Thank you notes. Three little words that can make even the most grateful groan. I seem to remember deeply dreading the 200 or so that loomed over me while on my honeymoon. Even more telling, I recall explaining to my mom very matter-of-factly that, "Emily Post says you don't have to send one if you thank the person face-to-face," right before my largest baby shower. Yikes! I ended up writing a thank you card to each person anyway...just in case someone hadn't read that particular page of Post's renowned book on proper etiquette.
Last year, after Landon's third birthday, I decided to change the game plan, at least temporarily, for my kiddo. Instead of writing, why not make? (This revelation was very convenient, considering the fact that my preschooler couldn't write, and the duty would have fallen on a certain somebody else.) In seriousness though, while I'm teaching him how to show appreciation, it seemed logical for him to actually have a grateful heart, while thanking others for the gifts they had given him. It made sense to me. So, we packed a bucket full of some of his most interesting arts and crafts supplies, grabbed a large picnic blanket, and found a shady spot in our yard to begin creating. I explained to him that he was going to get to make a beautiful picture to thank each of the sweet people who had given him his fun, new toys that he already loved so much. He was actually excited to get started! While he created we talked about specific people that had attended the party...what they had given them...what part of the "thank you note" they would like the best...why the ants seemed to really like his scented markers... Well, we tried to stay on topic. :)
During naptime that afternoon I took a picture of Landon's creation, and uploaded it to http://www.snapfish.com/. I choose the "postcard" option, typed a sweet, general thank you message in Landon's "voice," added our return address, and clicked purchase. Four days later, I added address labels and a stamp to each one. They were affordable, relatively handmade, personal, but practical, extremely original, very well received, and (add drumroll here)...FUN to make!
Landon turned four on Saturday.
Guess what we're doing for Special Time tomorrow?
Hope it's good weather...we've got a date with a picnic blanket and scented markers! :)