Sunday, June 06, 2010

The tale of the thank you note

I pulled my mail in this afternoon and there were two thank you notes in there - one from a wedding, the other from my niece's graduation.  I smiled ... mostly in memory.  

Mom always made us sit down and write thank you notes after birthdays and Christmas.  It wasn't fun, but we did it.  Grandma Greenwood kept a few of them and returned them to us - what a riot they were, but even as little kids, we learned the importance of saying thank you.

I really did have to laugh, though at my friend who was sending out the wedding thank you cards.  What a tedious task!  As grateful as you are for all of the wonderful gifts and the friends who shared the day with you and the fact that they love you, coming up with one more creative way to say thank you just wears a person out!  

I'm not sure if I told you the hideous thank you note story from my wedding.  My step mother arranged this strange (very strange) wedding gift opportunity for me.  She and Dad didn't live nearby and I had pulled things together so quickly that there really wasn't going to be a formal wedding, no chance for all of that entertainment.  I was really fine with it - my goodness I'd been living on my own for a long time and didn't need anything.  Actually, I am pretty sure that the better way to have had that party was for me to host it and have people take things OUT of my house.

Anyway, she set up a party at her house, invited all of these people from her church (note - I didn't attend there, they saw me a couple of times a year when we sang at the church for Dad, they really didn't know me) and told them to bring a gift for me.  I wasn't invited to the party, didn't know a thing about it.  Oh yes ... it was very strange.

So the day of the wedding comes and we are all over the place trying to deal with introducing family, deal with where everyone was staying, what was happening ... I was just thankful there were only 10-15 people involved, let me tell you!
Then she set us down and made me open gifts - a pile of things that came from people I didn't know at all, but felt that the pastor's wife had asked them to do something and in their grace, they did.  We were in a hurry, I opened gifts as quickly as possible and I think Carol was writing down names right along with me.  We finished and then got on with the next task (probably lunch or something).

Well, a week or so later, I was going through the list and writing out thank you notes.  One of the gifts was a great gift and I actually kind of knew the family that it came from - they had ties to a family from another church in our lives.  It was perfect - a DustBuster. Max would be able to make use of it in his darkroom.  I told them that in the note and mailed everything out.

Fast forward ... a couple of months.  Max was in the darkroom setting things up one day and wanted to do some quick cleanup.  He asked me about the Dust Buster and I went down to help him find what had happened to it.  I opened the box and lo and behold, the family had NOT given us a DustBuster, but had packed a nice little marriage plaque in the box.  Oh for heaven's sake!!!  I remember sinking down on the basement steps, doubled over in laughter and a slight bit of panic.

I had to go back upstairs and write ANOTHER thank you note, explaining the insanity of the first note and the fact that I hadn't opened the package all the way because of the craziness of the day.  Oh I was glad they knew me ... just a little bit.  

There were two lessons learned that day - one, NEVER give a gift in a box for another item and two, always open gifts fully to ensure that what I think is in the box actually is in the box.

Thank you notes are always appreciated, though.  Always!!!  Acknowledging the gift and the giver is so important.  I still write thank you notes pretty regularly.  Isn't it wonderful to have things to be thankful for?

No comments: