Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011 Blog: Writing Thank You Notes

Writing thank you notes after Christmas was one of those things that my mother forced me to do, and I hated it.

And now I'm so thankful that she did, because it is a habit that she ingrained in me, and that I, in turn, am trying to ingrain upon my son.  I try to get our thank you notes completed and mailed before New Years Eve, and I believe that we've done it this year!

This year I am also doing something new.  While my son draws original pictures for each card, I have copied one of his drawings, called Deep Sea Hats, and used that on the front of my thank you cards:

As much as I love Christmas, I think it is equally important to emphasize the appreciation aspect afterwards.  Several years ago, I read a shocking statistic about how few chilren send Santa thank you cards compared to their letters requesting presents.  I wasn't able to find any statistics, but the ones I remember (but could be wrong), was that one town in Alaska that responds to North Pole letters receives 120,000 letter before Christmas asking for presents, but only 4,000 letter after Christmas thanking Santa for the gifts received.

So while the exact numbers may be off, I don't think the scale is.  The point of the article was that only a handful of children write to thank Santa compared to the numbers who write asking for presents.

Every family has to create their own expectations and traditions around this kind of thing.  But I try, even after the exhaustion typically engendered by the holiday activities and frivolities, to emphasis that gratitude for what we've received is as important as the excitement over what we are expecting.

And, yes, to me, it deserves a written note, not just a verbal thanks or a phone call or even an email.  But I'm old fashioned like that...

Of course, I include it as one of our homeschooling activities for that day.

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