I am curious, is writing thank you notes is old fashioned? Do you make your kids write them? I do. Every Christmas. Every birthday. We don’t have family in state so most of the girls’ gifts come in the mail. But if every gift the girls opened was in sight of the giver, I would still make them write notes. I think the discipline of writing is important–though my kids think thank you emails should suffice. Maybe. But most gift givers are older and like snail mail. A thank you note might make someone’s day brighter. Email or hand written, the practice of finding words to express thanks is the essence of the lesson. And when the gift is not very exciting or downright ugly, the practice of giving thanks teaches us the most.
Christ calls us to give a sacrifice of praise (Heb 13:15). I like to think that writing notes of thanks to friends and relatives to make them know the gift was valued (always valued, not always loved) is practice for being an adult and thanking God for all that He allows us to experience.
But really, thank you notes are not the subject of this post. If my child receives a gift that doesn’t fit, I allow her to return it and pick out something else or the same thing in a different size if it works out. Here is where I struggle though, when a relative sends a gift, without a gift receipt, that is ugly, ill-fitted, or a duplicate, what do you do? Just say thanks for the gift and give it away? Keep it anyway? Be honest and ask if the relative still has the receipt? I generally assume that if a gift receipt is not included, then the relative wants us to keep the gift regardless. But sometimes I forget to include gift receipts and I always prefer a gift be returned if unwanted, rather than be given away or sit unused in a closet. Of course, the giver’s personality plays a role too.
But I am curious what others think. How do you direct your kids when it comes to gift returns (especially if it is a case of a picky receiver)? Do you make your kids write thank you notes? I wonder just how old-fashioned I am…..
For other old fashioned mommas out there, here are some sites with cute thank you printables because writing on a card that shows off personality is more fun…..
- Skip to My Lou, attractive thank you notes to print (over 10 choices) or thank you coloring sheets for your youngest
- A cute thank you printable tag to attach to well…just about anything.
- A polk-a-dot thank you card to print
- A cute fill in the box thank you note for kids. Perfect for little ones! Or the kids who refuses to write.
- Make personalized photo thank you notes like these from Shutterfly (not free)
- If your kids can write essays, have them read these tips from the NPR website about how to write the perfect thank you note.