It's tempting to relegate thank you notes to the dustbin of outdated ettiquette. Busy schedules + email make physical paper notes (with actual postage stamps!) seem extra inconvenient. But the lesson they teach our kids is too important to ignore — that time spent expressing gratitude is time well spent.
A little forethought and a few good hacks can turn thank you notes into a natural part of receiving gifts. From Alex:
When we buy something with a gift card given by someone we don't see regularly, I cut the package into a postcard if possible. We then send the postcard with a brief note to the gift-giver. That way we can show them what we got without lengthy explanations or photos.
Another relatively quick thank you note idea: with a permanent marker, I draw a rough picture of a gift my daughter received on a piece of plain white paper. I add a few sentences of thanks, and then let my daughter color it in.
You can also buy (or make!) simple fill-in-the-blank thank you notes kids can fill in themselves. If you think ahead, you can have a stack of these standing by when gifts are being opened so the association is still fresh in everyone's minds. New birthday/holiday tradition: thank you notes get written and sent the day after.
Do you have a thank you note habit with your kids? Tell us about it!