Family Friday: Thank You Notes

Does anybody else still make their kids send thank you notes? We do.

In my house, we celebrate Christmas. Our children received a good number of gifts from various family members and friends this year. The day after Christmas, I sat down at my computer. I opened up a new word document and called my youngest daughter over to me. “Okay, sweetheart. Grandma and Grandpa got you (I listed off the presents from them). What do you want to say in your thank you note?”

She started dictating. “Dear Grandma and Grandpa, thank you for present one, that I’m doing such-and-so with, and thank you for present two, that I’m going to use when I do that other thing, and thank you for present three…” You get the idea. Towards the end of the note, “And I hope you have a wonderful year of 2015, and I hope that we get to see you a lot in 2015 whether you come up here or we come down there or we get to see each other on Skype. I love you. Love, me.” This thank you note was close to what I’d consider three healthy paragraphs, but it was two incredibly long run-on sentences held together with a bunch of “and”s.

We moved on to thank you note number two. It started off very much the way the note to Grandma and Grandpa did. About halfway through the rambling “and and and,” I turned to her and said, “Sweetheart, you do realize that I’m just typing this up to help you, right? I’m going to print it out for you, and you’re going to hand-write all the notes.”

Sheer, abject horror on that eight-year-old face. Somehow, the year between thank you notes was enough time for her to forget the routine.

“So, what else do you want to say in this thank you note?”

“Love, me.”

I cracked up. The first thank you note went on forever. By the time she made it to the end of her thank yous, the note basically said “Dear person, thank you for my present, Love, Me.”

But, by golly, she still sent a thank you to every person who sent her a present. And I’ve got another happy memory to carry with me for the rest of forever. 🙂

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