Did you happen to watch the Valentine’s Day episode of The Biggest Loser? We loved the way letters from home (and, later, letters from teammates) played a huge roll in this episode.
In the team challenge, letters from home were the reward for the winning team. Contestants had to dig their way through several obstacles in the sand, and the thought of getting to read those letters after being away from home for 6 weeks was a huge incentive to the teams. When the winning team members sat down on the beach to read their letters, they were visibly moved by the words of encouragement they held in their hands. Many cried. All said that the letters helped them tremendously and gave them the emotional boost they needed to continue.
Later in the same episode, two contestants who had been separated from their teams received encouraging letters from their teammates. Both received the letters at a particularly difficult time during the week, and both said the letters gave them the strength to keep going, and that they could feel the support from their team.
We’ve said it a thousand times, but this mega-hit television show proved it in front of 6.4 million viewers. Never underestimate the power of the pen!
One of our team members recently experienced a scare. His sister was seriously injured in a car accident and hospitalized for several weeks. His family spent hours at her bedside, while friends and relatives sent flowers, gifts, good wishes, and offered their support in many ways.
During one of those many hours of vigil, it occurred to him that his family would probably want to send thank you notes to many of the people who had helped them. “If this hadn’t happened to us,” he said, “it would never have occurred to me to give note cards as a gift to a family struggling with illness or injury. But that would have been an incredibly thoughtful and useful gift.” Not only could they have used them, but it would have given them something to do, other than worry, while waiting in the hospital!
We all struggle with finding the right gift or the right thing to say when a friend needs our support. That’s why this has become one of our favorite thinking-of-you gift ideas. If the thought of giving thank you notes seems too presumptuous, blank note cards will be just as appreciated and are more versatile. (Most of Pear Tree’s thank you notes, or personalized note cards can be ordered blank, without any message on the front, if that’s the way you’d like them.) As this family’s story taught us, you never know when you might need them.
We 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.
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!
RealSimple.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”
While 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.
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 cards. 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 card 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.
Whenever 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!
There 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!
Your 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.