This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Virtues of Thank You Notes

December was always my month.  There was my birthday and a mere two weeks later, Christmas.  Additionally, my mother celebrated Three Kings Day so my brother and I would get an extra little bonus gift on January 6.  As a kid ( and even today ) December was one of my favorite months with its festivities and gifts galore.  Shortly after New Years though, my mother would sit us down at the dining room table.  In front of our groaning faces, she'd set down a box of notecards and a couple of pens and hand us a list of items we'd received and who'd sent them.  There, we'd have to sit, sometimes for hours, until we'd completed all our thank you notes.  

We hated, HATED writing those thank you notes.  Why, why write a thank you note?  It took too much time when we could be doing so many other things.  Childhood wasn't going to last forever and we wanted to be able to enjoy the gifts we'd just gotten before we outgrew them in the months ahead.  

My mother had established the thank you writing ritual early on.  My brother and I glared at each other each and every year, knowing full well that we had no way of getting out of writing those damn thank you notes.  

Today, things have changed dramatically.  I love giving gifts (often more than receiving them.) And now, as an adult, I'm become a stickler for thank you notes. Yes, it still takes time, which I now have even less of, but I eventually get around to it.  It's been so ingrained into my being at this point in my life that I can't imagine abandoning it.  

I absolutely believe that in a digital, fast-paced world, people appreciate a handwritten thank you note even more than in years past.  So, if you're way too busy to handwrite something, phone a friend a thank you, e-mail them your thoughts, let them know you appreciate what they've done.  People notice and you'll feel good about giving back-- even if your gift is merely your words of appreciation.  As I grow older, I've learned that words of appreciation are worth just as much ( if not more than ) those tangible gifts we all enjoy unwrapping on Christmas.

In the coming weeks, I'll sit myself down at my own dining room table and write my thank you notes.  The first one will be written to my mom-- who started the thank you note ritual we'd always hated and the same one we now embrace. 

Copyright 2008 KLiedle

No comments:

Post a Comment