I don't know about you but I still get giddy with excitement when I open up my mailbox and see a letter addressed to "moi" or to daddy Dave or the kids. I get just about as giddy to see ANY piece of mail other than junk mail and/or generically addressed mail. Even my bills with my actual name on it puts a smile on my face until I open it and the reality of having to pay the sum listed sets in. *sigh*
But that's not what I wanted to
This morning I was reading one of parenting magazines on the etiquette's of children's birthday parties and one of the points stated that written thank yous are not necessary. Sure, I get that they are not necessary but I do think they are important.
Disclaimer: Before I continue on, let me first say that I do not expect a thank you card from anyone. That in itself would make a Thank You card less appreciated and valued. Nor do I feel insulted or "judge" those who do not send Thank You cards. It in no way reflects a person gratitude towards a gift I or my family have given them. This is not a post to slap the hands of those who do not send Thank You cards!
That being said, in my home, it does reflect the gratitude WE feel for gifts received and is a mandatory practice 'round here for my children. Sure, they are only 3 year old and I am the one who is currently sending these off on their behalf BUT they are involved in the process as much as possible. When I sit to write the cards, they are there
I keep it real simple when they want an explanation. "INSERT NAME HERE gave you INSERT GIFT HERE and you are now sending them a Thank You Card to express how grateful you are for their present." When the ever so popular "Why?" question is asked over and over and over and over, I respond mater-of-factly, "Because that is the polite thing to do."
In my mind, it's not rocket science. It's one of the ways in which I am trying to ensure my children do not grow up with a sense of entitlement. While they are spoiled. They are not spoiled rotten (at least I hope they are not). I always say this about myself and hope my children will also say the same about themselves when they grow old and wise (just like mama); I didn't want for anything growing up (or even now as an adult) BUT I appreciated everything I did/do have. I was taught that you said "Thank You" for everything that was given. Not just gifts but meals, rides, if someone held the door open for you, etc. Everything.
Gratitude...one of life's easiest lessons to teach. In my opinion.
And so, as I cleaned my gift/party/storage room this weekend, I happened upon a box FULL of Thank You cards that I have picked up over the years. I am talking, TONS of cards. I think I bought some of them before I even had kids. Some are very simple/generic and will be used for years to come. Many of them are specifically designed for children. The kind where, once they learn to write, they can fill in the blanks to express their appreciation for the MANY gifts and acts of kindness that are to come. I am most excited about this. The moment when my children will truly understand and participate in the lost art of sending a "Thank You" card.