Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The art of the thank you.

When it comes to saying thanks, I think we can all agree that there's nothing wrong with short and sweet, provided you get right on it. A simple, "thank you!" for a compliment is perfect. A sincere email or text for a gift sent in the mail? Right on. An actual phone call? Step aside Mother Theresa, there's a new saint in town!

For me though, there's nothing like a real, honest-to-goodness, thank you note. The snail mail kind. This might sound very Emily Post of me but I can assure you it's less about trying to have perfect etiquette (never gonna happen) and more about personal choice. I like paper and stamps. I enjoy writing notes. I almost always prefer sending it over saying it.

Thank you note - Christmas 2007

The problem is this: remember when I went on and on about sending all my Christmas presents just a little bit too late? Well, it's not just presents I have a problem with. It's a lot of things. I am WAY better than I used to be (like crazy better, holy smokes!), but procrastination still jumps up and bites me far more than I'd like it to.

The worst thing about putting off until tomorrow what I clearly should have done two weeks ago is that the longer I wait, the harder I have to try. A small but thoughtful gesture on the front end (a birthday card received on one's birthday, a small bouquet of hand-picked flowers when someone is having a bad day...) is worth ten big fancy gifts after the fact.  

Thank yous are no exception.

So what could have been a quick note on store bought stationary now feels like it has to be a something kind of special. Something that explains why it took so long to send.

Rather than printing pictures or using some kid art as cards (my typical go-tos), I decided to try a little something different. I took a picture I loved and turned it into a coloring page (I got the idea from our neighbors who did that for their Christmas card this year - instructions here).

Then I made the pictures into cards and had the boys color them for me. Voila!

Oh, and there was one more very special thank you...

Our good friends gave Finn a bunch of little horsies which he absolutely loved (he was insanely cute this year with the presents saying things like "Oh yeah!" when he'd tear off the paper).

The night after he got them we went out for a bit and when I texted our babysitter to see how things were going she said, "Things are great but we had to mourn quite a few horsies..." We just kind of laughed like, "Well, dogs will be dogs..." but when we got home we couldn't believe the damage. It was an all out massacre! Every single horse except ONE had been eaten. The boys were bummed of course but also a little bit like, "Well, dogs will be dogs..." The whole thing cracked me up so much I had to make a commemorative thank you:

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