Sun11182018

Last updateFri, 16 Nov 2018 5pm

Opinion

The Lost Art of Thank You Cards

Art of Thank You CardsI’ve got a whole lot to be thankful for. I’ve never known anything but the feeling of being showered with love and support from the people I am lucky to call my family and friends. I’ve never been without a hot meal or a roof over my head, and for that I am eternally grateful.

So, how does one quantify or put into words how thankful they are?

I hear you groaning, thinking to yourself “She better not say what I think she’s about to say.” Oh you bet I’m going to say it: a thank you card.

I know, I know, I too groan at my own exclamation, as thank you cards are the bane of my existence. Nevertheless, I believe that the simple, yet tedious, task has the ability to brighten someone’s day. It really is that easy.

Growing up, my mother was adamant about writing thank you cards. As much as I loved celebrating birthdays and holidays, nothing soured the mood like thinking of all the cards I would have to write. Oh, and let’s not forget about all the hand cramps I would suffer through just to thank Aunt Gladys for the socks she knitted me.

Not only was my dear mother adamant about the cards, but she also insisted that we handwrite them, none of those fill in the blank cards I received after almost every birthday party. Nope, true pen to paper cards detailing how thankful I was, how much I couldn’t wait to play with my new toy or show off my new socks, and then a dramatic farewell about how I couldn’t wait to see them again so that I could thank them in person. And if there was white space, like at the top or side of the card, you bet I drew a picture further depicting my love and gratitude. Let me tell you, these cards were a true work of art, yet I just always saw them as a pain in my butt.

Not once did I ever think that anyone actually appreciated my cards.  I always assumed that whoever received one likely tossed it in the trash after reading it. This however, was not the case.

One year at Christmas as I was making my rounds greeting aunts and uncles and dodging anyone with red lipstick that wanted to give me a kiss on the cheek; I was pulled aside by my great-aunt Joanne.

This woman, although she was family, was ice cold and bitter to the core. She held grudges from her childhood and one year even sent out a Christmas card to the whole family that read, “This has been the worst year of my life,” to which she then wrote down all the horrible things that had ruined 2014 for her.

The unpleasant woman whom I had always managed to keep a distance from, softened before me, grabbed my hands, and told me that I wrote the most beautiful thank you card that she had ever received.

I was in shock, Aunt Joanne was saying something nice for once, and even more shocking, it was directed towards me!

As I stood there with my jaw on the ground, Aunt Joanne quickly resumed her role as evil great-aunt and told me to stop standing there like a fool and say thank you, and while I was at it, to fetch her some champagne. Even though it was only for a short moment, I sure learned the true power of thank you card.

PHOTO COURTESY of Lauren Olevnik

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