Growing up my mother, the saint that she is, taught me to send thank you cards for my birthday presents. I wasn't always consistant with it but I did try. As I grew older I realized that not very many people seemed to do it. And now it appears to be a lost art form in many homes.
After Nickel and I got married my mother kindly suggested I send out my thank you cards promptly so I wouldn't forget. I will admit that the first half did infact go out promptly. The other half...well, lets just say I hope they were not terribly offended when they didn't get one.
I was a little better about my cards when Peanut and Butter were born. And when Peanut was old enough to write "THANK YOU" I too taught my daughter the Art of Thank You cards. She, like her mother, is not always consistant, but she tries.
One year when Peanut was very young we went to the farm to visit Nickel's grandmother. I handed over a card to Grandma who asked if it was Mother's Day card, as it was near that season, but I said no, it's a thank you card from me and Peanut. She confided in me that my sister-in-law and I were the only ones who ever sent her thank you cards. This made me sad. My sister-in-law and I were both fairly new to the family, she had married in just a year before I did. Did no one ever bother to tell her thank you before that? I couldn't believe it. But then again, Grandma had all grandsons and we were the first granddaughters to come along, so maybe I do believe it.
Thank you cards take less than five minutes of my time. I often find myself in Hallmark or in the stationary isle in Walmart admiring the different cards. Mostly I just buy the blank ones with pretty front covers because they can be used for so many purposes. They're perfect for a quick note to say thank you for a recent gift, you were on my mind, or I love you. And since I have two or three boxes at any given time I can choose the one that best fits my mood or purpose for the card. A note, in my own writing lets the person I'm sending it to know that I, me myself, took the time to express my gratitude. I know when I do get thank you notes myself it means a lot to me.
So next time someone gives you a gift surprise them with a thank you card.