Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the Throes of Thursday-Notes

Notes, those lovely words you read and tuck away with the cards you can't bear to part with. I've got tons of them and I love to take them out and re-read them. They're a kind of a journal that let's me remember the times I've shared with others or the gifts I've given and the pleasure of that exchange--a gift, a note, a bond between people.

I wrote that in response to this blog called Out On A Limb. Please stop over there for a visit. She has some wonderful posts. I loved what she had to say about the courtesy of writing notes, and I'd like to
expand on that a little.

I've always given gifts to the children in our family: birthdays, Christmas, graduation whatever.  Some have always sent cards to say thanks and include a little appreciation for the gift. Some haven't. In fact, I often didn't know if the gift had ever been received. Once or twice I asked and got, "Oh yeah. We got it. It was really nice."

"Really?" I said to that space behind my eyeballs. "That would have been nice to know."

I thought maybe I was being grumpy or out of step with how things work now, but I don't think so. I think there's something in common courtesy that cuts across generations and should be respected. Not only does a short note--or even a phone call--let the giver know the gift is safely in the person's hands, but it also establishes communication. Without that is there a family? Are there friends? I hasten to add that all of my friends send notes. 100% of them. And, fortunately, it's just a few members of my family that seem to think it's not important.

After I started thinking about this topic (Thank you, Out On A Limb.) I decided that while courtesy and communication are two important parts to thank you notes, recalling memories is another. When I read some of the notes my grandmother sent or my mom, I can return to that moment when I gave them something and they enjoyed it. Their words bring a bit of them and that other time back to me.

Are notes a part of your family/friend tradition? How do you feel about writing them or receiving them?


  1. C. Lee, I'm so glad that my post resonated with you. It's good to read your further thoughts here.
    As a homeschooling family, I raised my daughters to write notes. It started off as assigned "school work" when they were small. I considered it both a lesson in etiquette and in writing. As they grew up, note writing became natural. They send thank you notes, notes "just because", as well as Christmas cards to all of the professors they had throughout their college years.
    They often hear back from those teachers, saying how good it is to be remembered in this way. The added bonus, as you say, is that notes can be saved, treasured, and remembered for years to come.

  2. Oh, man! Now I feel incredibly guilty and so much the slacker fish! *note to self - write twenty-seven years of thank you notes this weekend.*


  3. I think notes have been kind of hit and miss in my life. I like to write them and used to write more than I have in recent years. I chalked it up to being a writer, because I don't think that many people enjoy writing them.

  4. It's definitely something that I think family pass on. If I didn't get a note from my mom at least once a week I worried. I'm not as avid, but I do write notes for gifts and if I'm pushed for time I will pick up the phone. Only people who really know me, know how BIG that is. I'm a phone-phobic. :-)

  5. Well, Facebook has made it easy to send a note to people and stay connected. I do love getting cards and letters in the mail, though, and I send them, too, but not always on time. I've had that happen with family members, too, where I never heard if the gift was received. I don't understand that. A phone call or message on FB would make me happy, not just wondering if it got lost in the mail or stolen or who knows.

  6. Lee, I gave you an award on my blog!

  7. Yes, it's such a thrill to get cards and letters. With my sons and hubby, it's mostly Skype and texts, but that's fine too. I'm flattered that they want to tell me about the key things in their days, even if they're all the way over in China, or Greece or wherever my wanderlust family travels. I still send Christmas cards too, even though I fear that sending snail-mail cards is fast-becoming a lost art!

  8. Visiting via Kelly Hashway's blog, and so glad I stopped by. :-)

    I ALWAYS write thank you notes - I think I missed one, when I was about 9-10 years old to an aunt and never heard the end of it.

    Seriously though, we all love getting notes of thanks, why not send them? If somebody care enough about me to spend an untold amount of time shopping for a gift for me, surely I can spend fifteen minutes expressing my appreciation. (And if you're a writer, it's good practice.)

  9. Found you through the Blogger Ball, just stopped in to say hello! ; )

  10. Yes! I have tons of note cards and love sending them to people (I have lots of fun stickers for the envelopes too). I always send Christmas, birthday, anniversary, and thank you cards, and to my nieces and nephews I send cards on every major holiday. A bunch of my aunts and uncles used to do that for me (one of them still does!) and I loved it, so I'm carrying on the tradition.

    I don't receive as many cards as I used to though. I don't know if that's because I'm no longer a child or if it's because email, social networking sites, and texting have made it obsolete. But I still send cards because I think it's a sweet gesture when someone takes the time to remember a special date or just letting loved ones know you're thinking of them!


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