Now that the holidays have passed it’s time to say thank you for everything you have been given. Although some may say those classic thank-you cards sent in the mail are a thing of the past, good manners certainly are not. Try some of these creative ways to thank friends and family for their gifts.
There used to be a time where everyone sent thank-you cards. You would purchase beautiful cardstock and write out thoughtful notes for things like when someone visited your home, offered good advice, had you to their party, gave you a gift, or just did something nice for you. You would then send the note in the mail as a pleasant surprise for the recipient. Although those ways of pleasantry have almost completely faded from our lives, replaced by emails and social media, they can still be used as a tool to help your child learn the value of a sincere thank you. Here are some nice things you can help them send.
The classic thank-you letter
If you would like to go the traditional route and send a thank-you note, you can still find attractive cardstock from specialty card shops and craft stores. Let your child pick out their card so, they experience intentionally choosing something with someone specific in mind. If you pick it out yourself without your child’s input, you don’t set the expectation that this is a part of being sincere in the thank you.
When it’s time to write the letter, sit down together and focus on the task so that your child can understand that being sincere means paying full attention to something. Talk about what you are thanking the person for and why. For example, you may want to say “Thank you for the toy soldiers you bought me. I really like soldiers and will have fun playing with them.” Make sure you are also teaching your child that part of being sincere is being honest. For example, children may not be thrilled with gifts of clothing, but if you help them, they can usually find something to be thankful for. In this case, you might write, “this jacket is very warm and pink is my favorite color. Thank you.”
Write your child’s message out for them, write their name and help them sign it, even if it’s just a scribble it tells the recipient that this thank you is from your child, not you.
There’s something sweet in receiving a drawing from a child. Knowing that they put their energy into making something special for you feels good. If you decide to send a drawing from your child, set some time aside for them to do this and explain who they are making the drawing for and why. You may even suggest they draw their new gift or the person who gave it to them. Use a new drawing instead of seeing this as an opportunity to cut down on too many pieces of your child’s art; we have other ideas on what to do with too much children’s art here. You can write on the front or back of the drawing with a simple thank you and have your child sign it.
A recorded message
Head to your local card store and look for a card with a recording feature. Help your child think of what they want to say then hit record. Grandparents especially love this type of card because they can play it over and over again.
Take a picture of your child wearing, holding or using their gift. On the back of the picture, you can write thank you and your child can sign in.