Your story the other day from the woman who thought the verbal thanks should take the place of the written thank you card brought up a memory for me.My sweet grandma had a LOT of grandkids. A LOT. Like 20. And the number kept growing as we got older and got married and had kids of our own. Though she never had a lot of money, she was always very generous and remembered all of us on our special holidays- birthdays, graduations, Christmases- sometimes with a gift card, or if she was able, a gift that she had picked out or sometimes a handmade craft. My family is one of those “we don’t need to be formal and send a card, just say thanks next time you see them.” But I love stationery, and as a kid I loved getting mail, and I always thought it must be nice for others to get mail, too, so I sent my little grandma thank you cards. One year, when I was about 12, she sent me a thank you card back- saying “Thank you for the thank you” and told me that I was the ONLY one of her grandkids who sent her thank you cards.A few years ago she passed away, and while all of the relatives were out at her house going through her things, someone found a huge, rubber-banded stack of cards in her closet. They were all from me. What a wonderful surprise it was to find that she had kept all of them; to watch my handwriting change, to watch my vocabulary change, my choice of stationery. To remember all the things she had given me, all those memories that were stuck inside those cards. I still have that stack of cards in a box in my closet. They are almost like a diary. It means so much to me that she saved all those cards, and it makes me smile just to see them in their box in my house.Though it might seem like a pain in the hand to write a little thank you card, at the end of the day, it’s worth the five minutes. 0522-12
November is “The Unexpected Thank You” Month on Etiquette Hell! Think of someone who has blessed you with some unexpected treat or help, or who inspired you years ago and send them a thank you note. About ten years after graduating from college, on some whim I had, I sent a college professor a thank you note telling him how much his Introduction to Music 101 class had changed my life by introducing me to styles of music I had never been exposed to before and how what I had learned had forever changed me. He responded quickly telling me how that small note had brought tears to his eyes. He was thrilled to have had a student tell him that his teaching job had value. I got the impression I may have been the only non-music major student of his to ever thank him for the lessons learned that would enrich my life for decades. Thank you, Dr. Scimonelli! Vivaldi rocks!