Thank You Notes


A simple thank you note has been on my mind a lot lately. So I’ll write a word or two here in support of this ‘old fashioned’ tradition.

After the new year, we forced (and I do mean forced) our 9 and 6 year old to write thank you notes for Christmas gifts and Christmas hosts. While extremely painful in the moment, it was well worth it when I got a text message from my aunt acknowledging that she had received my son’s thank you note and added…”You’re raising your kids right.”

I’m raising my kids right because my mom and dad raised me right and forced (and I do mean forced) me to write thank you notes. So I shouldn’t be surprised that my mom recently reminded me that I should send someone a thank you note. And I will, because thank you notes matter.

In a world of instant communication and instant gratification, the simple, hand-written thank you note perhaps carries more weight than ever before. Take a minute to think about the last one you received…they’ve probably been few and far between. Sure, we’ll tap out a “thank you email” in a heartbeat and that is certainly appropriate. But how many of us sit down and hand write a note to the people who really matter; to whom we are truly thankful? I don’t do it often enough.

So here’s your challenge for the day: take the 5-10 minutes it will require today and hand write someone a thank you note. And take the additional 30 seconds to put a stamp on it and put it in the mail. Thank a teacher who made an impact on you. Thank someone who interviewed you for a job. Thank a long time friend for all they’ve meant to you over the years. Thank your spouse for all the little things they do to make your family work. Thank a small business owner who always goes the extra mile. Thank a coach whose instruction you didn’t appreciate until you were older. Thank a mentor who has always listened during tough times. Thank a pastor who was a comfort in the midst of a storm. Or just thank your parents for raising you right.