|Inside it said "You Really Knocked Yourself Out" from my daughter about Christmas.|
I just mailed the last few thank you letters for my Christmas gifts. I’d already mailed at least a dozen so far, but I got busy with other things and put the last three off for various reasons. I ran out of stamps for two, and I wanted to send a book and something else with the one to my California daughter. Although I always thank the giver when I receive a gift or gifts given to me in person, I also send thank you notes or letters. There’s something special about receiving a written thank you. My three sisters all send thank you letters, and so does my brother-in-law, my youngest daughter, and my step-grandson’s wife sent me one, too, even though they’d both thanked me in person as did two sisters and my daughter.
|Written by my son when he was 8 or 9.|
I brought my children up to write thank you letters for gifts they’d received. Yes, I sometimes had to nag a little, but they did it. Most children don’t seem to do that anymore. That’s why I was so thrilled when three weeks ago I received a hand written thank you letter from a nine year old boy I’d never met. He’s the son of my dentist’s office scheduler and bookkeeper. We got to talking before I left, and she said her son loved to read. When I found out he was in third grade,
|From the son of the woman who works in my dentist's office.|
I went to my car and signed a copy of my middle-grade book The Sherlock Holmes Detective Club. That thank you note meant more to me than any money I could have asked for the book.
|One of Ann Sprague's granddaughers.|
Then as I was in the lobby of my church going in for Mass, a woman I know came up to me. She handed me two typed thank you letters from her two granddaughters, who are cousins. At my church’s large craft show in December, I sold quite a few books, including nine of the ten copies I’d brought of my middle-grade book. Their grandmother bought two to give to each of her granddaughters, and I signed each one for her granddaughters. They were absolutely delightful letters, especially for me because they are the age of the students I taught.
|The other granddaughter|
Sometime each January, I taught my third grade students how to write thank you letters. I told them they were to write a letter to their Aunt Gertrude thanking her. Of course, I heard “I don’t have an Aunt Gertrude.” I told them it didn’t matter, because it was only going to me for a grade. Then I had the boys write a letter thanking this aunt for something like a pink sweater, and I told them even though they wouldn’t want a gift like that, they had to write a nice thank you letter so they didn’t hurt their aunt’s feelings. For the girls it might be a box of Matchbox cars, or sometimes I made it really weird like a purple, orange, yellow sweatshirt that was too big or too small and maybe had a rip in it. Or maybe it would be a gift for a toddler. I also told them the difference between a white lie, which was said so as not to hurt someone else’s feelings, and a lie to get out of trouble. After all, Aunt Gertrude meant well, and there’s no way they should let her know they didn’t like her gift. The letters they wrote had me shaking my head and smiling when I read them. Kids, you gotta love them. They can lie if they’re trying to stay out of trouble, but for a teacher to ask them to lie, especially about some very unwelcome gift, really stretched their imagination. I only wish I had saved some of those letters.
Do you write thank you letters?
Do you like to get thank you letters?