Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thank You, No Thank You

Handwritten notes are the best way to make my day. There's been some controversy recently about what makes a note, specifically a thank you note - "worthwhile."

[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignright" width="300"]2013-05-09 13.05.42 Deanna (Patterson) Lanier wins the award for cutest friend today! Got this in my mailbox this morning.[/caption]

In my opinion (and that's what this is), I think the most sincere and thoughtful way to tell me you're thinking of me is to send a card. [I do accept phone calls and text messages too :)]

This wasn't something necessarily instilled in me. Yes, I sent them growing up, and was taught all kinds of manners (Thanks Mom & Dad) ... but I just love when someone takes the time and the 46 cents to send me a card.

When I was in college, a older woman from my church, Maxine Lea, started sending me encouraging notes. We had never been particularly close, but I do remember her giving great hugs. My favorite part was that she didn't have to send these cards. No social protocol told her she had to ... She just truly liked me, and wanted to send happy thoughts and prayers my way. She also always included $2 bills, and I've kept them all, along with the cards. I pull them out often when I need a little bit of encouragement or peace. Maxine died my sophomore year, and I missed my chance to thank her in person. But I always sent cards back, along with my own little tokens from college life. When I see her one day, I'll be sure to thank her then.

[caption id="attachment_316" align="aligncenter" width="512"]Just a few of Maxine's notes. I keep them in a special place. Just a few of Maxine's notes. I keep them in a special place.[/caption]

So, what Maxine taught me is that personal touches do matter. I've started sending notes and small gifts of my own to the people who have really made a difference in my life. One of them is my Great Aunt Mary, who lives in Crystal River, Fla. But I send them to everyone bosses, teammates, people who volunteered to help with class projects, people I miss, people I love - you get the point. If they make a card for that ... I'll probably send it.

[caption id="attachment_317" align="alignleft" width="269"]2013-05-09 13.36.59 Some of my collection. I get some of the best ones at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.[/caption]

Here's my 3 rules for sending cards -

  1. Handwritten - always. There's nothing personal about 12 pt. Times New Roman.

  2. Include something "personal" - What you did with the gift, how it will help, why you miss the person, etc. A "Thanks for the gift. It'll come in handy. Sincerely, John Doe" IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

  3. Buy good cardstock or paper. This one isn't as big of an offense in my book, as some people just aren't as "stylish" in their card choices as I am. But I am always on the look out for different kinds of cards - cute, professional, big, small, traditional, girly. Seriously ... all kinds. My collection is a little bit out of hand.

I know there's never enough time in a day. But I think that's why cards mean so much to me. If you are willing to take 10 minutes out of your day for me, I am both impressed and inspired.

What do you think about notes and thank yous? Are they still valuable in today's society?

Until next time,



  1. Your thank you cards are always stylish (and sincere!) :)

  2. Ha! Thanks, it means even more that people actually appreciate them!

  3. [...] love letters, we’ve talked about this. But sometimes, I wish everyone else appreciated them as much as I do. I understand it’s a [...]