Thank you notes!
Oh, the torture of thank you notes.
My Uncle (the one who brought me up) would say that, frankly, he'd rather not have had the present, if it meant he did not have to write and thank the giver for it.
Then, from my mother's generation, "And, you know, he/she didn't even write to say thank you!" Oh, what a wealth of condemnation in those words!
I have always made my children write thank you notes, but I have tried to make it easy for them. I write them a proforma they can just copy out, inserting the giver's name and the gift, as appropriate.
I tell my nephews and nieces that a thank you note is NOT required.
Debrett's Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners says, 'The thank-you, although an endangered species, is one of the most delightful and effective of letters... it should be short and to the point. However, any attempt to enliven the bread and butter formula is to be recommended (such as) an observation about a gift.'
This is useful to remember, and also that thank-yous do have a short shelf-life and should be sent within a few days. The day after Boxing Day is the allotted day for ours.
The problem with these kind of thank yous is that it comes over as a transaction. Person A gives a gift to person B. B then sends a letter of thanks to person A. The transaction is complete.
There is a different kind of thank you, however and I received one such this week. Well, two, actually. The first was a gift from Caroline, on behalf of Moodscope. I am touched, thrilled and delighted with this gift. Honestly, writing for you all each week is a gift in itself. It's so lovely to be thanked and especially with a present (I love presents), but I never expect it.
The second 'thank you' was from some children for whom I cooked in the Summer. I cooked for sixteen sailing cadets for a week in August, in temperatures of 32 degrees. Again, it was a joy, even it was hard work. Everyone ate well and came back for second helpings – everyone from the young seven-year olds, to the sophisticated and worldly-wise teenagers.
To receive a Christmas card from these two children however, was unexpected and delightful. 'Thank you for the food', they wrote. 'It was yummy!' and they had decorated the card with hand-drawn reindeer.
To receive an unexpected thank you gives a warm fizzy feeling inside.
I'd love to pass this feeling on. So, I'm making a list of people I can thank.
I'm going to start with you.
When you read my blogs, you make me feel so wanted and needed and appreciated. Thank you for that. Writing for you brings purpose to my life and I never take it for granted.
So, thank you for reading. Seriously. Thank you so very much.
A Moodscope member.