the learning house

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Thank You Cards – An ancient custom?

on December 28, 2012

In today’s age of technology where it’s so quick and easy to send an e-mail, text message, IM, or twitter, is it really necessary to send a hand-written, snail-mailed Thank You card for all the Christmas gifts we’ve received over the holidays? Maybe, maybe not, but I’d like to suggest a few reasons why it’s a good idea, particularly if you have young children who don’t use the above mentioned technology.

When we send a quick email thanking the grandparents for the gifts they sent our children, by not including our children in the process, we fail to teach them the dying virtue of gratitude. So help your child appreciate not only the gift, but also the giver, by helping them make a Thank You card.

For younger children it can be as simple as sticking stickers or stamping stamps on a blank card, then you can write a note describing how much your child is enjoying his/her new toy. Older children can sign their own name or write their own note.

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I find this process also helps young children remember who gave them each gift. While we make the cards, we look at pictures and talk about the people who gave the gifts and how much they love them and how happy they will be to know their gift is appreciated and enjoyed.

Writing a Thank You note for each and every gift could be tedious and may not be necessary, but where I think it’s especially meaningful is in the case where the gift giver was not present when the gift was opened (which is most of our gifts!). So for example, if Grandma or Grandpa didn’t get to see your child open the gift – didn’t get to see the joy on their face and watch them play with it – then I think it’s important to send them a note sharing how much your child loved the gift or their reaction when they opened it or their favorite thing about it, etc.

Another thing I did this year was take some pictures of my kids in their new clothes or playing with a favorite new toy, then print the picture and make a card with it . . .

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I’ll admit that I do not always write a Thank You card for every gift, but it’s something I’m working on because I want my friends and family who are so thoughtful and generous to send us gifts to be encouraged by what a blessing they are to us and for them to know how much their gifts are loved, used, enjoyed, (sometimes eaten!), and cherished.

Do you send Thank You cards?

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8 responses to “Thank You Cards – An ancient custom?

  1. Nancy remde says:

    Terri, I couldn’t agree more. I always make my kids write hand written thank you notes. Thanks for sharing. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

  2. I agree completely!! We also make and send thank you cards. I am impressed how quickly you’re on it. 🙂 We’ll be working on ours next week.

  3. I find we have to work on ours over a period of several days so the children don’t get too bogged down. I sometimes make photo cards with a picture and send a combo Happy New Year & Thank You card at the same time! I really like your photo card ideas with the children enjoying the gifts!

  4. Whether it is or isn’t, it ought not to be (a thing of the past). Our kids are going to be working on theirs real soon too!

  5. I have to admit I have not been good at writing thank you cards… thank you 😉 for reminding me how personal and necessary they are! God Bless!

  6. JB Blackford says:

    I saw this just as I was sitting down to write my own thank-you notes. My mom taught my sister and me to write them starting when we were young, and we still do it more than twenty years later!

  7. Linda says:

    I like your idea of making a note of the joy the child had in opening a certain gift when the gift-giver was not present. We are making thank-you cards with some of the art materials that our daughter received as gifts. Thanks for the encouragement to get them in the mail!

  8. Angela says:

    Yes! Thank you for this. This was on my heart after Christmas and I keep putting it off! Thanks for reminding me. Will be doing this with my kids this weekend. 🙂 Better late than never.

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