Thank You Notes Are One of Life’s Little Joys
As a child, nothing even came close to the excitement of Christmas day.
December 25th was the best day of the year.
Hands down, though, December 26th was always the worst day of the year.
December 26th in the Hawley household=Thank You Note Day.
Mom would make Tom, Christy and I all sit down at the kitchen table and write all of our thank yous before we could play with our new toys.
Every year they sent grapefruit.
Now, don’t get me wrong, now-a-days I love a good grapefruit,
especially those actually hand-picked and shipped fresh. Yum!
But when you’re 8, a big box of grapefruit individually wrapped in the previous Sunday’s newspaper is not the most exciting gift.
At 8, I wouldn’t even touch the stuff.
Which made having to write a lovely thank you that much harder.
None-the-less, we had to write a thank you for those grapefruit.
It was always the same: I’d gaze longingly at all my new toys…
and then I’d stare down at the blank thank you card and wonder what on earth I could possibly say about this year’s grapefruit.
And I wasn’t allowed to just say,
“Thanks for the yummy grapefruit.
Oh, no. My mom had a strict 3-line minimum.
Three lines is an awful lot when you have nothing to say.
Eventually I’d come up with something.
In a desperate attempt to get through the torture otherwise known as
I would just make things up:
“Dear Aunt Shirley and Uncle Lou,
You just can’t imagine the joy I felt receiving the big box of Florida grapefruit you sent this year! Why, I can’t believe how juicy and delicious this year’s batch is–truly best I’ve ever had! I look forward to starting each morning with one of the grapefruits you hand-picked for us to enjoy! It’s like you managed to send a little bit of Florida sunshine right along in that box! Thanks for sending us such a wonderful Christmas gift! You’re the BEST! Love, Vicki”
I do believe those thank you notes sparked my life-long love of creative writing and fiction.
As much as I dreaded writing those notes, I know my mom was right; thank you notes are important. By forcing us to sit down and write, mom taught us valuable lesson–showing gratitude is a small gift you give back to the giver. And the 3-line minimum forced us to learn how to write a damn-good thank you note.
I recently wrote a thank you to my friend, Gayle. She told me it was the best thank you note she had ever received in her whole life. She said she wanted to send it to her mom so she could put it in her baby book for safe keeping. I don’t know about all that, but I do know that when I’m writing to someone as fabulous as Gayle, who does so many nice things for me, it’s easy to write a good note. (Way easier than for the grapefruit!).
A grateful heart is a happy heart.
Thank you, Mom, for teaching me the value of giving thanks.
And thanks to all of you who read my little blog each day.
Your comments give me the warm-fuzzies and make my day!
PS Aunt Shirley?
I love you big bunches!
I now know what I was missing out on when I took a pass on all those yummy grapefruit! XO