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Thank you notes – it’s never too early to start

Thank you notes are not the most fun task in the world, yet appreciated by the recipient (i.e., gift giver) and a good exercise for your kids. While Christmas is often a whirlwind of wrapping paper, ripped-open boxes and gifts often hurriedly tossed aside, writing a thank you note provides the opportunity to think about who actually took the time to select and give the gift.

I have been writing thank you notes with my kids since the only thing they could do was sign their name to the card. I am happy to report that this year my 7 year old daughter is actually finished before me. I haven’t even started, actually, but my kids have yet to return to school, so I have given myself a grace period.

Here are some thank you note ideas:

When your kids are too little to write, you can write a brief note and let them sign their names. For the toddler set, a scribble is still appreciated by the note recipient.

For the little kids for whom writing is a newly acquired skill, the briefer the better. “Grandma: Thank you for the car. Love, Eric” is great. If that is ambitious, a picture drawn by Eric is just as good.

A photo of your child playing with the gift can be sent as is as a postcard. Just use the back of the photo as if it were a postcard. I have done this for years for my children’s birthday parties – I am sure to take a photo of each child at the party and send it to the parents with a quick thank you on the back.

I am old fashioned, but I know sometimes email is easier and the only way thank yous will get done. Emily Post may not agree, but you gotta do what you gotta do in these busy times. An emailed thanks with a photo is great – especially for out of town family and friends.

To get your child interested, try getting them a stationery set. Sometimes having something new that is their very own can get them excited. My daughter received a set of blank note cards, envelopes, and stamps which she loves and I think helps her to enjoy the process.

Have fun with this project – now if I could just get my thank you notes started……

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