Nov 18, 2012

Sunday Soaking - Thankful

I have to make a confession
{I hate thank you notes}

It's horrible, I know.  
I hate to write them, and don't really love to receive them... 

You might think I'm showing my age... or that I'm immature or ungrateful...  and you might be right. But let me tell you why.  I don't like them because they are an obligation.   Which can communicate to me: I'm only saying thank you because I feel like I should.  

Don't get me wrong, thank you notes are a wonderful habit, if it effectively teaches you {or reminds you} to be grateful for the things you have received and communicates appreciation.  I just don't like them because I am not sure they do that at all, especially if it is something you HAVE to do, or someone will be mad at you.  Like the gift has strings attached.  Yuck.

I have received thank you notes where the person took their time with the note and appreciated the thought or energy or person behind the gift... which is meaningful to me.  I honestly would rather NOT get a note that says:
Dear ___________, Thank you for coming to my ____________.  I really loved the ____________.  Love, ______________
I know etiquette says to write a note.  I know that they are writing 300 of the same note, I did it too!  I'm just saying: I am sure you appreciate the gift, but a meaningless quickly scrawled note just to follow the rules of etiquette doesn't say thank you.  Please, send me a picture and a printed greeting... it's the same thing (and it saves time and your hand)!

Whenever I give a new mommy a gift or bring her a meal and she hugs me and says THANK YOU... I always appreciate that act of gratitude, it's heartfelt, right there in that moment, and I always follow that with "That was your thank you note to me, please don't feel obligated to send me a note!!"  {Because I live out here in California, I can get away with that because our culture is so socially casual.}

I have the habit of reminding my kids to say "Thank you", but never feel appreciated if I have to remind them to say it... even if they say it... because they were obligated to say it, and it doesn't have anything to do with an attitude of gratitude.  {I will be writing another post this week about creating a culture of thankfulness and empathy in your home... so I don't want to go too far in that direction right now}

The scriptures say this about being thankful "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

AND "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.

God wants us to be Thankful.  Especially to him. I've been participating in the daily habit of writing something I am thankful for on my FB page.  

I am thankful to God.  He is my provision.  He is the one filling my life with wonderful friends and family members. He is the one taking care of my every need.  He is the reason that I breathe.  

I tell Him thank you because I am thankful.

SO... I've been thinking about the importance of Thanksgiving, as the day approaches, and never-mind that most of the country has already moved on to Christmas, it's an important day.  

Every year I spend so much money sending Christmas cards that tell the world happy Christmas and look at me.  

This year... I want to spend the next two days and write notes to those friends and family members who most impact my life.  I want to tell them thank you for being a part of my life.  I want to write thank you notes that aren't a normal part of etiquette at all. {Join me, won't you?}

For Christmas I will tell them about me... for Thanksgiving, I will tell them about THEM.  I am so excited!

Emails, snail mail, or a verbal appreciation, any forms... I don't want this week to go by without me expressing my appreciation for who they are to me, and all they do.  

Not because I feel obligated... 
but because I feel thankful.

1 comment:

  1. That's such a beautiful idea! I never send Christmas cards (mostly because I feel obligated - there's that word again!), but Thanksgiving thank you notes? How awesome is that???


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