Monday, April 21, 2014

Writing Thank You Cards


     Sending a thank you card is just good etiquette. However, I'm terrible at writing and sending them in a timely manner! I'll go ahead and confess that I only made it through a fraction of the wedding thank you cards. I regret having not finished them. I was so overwhelmed at the time, and card writing just wasn't helping the matter. So, when it came to thank you cards for baby gifts I was determined to be on top of them and get them done. (Granted, with his unexpected arrival and multiple hospital stays it took me about two months to get them done, but I did it!). 

     Even though it is common practice to send thank you cards, the specifics of writing them had become lost to me. I'm sure I learned the proper form as a kid in school, but my adult self needed some reminding. The following is a brief lesson in writing thank you cards. At the bottom of the post is a quick reference guide that you can print (and keep stored with your stash of thank you cards).

     First, if you are attending a shower or other such party, then you'll want to have someone to write down the gifted item and who gave it. If you keep a single list for several events, then I also suggest somehow designating attendance so that you can mention that in the card. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember who did or did not attend and where, especially if you were not able to have much of a conversation with him/her. 

     Second, while there are many convenient methods of communication nowadays (email, Facebook, text messaging etc.) the best way to convey thanks is still a handwritten note. You can use photo cards, but you must still hand-write a note somewhere on them. It took time and effort for someone to shop/make, wrap and offer you a gift, and so it should take your time and effort to write a personal note of appreciation. 

     A thank you card is appropriate for anyone who has given you a gift, planned an event for you, or has done a favor or other kind gesture for you. It is also favorable to send a thank you note after having been a guest in someone's home. We had a family over for dinner once and then soon after received a thank you card made by the children. Little touches like this make a difference!

     Now you're ready to compose the message. I'll admit that this is the part I dread because I always struggle for the right words to say. I, therefore, find it helpful to use a guide and then varying the wording so that I don't sound robotic. 

1) Begin with a greeting like Dear ____
2) Express your gratitude Thank you so much for the _____. (Try to include the specific item)
3) Add details of item's use or a personal story I can't wait to use the money/gift card etc. to decorate our new home (baby's room etc)!
4) Mention anticipation for next meeting (or express regret if unable to meet) I look forward to seeing you at the next family gathering. Or, I'll miss seeing you at the next family gathering.
5) Restate thanks a little differently Again, thank you for your generosity. I'm so excited for __[whatever the occasion is]___.
6) End with closing like Sincerely, or Love,
*If you're like me and don't get the cards out within a month of the occasion, then begin with an apology. Please forgive me for the delay. Or, I've been meaning to tell you...

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This post is #1 of the "52 Projects" series


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Five Question Friday- 03/29/14

     Five Question Friday is a fun little post each week in which five random questions are answered. It's an opportunity for us to get to know one another a little better. Best of all is that you can participate too! Simply leave your answers to the questions in the comment field below! Or, suggest a question to be featured on a future 5QF!

1. What are you favorite foods? (Thank you Amy K. for submitting this question this week!)
     For our birthdays we each cook the other person his/her favorite meal. For my husband that meal is fried chicken and sides. For myself, I enjoy meatloaf, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, scrambled (fried) okra etc. Of course, both meals include a delicious glass of sweet tea! Can you tell we're from the South?
     My favorite dessert is ice cream. I love ice cream. The best is coffee ice cream with cookie dough pieces. Yum! 
     For greater insight into favorite foods or the meals we typically eat, view any of the many menu plans listed on the site.  :)

2. If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be? Why?
      I think I'd want to meet some of the individuals featured in the Bible. There is so much variation of assumptions and interpretations of people and/or events in the Bible that it would be interesting to learn from a firsthand account.  

3. What do you enjoy doing with your family?
     I simply enjoy being with my husband and son. It doesn't matter what we're doing. The mundane everyday routine is just as wonderful as if we went out and did something else. Their mere presence in my life makes it rich and I cherish the time we spend together.
     In regard to extended family, one of my favorite times is what is coming to be our annual gathering in TN. On my husband's side of the family, there are four family each living in different states. Last year we decided to all plan to come together for a weekend. The fact that 12+ family members can be together enjoying one another's company (ie no ridiculous attitudes or arguing!) for several days is a testament to the beauty of this family. I personally want a family that enjoys being together, and to be a part of a family that enjoys being together. Us coming together for this little family vacation weekend is one of my favorite ways of enjoying being with my extended family. 

4. If you could change one thing that happened today, what would it be and why?
     Today is a lazy day. Tennyson woke up rather fussy. He seems rather overtired as though he might not have gotten the most solid sleep last night. So, he's enjoying lots of cuddling time this morning with his Daddy. Hubby and I are pretty tired too. It was a more consuming week, and the rest today feels rather nice. If I could change anything about the day so far though, it would be for there to be a little more energy and productivity. But I know that sometimes you need a rest day, so I'm not changing anything just yet! (It's also so sweet to see the two of them napping together. A good Daddy just melts a Mama's heart!)

5. What do you want to be doing in 10 years?
     Wow, in ten years Tennyson will be...well, 10! Oh my, I'm not sure I even want to think of that just yet. I'm always hesitant to confine the future to a timeline of events. The only part I hope persists is us having a joyful home and life full of family! 

How would you answer this week's Five Question Friday? What questions would you like to see answered in future 5QF?

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