I have writers’ paw. Sadly this is not because I am doing something glamorous, signing autographs or tennis balls or learning calligraphy, but because of something much more mundane.
But much more fulfilling – or so I imagine, seeing as how I have never been asked for my autograph. I’d probably just laugh hysterically if anyone ever requested it. However, as fame is yet to visit my personage, and is unlikely to ever do so, I’ll practice my disbelieving laugh and not my signature.
There is a pen shaped dint in my right hand. I’ve just finished writing the wedding thank you notes. I can’t say ‘our’ thank you notes, as Le Pomme did his fair share of them (but I stuck all the pictures on the front and did the envelopes. Mostly). I love writing thank you notes. I’m the first to admit I was a little in awe of the prospect of a hundred of the little critters, but we got there in the end. It was a little galling to then have to write and say thank you for my birthday gifts to some of the same people less than a week later than I’d posted most of them though – I should have waited and saved on the price of a stamp.*
It got me thinking. One of the reasons it took a little time was that each one was individual – or as much so as I could make it. If people can be bothered to put thought into a gift, surely that should be acknowledged by writing more than ‘Dear You, Thank you for my lucky rabbit’s foot keyring, Love Me’. I didn’t want to dash off an unconsidered response to people who had taken the time and effort to select a present. And I didn’t only send them to people who had given us presents, but to those involved in our day as special as it was.
Growing up, thank you notes, and the battles my parents undertook to get me to write them in a timely fashion, were almost as much of a milestone as birthdays and Christmases themselves. The minimum allowed was to acknowledge the gift, tell the giver one thing I would do with it, and write one sentence on what I was doing that holiday / week. And not forgetting the important ‘Hope you are all well and that I see you soon.’ One of my maximum efforts ran to four pages, in the year I decided to write my thank yous in the run up to Christmas, photocopy one version, and then just fill the details in afterwards. Sadly I was rumbled on about letter number three, so had to start all over again.
Now I love receiving notes almost as much as I enjoy selecting a gift in the first place. It’s just not the same receiving an email as for me, although the sentiment is the same, it feels less – I recognize I may well be alone in thinking this, before I get shot down in flames.
I like to think that in years to come, my children will write thank you letters and notes. By hand, with complete compliance, the day after receiving said gift.
Don’t worry, I’m laughing at myself, you don’t need to do it for me.
But it’s just good manners, surely?
What do you think? Do you write thank you letters or notes? What do you think if you receive one – or if you never get one for a gift given, does it change your thinking about the individual who you put time, money and thought into selecting a gift for?
*JOKE, Mum. Honest.