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Thank-You Note Time

The Guideposts executive editor shares a childhood memory of writing ‘Thank You’ notes.

About the day after Christmas, or maybe a couple of days after that, Mom had us kids sit down and write thank-you notes. Oh, how we groaned. “But I don’t remember who Aunt Eleanor was!…But I’d never wear the scarf she sent me!…But I don’t know what to say!”

Nevertheless we learned to say something. And I confess the exercise was a good one. There was always something to be thankful for.

As a parent, Carol and I put into practice the same rule for our kids. Before they went back to school, those thank-you notes had to be written. Make it honest. Say something specific. And if you feel like it, say something about what you did for Christmas. 

I guess I’ve gotten so much into the habit of thank-you notes that by now I don’t really dread them. I actually—this is going to sound hopelessly dorky—look forward to them. Especially if I’m writing somebody who’s far away. It’s a chance to share our Christmas with them. A chance to remind them how much I miss them. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the writing I forget to even mention the gift. 

“We had a wonderful Christmas with William and Tim at home. Carol made a great brisket for dinner, we saw a couple of movies, we sang a lot at church, Tim’s girlfriend made some chocolate truffles that are to die for and we went to the last Giants game at Giants stadium. It was a terrible game but a great time together…and by the way, thanks for the present.” 

There’s always something to be grateful for.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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