This post is from my old blog, The Cranky Curmudgeon. It was written nearly 14 years ago, shortly after my oldest’s fifth birthday.
So what is it with Thank You cards? When did they become de rigeur . . . a fixture of every child’s birthday and gift-giving Winter solstice celebration?
My daughter celebrated her 5th birthday recently and we had a party for over twenty children and adults. We provided entertainment for the children, lots of food and drink for everybody, really nice loot bags for the kids, a large cake, and a pinata filled with lots of candy. My wife spent around a week’s worth of her spare time researching and purchasing everything necessary to make the kids feel special. This included purchasing inexpensive cowboy/cowgirl hats and bandanas, as the party was held at a nearby farm where the kids could feed animals and enjoy some really fun and clever rides. I spent a good 10 – 15 hours running around and picking up things and making arrangements. We really wanted everyone to have a good time.
Now comes the aftermath. My wife is not the best at sending out Thank You cards, and I have virtually no experience doing it at all. I mean, isn’t it against the law for men to do this kind of thing – no matter how sensitive they are? So . . . here it is, a couple of weeks later and the cards she took the time to purchase are still sitting on the table . . . in their original box. They’re taunting me. Like chocolate in a candy dish, I sometimes hear them calling out my name.
Isn’t a sincere “Thank You” at the party’s end enough for everybody? I don’t know; maybe she feels better about not doing it than I do, but why do I have this sinking feeling we must carry some sort of guilt because we have yet to send a hand-written, personalized note written by us as though it was our child channeling Emily Post or Martha Stewart?
Here’s an example of a Thank You we received the day after a 5-year-old’s birthday party:
Thank for coming to my birthday party. I was really happy you could be there. The Spiderman backpack will be really useful next year in Kindergarten to carry my laptop as I’m learning how to post covered calls without the help of my broker.
Now how are we going to follow that?
May 11th, 2020 at 2:34 am
no tongue lashing – just an observation.
I do work on capturing lessons learnt on our projects and I work with people globally. Sometimes you get a report back that has a really valuable insight to help others.
I then get the fountain pen out and do a handwritten note back to the person to say thank you for providing that insight.
Even if someone has put a lesson learnt on the relevant site. I make sure that they receive an e-mail from me saying thank you and setting out what action has resulted as a result of that insight and I copy their line manager in. They know then that their lesson has been noticed and action taken.
A lot of people asked me if the handwritten note and a thank you e-mail did anything- well feedback on this has so positive that other parts of the firms are going to use it.
My view is that a thank you costs nothing and yet means everything to the recipient- especially if it is personalised by a handwritten note. I try to do one every 2 weeks and its remembered by the recipient long after its sent.
I don’t have the volume for a kids party that you mention – but if we all sent a thank you as bosses and did it with a ink pen- it means something and shows you’ve taken the time to do this.
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