24 February 2016

The art of thank you's

After my arrival in England I was relaxing on a settee reading a newspaper. Oh, before I forget… are you wondering what is a settee? It is a couch. I've been learning English words for the last five years and this one is a hard one to say. I look at a couch and I might see a sofa, but not a settee. Oh well, I'll continue to learn the proper English language.

Anyway, back to the newspaper. The article was about thank you letters. The opinion of the author was that it is OK to send grandma a quick text to say thank you. I guess it is better then nothing but call me old fashion but I'd rather have a nice thank you note, a card, or even a letter.

I've received thank you notes that have stayed on my coffee table for a whole year. They bring me a simple joy to read as I sit on the settee (there's that word again), watching TV, and having a cup of coffee.

The thing that makes thank you cards unique is that it takes time to write it, then to address the envelope and stamp it and finally bringing it to the post office. When it finally finds its home in my hands, I open it already knowing what it is, yet it still brings me a smile and puts a tear in my eye.

I find it totally unacceptable for anyone not to acknowledge a gift without a thank you card. I mean if someone can take the time to send you a gift or send you some money, I don't think it is asking much to send a note in return.

For the last six years I have sent monetary gifts to some family members for their Christmas holiday season. One person always sent me a Christmas card along with a thank you and where the money went. It always made my day.

Another person never sent me anything, yet when my bank statement came, there was the canceled check. This person found the time to cash the check and to spend it but couldn't find the time to say thank you.

So, this Christmas I still sent them a card but with no money. Now they are mad because they didn't receive any money. A favorite saying I hear in England is “You couldn't make it up!”

It all comes down to what I believe is the worst thing one human being can do to another and that is taking them for granted. I was taken for granted for five years. I gave this person more then one chance to say thank you but they just couldn't find the time.

So where did the extra money that I now had end up? I decided to help an unknown family. I gave Christmas money to The Salvation Army to help other families in need during the holiday season.

A small investment for a card and envelope and a small amount of time can bring a smile to a face of a person who has so little. Take the time and say thank you. If you don't do it, who will do it when you are alone? Your kids? No one ever taught them how to do it so why should they do it now?

Take the time, write a note and say thank you… it is a priceless wonderful gift.

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