming less common, or is it just my own guilt manifesting itself since I know for a fact I didn’t send out thank you cards for many of the sweet gifts given to Darcy when she was brand new? It’s been almost a year and everyone has probably long since forgotten about it, but I can’t remember who gave me what and I haven’t stopped feeling guilty about not sending out thank-yous yet.)
It seems to be getting harder for me as the years go by to stay on top of sending thank you notes, even though I feel they are important. Our lives are constantly getting busier, I have more to distract me than ever before, and I always seem to remember a month too late, ‘hang on, did I thank so-and-so for Forrest’s birthday present?’
But I try.
In case you’re wondering what makes a thank you card particularly nice (although I do believe that any thank you is appreciated, even a hastily-written, overly-late one), I’ve done the dirty work. According to Martha (the queen of all things homey and domestic and polite), thank you notes should:
- identify the gift
- state why you appreciate it/why it has personal meaning for you
- how you plan to use it
- if a gift was given in person, thank the person for their presence/attendance at your event
And if you happen to be in the market for a lovely set of thank you notes, might I recommend the Mix & Match Stationary Sets from Shutterfly? There are 7 themed designs to choose from, and each can be completely personalized with your own name, initials, and message. And within each set, you can mix and match cards to your hearts desire—get multiple copies of your favorite card design, or up to 12 different coordinating cards.
I thought it was really fun to shop the different designs and put together a set that looked just right for me. I think this would be a fun gift for a bride or newly married couple, personalized with their names. You can check out the Mix & Match sets here (my set is the Vintage Fleur).
Do you write thank you notes? And if you have kids, how do you encourage them to write thoughtful thank yous? I’m running late on thank you notes from Forrest’s birthday, so heaven knows I could use a little inspiration to get moving.