Joy Magazine

Thank You—More Than Just Words

In today's world, everyone is busy. From the executive working long hours to the stay-at-home mother who has to juggle a million tasks throughout the day, very few of us can imagine trying to stuff another line on the to-do list. However, there is one thing that shouldn't be overlooked, no matter how busy your life: the thank you card.

The person deserving of a thank you card took time out of his or her busy life to think of you, purchase or make a gift and deliver the package. All of these steps were inspired by one priority — to make you feel special. You make the giver feel the same when you take just a minute to record your thoughts and say, "I really appreciate your gift, your time, and you."

In the days of technology, the thank you card has been sidelined by quick e-mails, text messages, or voicemails. The problem with this method is the lack of true emotion behind them. When you use this form of communication as a thank you, you may be just as grateful as if you had sent a traditional thank you card but the received message is quite different. A typed word appears flat and doesn't convey the same feeling as a hand-written message — even when you add the little smiley face at the end. And a voice mail conveys the message that you are grateful, but not quite grateful enough to devote a few extra moments to sit down and really think of the giver while writing a message in a card.

So, how can we incorporate the hand-written message into our busy lives? The boxed thank you card is very helpful for those of us who don't have a lot of time. You can purchase a box of cards with a picture/cover that lends itself to any time throughout the year. You can make them even more personal when you find one that has images that reflect your interests or personality. For example, find cards that have your favorite flower on them if you love gardening. Or find a local company that will create a box of cards with your first name or initials on the cover. You choose the font and your favorite colors and your recipient will be wowed when he or she receives your note of thanks.

If you are a more creative person, a homemade card is very nice and your recipient will see that you wanted to do something extra special for him or her.

Here are some easy examples of how to take ordinary parts of your day and turn them into extraordinary, handmade thank you cards:

1. Your child's artwork can grace the front of the card. It can be an abstract piece of just colors or ask him or her to draw their rendition of your gift. Great for grandparents!

2. For the nature lover, press a flower, leaf, or herb from your garden and then glue it to the front of recycled paper. It not only will look good, it may have a wonderful aroma.

3. If you don't have any artistic traits, attach a funny photo of yourself with the gift to the front of the card or buy a rubber stamp with an engraving that means something to the gift recipient and you.

4. Literature fans can pick a favorite piece of prose and type it in a coordinating font.

5. Use a hand-scripted thank you in a metallic pen for that special touch.

Although you are not there to see the reaction of your hard work in a thank you card, you can imagine your recipient's reaction. A smile will certainly cross her face when he or she sees the card peering out from a pile of dreaded junk mail and bills. Their anticipation alone of what is hidden inside the envelope will make your effort successful. As the recipient of your card — the person who began the giving process — looks over your gesture of friendship, she will acknowledge that you took time out of your busy day to remind them that they are appreciated as much as the original gift.


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