Sometime around mid-August, as the summer winds down, it’s like someone throws a switch and suddenly we feel a nostalgic longing for new shoes, a new sweater, and a new box of crayons. Whether you’re eight or thirty-eight, the start of the school year signifies a new beginning, a time to get organized and get down to business.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Writing thank you cards is always a wonderful gesture to let someone know you appreciate what they did for you. But not every occasion requires a “thank you.” Sometimes you want to say, “you did it!” or “remember when…” or “I love you!” So why not create your own personalized note cards that say that? If you had a variety of stationery ideas to pick from that fit different occasions, not only thank you cards, but congratulatory cards and encouragement cards and love cards, we’re betting you’d write a lot more notes. You could tell your husband about how happy he made you feel when he brought you coffee at work by writing him a “You make me smile” card. You could stick an “I love you” note in your kids’ lunch box as a little surprise. You could send a note to your niece congratulating her on her first goal in soccer with a “You did it!” card.
Sending handwritten thank you cards is very important, of course, but there are other events to acknowledge and other words you can use to put a smile on someone’s face! See our note cards collection for lots of stationery ideas including, but not limited to, thank you cards. And never underestimate the power of the pen.
Don’t underestimate the power of the handwritten thank you note. It is not only an essential part of job interview etiquette, it is the perfect opportunity to hammer home the key points you want your interviewer to remember about you.
Job interview etiquette dictates that you send thank you cards to everyone who interviewed you, even if you’re not sure you want the job. This message can be as simple as “Thank you for seeing me. I really appreciate the time.” But if you are serious about the job, it should convey much more than that.
My family draws names for our annual Christmas gift exchange. The grown up siblings and spouses exchange gifts, and our kids draw separately for their own exchange. My family is spread from coast to coast, and frequently I find myself spending as much money to wrap and mail the gifts as I do on the gifts themselves. Even more distressing is going to all that trouble and then not hearing so much as a Happy Holidays from the person who received it. Did they get it? Did they like it? I am left to wonder.
Aside from the obvious question this raises about my family’s upbringing (it’s always the same person and you know who you are) it makes me wonder why it is customary to send thank you cards for birthday presents but not holiday gifts? Okay, I get that when we were kids most of the presents came from Santa, who surely didn’t expect a thank you card for doing his job. But if you are reading this, you are too old for that excuse.
This year, one of my favorite thank you card ideas for the holidays, I am ordering personalized holiday thank you cards for my kids. I will let the kids choose their own design, pick the photo, whatever makes them happy. Or they can choose one of the coloring thank you cards Pear Tree has this year. I want them to learn that a hand-picked gift from a cousin, unlike one from Santa, requires a timely and sincere thank you. I will start small. I have the option to order as few as 8, which should be plenty. And for me, a personalized thank you card with a stylish holiday theme will be perfect. Who knows, maybe a certain someone will get the message.
Some of the most thoughtful ideas we hear from our customers have to do with thanking others around the holidays. One mom we know encourages each child to choose an extended family member and write a thank you card to express their appreciation for that person, or for something they did that meant a lot to the child.
We’re always looking for Thanksgiving ideas that add meaning to the celebration, and this idea is near the top of the list! If you know someone serving in the military, or someone who has family serving in the military, Thanksgiving can be a difficult time of year. It is an all-American holiday, a day that brings families together to celebrate the freedom and abundance we enjoy in this country—in stark contrast to the conditions our military members endure in war-torn countries overseas. What better way to give meaning to your Thanksgiving celebration than to reach out and thank these men and women for their sacrifice?
We encourage you to join us in getting out your personalized note cards and writing a few words of thanks to let a military service member know we appreciate the work they are doing and the sacrifice they are making. And when we sit down to our Thanksgiving meal with our loved ones, we will spend a moment thanking those who are serving their country far from home. For more Thanksgiving ideas, keep reading our blog.
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!