The holidays are over. The tree with all it’s many trimmings have been packed away. School is back in session, and the craziness of the holidays and are almost long forgotten. How is it that each year my children soon forget the joy and excitement that came along with opening up all those shiny packages? How did we so quickly lose that feeing of joy and excitement? Have we became, dare I say it, ungrateful?!?!
Channeling my inner Justin Timberlake, I am going to be bringing thank you back!
I’ll help the kids by writing down each gift and giver. The girls will scribble and scratch out a few words, while Max feverishly fills in all the missing blanks to completes each thank you card. After I address all the envelopes, we will endure a few squabbles over who gets to put the stamps on. A quick run to the post office later, and voila, we are done!
But, why go though all this trouble to mail out a thank you?
Saying “thank you” is more than just an exercise in social graces. A sincere thank you is a extension of the heart. Writing a thank you note helps my children to remember how they felt when someone was so kind and thoughtful to gift them. Sending a hand written thank you also gives the same joy of receiving a gift back to the sender. It rekindles the kindness that began with the gift.
This simple act of kindness is powerful.
Now the tricky part, how be thankful for the opportunity to say thank you? It is so easy to succumb to the common idea the gift giver instinctively knows how thankful you are for the gift. Especially with young children, sitting down to write thank you cards can be difficult and feel daunting.
These are the guiding ideas I use when writing thank you cards with my children:
1. Sincerely Written
A thank you from the heart keeps the feeling of joy and elation alive that started when the gift was given. It reminds my children how blessed they are.
2. Penned in Their Own Hand
In a world where we can order food, pay our mortgage and update our emotional status all on our smart phones, it is so easy to quickly download an app that can send out our thank you notes. But, just like my young children, I still get a small thrill when I see a hand written letter addressed to me in the mail box. From the smallest scribble drawing to the most elaborately written note, a child’s own handwriting will always mean the most.
3. Timely Given
We live fast. We like everything fast: fast food, driving in the fast lane, and fast internet connections. Our minds move quickly in this fast paced world and just like that today’s headlines turn into tomorrows old new. We quickly forget the blessings of today and look for what tomorrow might bring. When we write a thank you we say to the giver that we stopped the business of our world to soak up the generosity and thoughtfulness of the gift and the giver.
I want to teach my children to live generously and kindly. That lessons starts with recognizing the generosity that has so freely been bestowed to them.
Do you help your child write thank you notes?
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