Sunday, January 20, 2013

Handwritten, with love

I've always been brought up with the understanding that when you receive a gift, you should thank the giver.  This applies even if you don't like the gift or if you have already got one; you should still be able to find something nice and genuine to say about it.

When we got married, when we announced our pregnancy, and most recently, with Ellie's birth and christening, we were overwhelmed with so many generous gifts.  As the first grandchild on my side of the family, my dad was especially chuffed and I suspect did quite a lot of bragging.  This was very evident right from the beginning when we announced our pregnancy - even though we'd said to keep it a secret until we got the all clear, congratulations poured in anyway.  Consequently, I found myself writing lots of thank you cards. Lots. I can't even begin to describe how tired my hand was after the wedding. Mr Fork has boy handwriting so refused to help and left it all to me (typical!).

One thing that surprised me a lot was how grateful people were to receive a thank you.  Let alone a personalised, hand written one!  I for one, love that they love the effort I went to to write something heartfelt, personalised and honest.  I'm also saddened that people were surprised when we acknowledged their gift. I figure, if they can take the time to shop for me, then I certainly can take the time to write a thank you card. The art of the thank you is dying (or is that the cynic in me saying that?).  The art of hand written mail is dying even more.  When I was younger, I had pen pals from all over the world and a collection of great stationery.  Gradually they changed to email pals, but something was lost in the transition.  I know my heart gives a little jump when I get something in the mail that is not a bill, advertisement or reminder.  Bonus points if it's handwritten.  Maybe that's why I love Christmas cards so much.

Bring back the thank you I say.  Bring back hand written mail that you've taken the time and effort to write!  What are the occasions that you bust out the stationery and stamps?

PS: Here's a cute very hungry caterpillar gift Ellie received.  It's one of her favourite toys and she reaches for it often when having tummy time. The bottom is the thank you card I sent (yes, it's taking me awhile to get through them all)

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