Mom was right. Thank you notes do matter!

thank you notesWe love that even business execs are recommending pushing away the keyboard and writing a handwritten thank you note as a follow-up to an interview, or as a basic step in building a business relationship: How to Write a Thank You Note That Matters.

In this inc.com blog post, author Rene Shimada Siegel, is surprised how few business professionals take the time to do this simple act. The ones who do, and who can write a note without grammatical errors or misspellings, really stand out. “There is no faster way to create a positive impression,” she says. Especially rare is the note from a business owner or executive. “When the sender is a busy executive, handwritten notes are so remarkable that they easily earn awe and admiration.” Read more.

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Learning to Say “Thank you.”

Kids thank you card ideas after the holidays #peartreegreetings #thankyou #gifts
It’s Christmas day and the whole family has gathered at grandma’s house to exchange gifts. All eyes are on your 4-yr. old as she excitedly rips open grandma’s gift. What will it be? More importantly, you worry, how will she react? Will she remember to say thank you?

The holidays are filled with teaching moments for parents and kids alike. In the excitement of opening gifts, it’s easy for kids to forget their manners, but a little preparation beforehand goes a long way toward heading off an embarrassing moment. And our kids thank you card ideas may help smooth things over later, if thing don’t go as you’d planned.

Every family is different, but we think it’s a good idea to set expectations with your kids about opening gifts—especially gifts from extended family members. Kids should know that it’s impolite to rush through opening gifts, that each gift deserves a sincere thank you, and that grandma spent time picking out that gift so her feelings might be hurt if you say you don’t like it. You can’t really control what your child does, but you can plant the seed. And it’s a lot easier to have this talk before the big event, than on Christmas day in front of all the relatives.

One last tip: for gifts that are opened when the giver is not present, remember to have kids thank you notes on hand. There are plenty of kids thank you card ideas available, such as coloring cards, that can turn this task into a fun activity. Hope your Christmas is a merry one!

Keep reading our blog for more kids ideas, and be sure to check out our kids thank you cards and personalized note cards so you can have them on hand when you need them!

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How to write the perfect note

Writing a thank you noteRealSimple.com has a few tips for all of us note writers out there who may be at a loss for words. No matter how often we sit down with a blank note card, there are times when we just need a few words to get us started. It sure would be nice, we think, to see how someone else does it. Well, here you are, three great examples of how to write the perfect note.

You’ll find examples of a birthday note, a celebratory note, and a note of condolence, along with tips on how to add your own touches to make them more personal, as well as valuable advice on what not to say. We love the practical how to’s, but mostly we just wanted to applaud RealSimple.com for coming out in favor of the handwritten note. There are plenty of believers out there. Are you one?

Read “How to Write the Perfect Note”

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Don’t forget thank you notes to the most obvious

Thank you notesWhile your grad is writing thank you notes, don’t forget to put on the list those who have helped him or her the most. It seems obvious, but this thank you note idea is not one that not occurs to very many people.

How about sending a thank you note to Mom or Dad, Grandma or Grandpa? To one or more of the teachers who inspired you through the years. To a guidance counselor who made sure you graduated with the required credits. To the person who helped you get that summer job to pay for college, or that internship that will get you into grad school? Or to a coach who cheered you on to that athletic scholarship or taught you the meaning of teamwork.

This thank you note idea is not required, of course, nor is it expected. But that’s why it is so special to receive and is usually treasured by the recipient. Aside from the pleasure it brings, it offers a good life lesson for every grad: the gifts we are most thankful for don’t always come in a box. Someday, perhaps, your grad will pass this lesson on to another generation.

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Graduation Thank You Note Wording

When my son graduated from high school last year, I warned him early and often about the fact that he was going to have to write graduation thank you notes. We ordered them with his graduation announcements and address labels, so we had everything we needed on hand early. And when it came time for him to start writing them, I told him I had just one requirement: that he write more than two sentences in each note.

When it comes to graduation thank you note wording, the first two sentences are the easiest. Thank the person for the gift. Tell them how or where you plan to use it, or how much you will enjoy it. The third sentence requires some thought, but is usually the most interesting and meaningful part of the note. I suggested that he try to make a personal connection with the gift-giver, possibly mentioning an experience or memory they shared, or offer a simple thank you for their friendship over the years.
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Mini Note Cards: Our Solution for Cute Note Ideas

Cute note ideas for saying "I love you" or "thinking about you" #peartreegreetings #mininotesWhenever I leave my house I like to leave a little note behind telling my husband where I went. It doesn’t matter whether I’m going to the gym or the grocery store or for a walk, at the bottom of the note, I always like to add a personal message—thanks for something that he’s done around the house that I really appreciated, or that I can’t wait for our movie night tonight, or just a little smiley face with an ‘I love you.’ Of course, I am usually writing this on the back of an envelope or a receipt, the nearest scrap of paper I can grab, which tends to take away some of the romance. Now I am excited to use our new mini note cards for these kinds of messages. They are perfect to keep around the house for quick little notes to your husband, kids, babysitter, whomever. Or keep them at work to give your notes to coworkers a little personality. Mini note cards aren’t meant to be saved for special occasions or important messages. They are meant to be used everyday, when you want your message to be noticed.

Shop for mini note cards to keep around the house all year round for all your cute note ideas. They make great cards for gifts, too!

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Writing a thank you note to Mom

happy_wwwThere comes a time in every daughter’s life when she realizes that Mom might’ve been right about a few things. Well, okay, about a lot of things. Like moisturizing nightly and wearing sunglasses. Welcoming new neighbors with cookies and attending funerals even when you don’t have time. The boyfriend who wasn’t good enough for you. The teacher who wasn’t hard enough on you.

Maybe raising your own kids has changed your perspective. Maybe you’ve just matured. But it’s time to write Mom a thank you note and tell her how much you appreciate the things she taught you, the beliefs she instilled in you and the good little habits she forced you to develop. You wouldn’t be you, if it weren’t for her.

I can see my Mom smiling as she reads my thank you card, realizing that at least one thing she taught me didn’t go in one ear and out the other. Writing thank you notes is important. I tell my kids the same thing.

Don’t be caught without personalized stationery for your important thank you notes!
thank you cards

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Thank you from Baby

Thank you ideasYour new baby has brought so much joy into your life—and so many gifts! You know you really should get started on those thank you notes, if you can just find the time between feedings! But somehow the box of thank you notes you bought before she was born don’t seem to convey her personality at all.

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Teacher Appreciation Ideas

What do you say to the person you entrust to teach and guide your kids every day? What are you most grateful for? Maybe it’s the little things, like how they notify you of your child’s achievements, or how they make themselves available after hours to connect with you about a concern, or the fact that they take the time to share with you something that sparked your kid’s interest in the classroom. Maybe you appreciate all of these things, but have never gotten around to expressing your thanks.

This is one instance where choosing just the right words is not the point. A sincerely written thank you note can go a long way to inspire and nourish a great teacher. Start with something simple and to the point: “I noticed that you take the time to encourage great manners in your classroom, and that makes a difference to me. Thank you.” A quick sentence or two about how the teacher has impacted both you and your child will surely be remembered and appreciated–whether it’s teacher appreciation day or not!

While those other teacher appreciation ideas (you know, the coffee mugs and potted plants) collect dust, most teachers will mention thank you notes or letters they got from students or parents when asked about the best ‘thank you’ they ever received. Knowing they’re making a difference in their students’ lives is what makes most teachers love to teach. Don’t forget to tell them!

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Two words for teachers: Thank You

elmer's glue

My kindergarten teacher didn’t exactly fit the mold for someone tasked with motivating 6 year olds. He was wiry, thin with sunken cheekbones and blond, wispy hair. Smiles were infrequent, and his methods stern. When he handed out papers bulbous knuckles protruded from sinewy fingers. His methods were unpredictable, and, frankly, he was a tad frightening. I don’t remember much about learning to count or the disadvantages of eating glue (but I can count now, and I only infrequently sample the Elmer’s), but I do remember the rooster he brought into the classroom. And I remember how fascinating it was to dissect an owl pellet. And I remember watching those sinewy fingers tap a maple tree and a satisfying smile spread between those same, sunken cheekbones. Somehow he instilled in me an appreciation for the outdoors through unpredictable, arresting methods. I think maybe it was simply because he cared.

It wasn’t until much later, into my adulthood, that I realized how much he meant to me as a teacher. I love the outdoors, and so much of my fondness, I realize, stemmed from the passion he shared with us kindergartners. I wish I had thanked him. That I had known enough to tell him what he was doing mattered, and that it made a difference.

Both my parents are teachers. When I’ve seen my mother the most satisfied is when she wells up reading a thank you letter from a former student, years later, simply sharing with her the impact she’s made. I’ve missed my chance to tell Mr. Miller what he meant to me, and that’s an unfortunate reality for  many of us adults. But our kids, being taught and inspired right now, they still have the chance. And all it takes is a note with two simple words: Thank You.

- Wyatt

Other favorite teachers from our team:

Now that I’m grown I can’t help but smile at the sheer embarrassment I felt over my mother’s occupation as our elementary school librarian. It’s amazing how different that memory looks through my adult eyes! I know that I have her to thank for my interest not only in literature, but art, politics and geography as well. As a librarian, my mother opened a world to me through books that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. I will be eternally grateful for that gift.

- Megan

Beginning of my sophomore year in college I had a professor who taught us very well in the classroom, but more than that he taught us how to prepare for the ‘working world’. He was an inspirational teacher and shared with us his career story- once a newspaper reporter to Editor-in-Chief to college professor- and how each job helped him become who he is today. I thank him for helping me realize what I was learning in each class and how to apply it to better myself professionally.

Dani

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