Thank You (Letters, that is)16 March 2012
I’m still a bit of a stickler for writing letters on certain occasions. There are times I think when only a letter will do. I was a bit astounded when I first saw cards to send to the bereaved – what’s wrong with a little note saying how sorry you are etc etc and maybe mentioning some memorable occasion in the life of the deceased? It takes less time than going to the shop and finding an appropriate card (presuming you don’t keep a stack of them to hand at home) and I’ve found it means so much to the recipient.
And wedding gift “thank you’s”. I don’t want a pre-printed card saying how much they liked my gift. I want a letter. Not a tome, just a short note will do.
As children, we were made to write letters to thank people for Christmas and birthday gifts. It was a bit of a chore but was compulsary. It’s easy to say “Thank you for the lovely jumper”, then the creative juices stop flowing. So after much sucking of the end of the pen, I’d come up with something like “It looks very nice with the new skirt I got” and “I had a lovely birthday party and Susan was sick”. You get the picture. But it sure taught me how to write a few appropriate lines.
I’ve found lately that so often when I send a present to a child (or adult for that matter), I don’t even know whether it’s arrived safely. And if after a few weeks, I raise the subject (as in “I popped something in the post for X – I do hope he received it”), the response is usually “Yes, he loves it and plays with it all the time” or something along those lines. Would it not have been polite to have told me? Or if the child is old enough to write, make them tell me? Sometimes I’d even be happy with an email as that’s better than nothing.
Don’t let letter-writing completely die out. It’s even MORE appreciated nowadays because most people receive so few.