Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Saying Thanks

Wow, Meg has really raked in the gifts. In the past three weeks my friends and family have really proved they are not the cheap bastards I make them out to be. They have sent clothes, and shoes, diapers, and toys, books and thousands of pairs of extremely tiny socks. Ryan and I have cooed over every new item, lovingly laundered them, and found homes for every single one in our increasingly crowded tiny house. Oh, and each and every gift has been cataloged, along with the sender, so that a thank you note can be sent.

Now, if the world were fair, Meg would be the one writing all of these notes. After all, none of this stuff fits me. However, we all know that nothing in this world is fair, and therefore Meg will not be writing a damn word until she is at least 18 months, and then she will probably be too busy working on her memoirs to be bothered with thank you notes. So, it is falling to me.

I am not really a fan of thank you notes. I think they are a huge pain in the ass. I don’t even really like receiving them. When I receive one I normally glance at it and then toss it in the trash. I think that most people do the same. However, if I don’t get a thank you note for a gift, I get peeved. Again, I think most people feel the same. After all, thank you notes are one of the few things that separate us from the animals. Well, that and the lack of butt sniffing. And so, I will write.

I think the biggest problem is that I never know how much is enough, and how much is too much when it comes to the note. I know that it has to be longer than “Thanks, sucka,” and shorter than a treatise on the first time Meg soiled the item in question (and I am pretty sure she will soil them all at some point). Where is the fine line though? Should half the card be filled? All of it? Just the section below the printed greeting? Above it? I am never quite sure.

In addition, there is the fact that my handwriting it far from stellar. In fact, today someone who won’t be named referred to my penmanship as “Navy Seal like.” That’s actually one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about it. I don’t want to scare the person I am trying to thank by sending them a card filled with writing that looks like it came from a ransom note. I imagine people opening their cards, seeing all of that handwriting filling the page, and vowing never to send another gift, so they don’t have to be assaulted by my writing again.

In all honesty, sincerity, and a touch of exhaustion, I am glad to send these notes. With each one of them I realize just how wonderful our community is, and how much they love and support our girl and us. Nothing I will write and place in a small envelope will ever adequately express my feelings.

Now, I gotta write a man about a duck. A duck bank, that is. It’s really nice…


LB @Wait, She Said What? said...

I think you're safe with expressing your thanks with just a few lines. Make sure you mention the gift that person gave you and write a sincere thanks. That's all there is to it and all people expect.

Throwing in that the shoes are adorable or the bank is just precious is always appreciated. Also a happy little update about Meg is good too. Even if the note will be in the trash a few seconds later.

Something like, "To -insert name-, Thank you so much for the butterfly outfit. It will look so adorable on Meg!

She's doing wonderful and our little family couldn't be happier. Thank you for sharing in our joy!

Love (or from depending on person),
Libby, Ryan & Meg"

Keep it simple and sweet and everyone will be happy! :o)

kendall said...

Apparently, there is a formula for these things:

-Line 1: Thanks for the (blank)!
-Line 2: It's great for (blanking) when I (blank) the (blank).
-Line 3: Something unrelated to (blank) like, "I look forward to seeing you guys at the family reunion next month."
Line 4: Thanks again for the (blank). Love, Libby.

See? Super easy!

Anonymous said...

Really, Meg is falling behind if she isn't the one writing the thank you notes. I'm sad for her already. :)

I agree with what LB and Kendall both said.

Emily-Ione said...

There is one more coming, I hate the post office...so I haven't taken it to be mailed yet.
But today is the day,
No card necessary.

Julie said...

I once received a thank you note that looked like this:

Thank you so much for the _______.
I will always think of you whenever I_______.
And it wasn't from a 5 year-old.

Sam said...

I know! And my kid is 4.5 already and I'm still writing the thank you notes. Where's the justice?

It's still eerie to me how you say everything I'd like to say, only you say it funnier. ;)

*Akilah Sakai* said...

I once went to a kid's birthday party where the mom had already had the generic Thank You cards ready. She handed it to you on your way out. I couldn't stop laughing. Clearly she did not want to be bothered later on.

Yellow Trash Diaries said...

Are you sure you want to post a link to me? You never know what's on the other side of that door... And I think your mother's assessment of your handwriting was spot on-- serial killer for sure.

Anonymous said...

For future reference (ie: when Meg can write) there are literally fill-in-the-blank thank you notes, much like the ones that were described in the comments. I don't know how I lived without them before, because they make thank you notes a MUCH less tedious process now.

PS - I laughed hysterically @Kendall's "It's great for (blanking) when I (blank) the (blank)" I might have to use that one again. (and yes, I am a 12-year-old boy at heart)

Katie B. Lieberman, LCSW said...

Don't send me a note. Really. I will recycle it rather than trash it, but that's not much better. You can send one to my mom for her half of the crib as she is the only living person still saving thank you's, but, for hell's sake, waste no paper on ben.

She Said said...

I hate doing thank you cards too. I did them all on the computer once, and printed them out on blank cards from a craft store. I can type way faster than I can write, and it saved me from getting the damn cramp in my hand. I even printed up labels for the envelope. I didn't pick up a pen once for that round of thank you's. Thankyouverymuch.

If you are super geeky, you can create a spreadsheet with everyone's names and gifts on it and create a merge with your "It's great for (blanking) when I (blank) the (blank)" card document. ;)

Kate said...

I was rather moved by the one you sent me. I posted it along with the birth announcement on my microwave (we have a stupid wood paneled fridge so the microwave is the only metal surface). Love the custom photo on the cards. People are so charmed by the cards they probably don't focus on what the note says....

Phil said...

I feel the same way as you about thank you notes. When I become President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I intend to pass a law stating that if you want to receive a thank you card/note you have to give the gift with said card and a self-addressed,stamped envelope.

Dana's Brain said...

I loathe the thank you notes as well. I am in fact very overdue for my kids' bday presents thank you notes. Which sucks because it adds to my guilt of being so late. But I will get them out eventually anyway for the same reasons you mention - because people like getting them. And so do I.

Good luck with getting through them. Looking at that adorable girl should help!!

Susan said...

I think people who give baby gifts should include their own pre-written, self addressed, stamped thank you notes. Or maybe just a note that says "if you send a thank you note, I'm taking my gift back."

Thank you notes are lovely, but I'd rather give the gift of a nap.

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