I need to let you in on a little secret.
Folks who send thank you cards tend to receive more presents.
How do I know? I watched and listened when I was your age. Your Grandma and Grandpa weren’t the kind to heap words of praise on anyone. But when the traditional celebrations came around on the calendar, you can be sure that Grandma and Grandpa sent a little something tucked in a card to each special someone. Nieces and nephews got small checks for graduations and weddings and baby showers. Teachers and preachers got a little surprise cash at Christmas. And lots of young people got donations towards their summer mission trips.
I’m sure all of this was because Grandma and Grandpa truly wanted to give.
But as the days and weeks would pass after each gift was mailed, Grandma and Grandpa would comment on what came in the mail.
I felt bad for the folks who were long in sending their thank you cards to our address. I was glad for them when it finally came. But, woe to the one who never did.
For awhile there would be the trailing question haunting the mention of their name.
Do you think they didn’t get it?
Sometimes I heard hushed phone conversations, probing other older family members to see if they’d received their thank you.
No one wants to be that person!
You want to be the person that sends the thank you card.
Trust me. Once we got a new pastor at church and soon after he received a little gift from Grandma and Grandpa. He must have sat down immediately and written a thank you card. He must have mailed it quickly. Grandma and Grandpa were overwhelmed when they received it so soon. And I watched for years as this pastor was remembered on all kinds of occasions.
It took me a long time to understand this.
I thought the continued gifts were a sort of prize for him being so good at sending the thank you.
But they were not.
The thank you note increased Grandma and Grandpa’s joy. It was more than an acknowledgement of receipt. Those thank you notes said something to Grandma and Grandpa. They said, I see you. Of course they said that the gift mattered and that the gift was appreciated. But more than that, they said you matter and I appreciate you.
You want to be that person.
So let’s set out to write those thank you cards that are long overdue from your birthday. Let’s write some Christmas thank you notes that aren’t too late yet. You’ll enjoy remembering how special you are to each gift giver and they’ll smile so big when they check their mailbox.
I’ll help you!
PS: The small cards are on the kitchen table. Small means you don’t have to write much!
PPS: Don’t know what to say? Just include “I got it” and “I like it.” We’ll work on some different words next time – since you’ll be on track to get more presents.