The Art of the Thank You Note
Oh, my heart, it is a dying art. Writing thank you notes. This totally tells my age, but goodness, when did we stop being gracious? Whether a shower gift, wedding present, birthday surprise or just a job interview, I miss a handwritten thank you note.
I remember when I graduated high school, my mother made me sit and write every single person a personal thank you note. Not an email, not a text. Even though I thanked them profusely at the time they gave me a gift, I still sat down and followed the method she taught me to create a personalized thank you note for each one. By the time my wedding rolled around, mom did not have to make me. It was already ingrained.
Fast forward to the last 5 years. I have given wedding gifts, hosted baby showers, birthday presents, graduation gifts, and I have received exactly two thank you note in the last 5 years. A thank you note is such a small act that means so much. I am fortunate to have been raised in the south, which means Thank You notes were a requirement. And I vote that we bring them back.
Nannies, you can teach your children to follow this graceful tradition. Whether a birthday party, Christmas presents or just a random act of kindness from a friend, or a surprise from Grandma, you can teach your nanny children how to respond kindly.
So how do you write a great thank you note?
The Greeting – Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Dear Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie, Dearest of Best Friends. Whether formally or informally, address the person that gave the gift. Or go full Anne of Green Gables and have fun.
The acknowledgement – Name the gift that was given. Was it a gift card? Food when you were sick? Wedding present? Acknowledge the occasion.
“Thank you for the Barbie Dream House you gave me for my birthday.”
The Body – Say something personal about how you intend to use the gift or how much you appreciate the relationship you have with the person or simply how much you enjoyed the person attending your event.
“I am so excited to have a place for my Barbie dolls to play.”
“I truly love that my Grandma wants to play Barbie dolls with me every time we are together”
“You are the best Grandma in the world. I am so happy you were at my Princess birthday party”
The Close – Express appreciation once again for the gift and how much you value the person that gave it to you.
“I appreciate your gift, your love and that you are my Grandma.”
Congratulations. You have now written a sincere, heartfelt thank you note. You just brought a little bit of love, and a lot of class back to the world. In teaching your children to write thank you notes you have passed on a lost art to the next generation. It might seem little, but teaching appreciation, civility and thinking of others are not little lessons at all. So go ahead Nannies, demonstrate the beauty that this world needs to see for your Nanny Family.
When is it appropriate to write a thank you note?
Anytime that someone does something special for you. Always when you are given a gift, or if someone hosts an event in your honor. But how about when your friend takes you to lunch or buys you coffee when you are having a bad day? When a company gives you a job interview? If a family interviews you, it is a simple gesture that speaks volumes. Sometimes I write a thank you note for no other reason than to thank a friend for always making me laugh. If there are people in your life that truly care for you and show that in a variety of ways, make sure to send a thank you note.