Growing up, I used to spend hours the day after my birthday, diligently hand writing "thank-you" notes to all the people that gave me presents. I remember my mom reading over them to make sure they were "good enough" and that my handwriting was somewhat legible, then helping me address them all and take them to the post office - or bring them to school to give my friends.
There was a drawer in a piece of furniture in the formal living area of my home that was the "go to" drawer for thank you notes. I knew I could always look in there for a blank one, ready for my scribbling. I dreaded writing thank you notes - as a boy, hand writing anything was right down there on the list of my least favorite things along side of cleaning my finger and toe nails.
But I did them, and so did my cousins, friends, neighbors, siblings and parents. We all did them, regularly, following any gift received, holiday dinner cooked for us, or just general act of kindness that was blessed upon us. It was standard procedure.
Today, out of habit I guess - or good upbringing (thanks Mom!), I still hand write thank you notes. I take the time after a meeting with a potential client, after receiving a gift, or after a special dinner at someone's home, when a referral has been led to me - to jot down a quick and heart felt "thank you" - in my own scibble, on a thank you note card. I actually address it, stick a stamp on it, and mail it. No emails - no texts - no facebook posts about it - an actual hand written note card sent in the good 'ole US Mail.
What's amazing about this is the number of "thank you's" I actually get in return. A "thank you" for a "thank you" if you will. Why? Because it's rare - it's not an every day occurance today to receive a nice hand written note in the mail. It stands out - and it definitely reflects the sentiment of true, heart-felt gratitude. So regularly, people call, text, email, stop me in the grocery store - and just say "hey, thank you for the thank you note!" Makes me smile every time.
Thank you for reading this!