One of my favorite holiday traditions is sitting down with my kids to write letters to Santa. It is an activity the kids are excited to do, it gets us in the holiday spirit, and it is always an enlightening experience for all of us. Not only does Santa come away with some good ideas, my kids learn to identify needs vs. wants, to prioritize, and to set realistic expectations even as they ask for the moon.
There’s something about actually sitting and writing the list that forces them to decide what is really important to them and what they can do without. If they end up with a lot of things on the list, seeing it in writing helps them realize that Santa might not be able to fit it all in his sleigh, so it might be prudent to prioritize. Sometimes they surprise me with just one or two things. Sometimes they don’t have anything in mind and want Santa to surprise them. But once the letter goes in the mail, sorry, no changes allowed. That’s why you have to check it twice.
In our home, we also write follow-up letters to Santa that we leave out on Christmas Eve along with a few chocolate chip cookies. It is a reminder to Santa about the first letter written and the multitude of requests. Santa then leaves a note back, commenting on the children’s shining moments through the year. Maybe that’s the Santa letter we love the most. It is not there when we go to bed, but is always there when we wake up in the morning. It brings the magic of Christmas to our children, for as long as Santa exists to them.
If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner for a group, large or small, you know how much planning, cleaning, shopping, prepping, baking, chopping, and basting goes into pulling it off. You are happy to make the effort because a successful Thanksgiving is not as much about the food as it is about being with your loved ones, catching up on family news, playing games, watching football, and sharing the family traditions you’ve established over the years.
On those occasions when we are not hosting but attending as an invited guest, however, it’s important not to take your hostess’s efforts for granted, no matter how calm she appears or how many years she has “done” Thanksgiving. Aside from offering to bring something to the gathering and lending a hand while you’re there, there are other ways to show your thanks, from Thanksgiving gift ideas to following up with a handwritten thank you note.
A hostess gift is a little something you bring along to a party to give to the hostess when you arrive. It is not required, but is a lovely gesture that says, “Thanks for having this gathering and inviting me—I know how much work it is!” So what do you bring?
We’ve got nothing against off-the-rack greeting cards. We are the first to admit that generic birthday cards are not us, and that we love funny birthday card ideas and touching anniversary card ideas. But now and then we like to replace the expected card with a handwritten personalized note card or letter that marks the passing year with more than a pat verse and a quick signature.
A man we know writes a letter to his wife every year on their anniversary. She keeps them all in a shoebox, a treasure to someday be discovered by their grandchildren. Each letter is a snapshot of their relationship at that moment in time, and reading them one after the other creates a moving picture. This man has created a legacy for his family—much more than a shoebox of store-bought cards could ever do. He has set an example for his children that they cannot help but admire and, if their spouses are lucky, follow.
A mom we know writes notes to her children regularly and puts them under their pillows or in their lunchboxes, using personalized note cards she created for just that purpose.
A boss we know sends little handwritten thank you notes to her team members whenever she sees them do something that surprises her.
We are happy to report that the written note is alive and well. And the more electronic communication we are exposed to, forced to wade through, the more we appreciate it. Do you know of any unusual uses for handwritten notes? We’d love to hear them. And if you don’t have personalized stationery to write on, you’d better head to peartreegreetings.com and create your own!
In this world of emails, texts and tweets, there are still times when etiquette requires a handwritten note—thank you cards, condolence cards and wedding invitations are among them. But even birthday wishes and holiday card ideas are better when handwritten. And how often do we pick up a pen to tell an old friend that we miss them. Or say to our spouse, I am still very much in love with you. Or send a personalized note card to congratulate the kid down the street for making it onto the varsity team (and that all that free-throw shooting at 11 p.m. must’ve paid off).
Sure, a text or email is easier. But the simple act of putting a pen to paper has a magical effect on the words you write. Suddenly they seem more important, more meaningful, more memorable. You could have taken the easy route, but you didn’t. And that shows the person on the receiving end that you care.
At Pear Tree, we rely on email and electronic communication as much as anyone—after all, we are an online company! But we love to send handwritten notes whenever we can, simply because they’re so unexpected. And we know from experience what a joy it is to receive them. We hope you agree. Tell us what you think!
For ways to bring your card ideas to life, check out the personalized note cards and thank you notes at Pear Tree!
One of the things we love about our personalize stationery is that you can, well, personalize it. The simplest way is to simply add your name or initials, but you can also add something as creative as a favorite verse, lyric, original writing or photo. Once the note card is printed, however, what’s inside is all up to you. There are a myriad of reasons to send a personal note, and lots of creative ways to make them even more personal. Not feeling very creative? Here are some of the more delightful note card ideas we’ve heard from our customers that we’re happy to pass along to you. Continue reading
Everyone has a friend who is amazingly quick with the thank you cards or the note saying just the right thing. She sends it right away, as a matter of courtesy and good manners, which makes you feel great, of course, but also a little guilty that you’re not more like her!
We all have the power to make someone feel good, we just don’t use it often enough. And the truth is, thank you cards make the sender feel just as good as the person who receives it. So for all you wannabee thank-you-note-writers, here are a few thank you ideas to make you feel better about yourself and to make someone else smile.
- Send a card to thank your sister for being helpful with your kids
- Thank a soldier for serving his or her country
- Thank your professional mentor you haven’t talked to in a while
- Send a teacher a thank you note in the middle of the school year instead of at the end
- Thank your hubby in a handwritten personalized note card for being such a great guy
One of the most rewarding thank you ideas, for both you and the recipient, is the one the recipient least expects. Sometimes just saying what’s in your heart is the best way to go. Try it and see how good you feel!
Find thank you cards that fit your style at Pear Tree, and personalize them with your name and color choices to make them your own!