25 May 2011

Word Count Blogathon Day 25: The Art of the Thank You Note

If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get. 
~ Frank A. Clark

Do you know where ill-mannered people come from?  They come from one of two places:

1) Ill-mannered parents ~ they taught their children to be rude by displaying their own lack of manners.

2) Indifferent or Frazzled parents ~ these parents either did not care or were “too busy” to teach their children any manners.

There are the rare exceptions, who despite being raised properly, choose to become rude as a form of rebellion.  But my point is this:  good manners start at home.  And unless you want to help fill the world with nasty boorish bums, it would behoove you to: 

1) Learn manners yourself
2) Teach them to your children

Traditionally, a child who learns the good habit of saying “Please” and “Thank you” is not likely to forget it.  It is after all, a habit ~ something that becomes second nature to us and that we are able to do almost without thinking.  Opening doors or not allowing them to slam in the face of the person walking in behind you is another good habit that a child will remember long after you are not around to check on him.

Thank You Notes
One of the manners I was taught as a child that is still very much with me is the lovely duty of writing thank you notes.  My own mother taught me to write a thank you note right away and to let no more than a week go by before sending them out. 

Here’s what Emily Post has to say about it:

Handwritten notes are warmer and more special than other forms of thank-yous. The rule of thumb is that you should send a written note any time you receive a gift (even a ‘thank you’ gift) and the giver wasn’t there to thank in person.

She goes on to say that today you can get by with an email if the gift giver is a close friend, but in my opinion, if your best friend gave you a gift or welcomed you into her home, even more so should you send her a handwritten note!

Stationery for Children
This is also a good habit that children should definitely be encouraged to learn.  And to make learning it more fun, stationery stores have a huge selection of children’s stationery.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Tiny Prints is an online stationery store with hundreds of designs, both for adults and for kids.  These are a couple of my favorites for kids:

Pirate Ship from Tiny Prints

Notice that they have stationery for both girls and boys?  Boys need to be taught the art of saying thank you; it is an art that will serve him well throughout his life.

The Stationery Studio is another online stationery store.

Sweet Cupcakes from Tiny Prints
The Dandelion Patch is online and is also located in Leesburg, Virginia.  It is a great store with a wonderful atmosphere.  And the Leesburg Outlets are nearby too!

The Papery has several locations.  They have a fair selection of Crane Stationery [one of my favorites!] and an amazing collection of invitations that you can personalize.

Roaring Lion from Tiny Prints
Some say that such manners are out-dated.   But I don’t think any acts of love and kindness, no matter how small, are ever out of style. 

Do you?

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

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