Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Saying Thank You - Giving Thanks

This has been on my mind of late. I think that as a society we are forgetting, or neglecting, to say thank you.

I remember when I was a young girl and my aunts from the next province over would send me a Christmas gift: something small, and sweet, and their way of saying they remember me and were thinking of me. My mother always got me to write a thank you note and pop it in the mail.

My mother also used to call me the day after a party, or dinner, to thank me for the invitation.

People don't do that so much anymore, although I do have friends that always text me after we have had an evening together to comment on the nice time we had. I like that.

And, I don't do it.

But I should.

Most people I know are very good at expressing thanks when a gift has been given in person, face to face, but not so good when a gift has been sent through the mail, snail or otherwise.

I wonder why that is?

Are we so busy that we can't take the time to call, or send a quick text?

I am certain that we are delighted to receive gifts, and think warm thoughts about the sender while we are in the process of receiving, but then, somehow, the thank you part falls off the radar.

Often I would receive small packages of notes as a gift - the perfect size to send a small thank you message.

I still remember sending thank-you notes after my wedding, and how it took me months to get them all done. Really? Months? My mother said you have a year after the wedding to acknowledge a gift. A Year? Are we all that busy that it takes a year to acknowledge a wedding gift? Apparently I was. And it is embarrassing to recall that fact.

Many people told me they didn't send cards out at Christmas this year because the stamp costs had jumped so dramatically. But, really, eighty-five cents is not that much to connect with someone, and to let them know we are thinking of them. I don't think it is about the money. I think it is something more systemic.

Maybe it is because the world is too busy, too fast, too full.

Maybe we should only give gifts in person.

Maybe I have been watching too much Downtown Abbey and have become nostalgic, for the small notes sent and received in the mail, for a time gone by.

Maybe I am just too judgemental. I hate that I fret about the behaviour of others when I am guilty of the same faux pas.

Whatever it is, I am going to make the effort to say thank you and to acknowledge the people and moments in my life that I appreciate.

I do appreciate them, and often reflect on them happily, but I need to let the others involved know how important those moments and gifts and dinners and lunches and cups of coffee are.

Because giving thanks should not just be a silent mantra. It takes on a whole new life when it is shared with the other.

Giving thanks becomes a gift in itself.


  1. How right you are. I certainly make sure my daughter sends a note, or at the very least a text, to thank someone for their thoughtfulness. By the same token, it is lovely to receive a text thanking me for the wonderful meal, or whatever, A little thanks really does go such a long way. :-)

    1. Yes a small acknowledgement does go a long way.


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