Thoughtful Thank You’s

The Best Things are Not Things

The Best Things are Not Things

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Do you believe in the power of a thank you note? I do.

If it is anything that I love, it is a real thank you. It can be a “look you in the eye say thank you” kind of thing, but it’s much better with a pretty card and a heart felt note in your own handwriting.

In the business world, there’s much to be gained by a good thank you. No amount of text messaging or emailing can replace the real deal. A note or letter tells someone how much a working relationship means to you. It lets the recipient know you appreciate their time and effort to work together.

In personal matters, a graceful thank you will lift up and encompass someone in a hug. It sends a message of love and caring. It says you are appreciated and what you did means the world to me.

Yep, this made me feel good all these years later!

Yep, this made me feel good all these years later!

A couple of days ago I found a cache of forgotten thank you notes from a previous job. There they were, stashed in amongst a bunch of business letterhead in my closet. I took them down and sat in my recliner, ready to revisit beautiful memories. The card I have pictured above (top is the front, above is the inside) was from a mother of the bride. I helped her coordinate her daughter’s wedding. Here is what she said inside. “Dear Jo, Thanks so much for everything you did to make Stacey and Gene’s wedding so beautiful. I know all the hard work you did- you went above and beyond! You were wonderful to work with and I truly enjoyed working with you. All the best.”

Do I save these for a reason? You bet I do.

I have a box full of cards that people have sent me over the years. Cards thanking me for presents, for my time, for my energy, for ways I helped others. I read once long ago that it was a positive tool to save heartfelt cards. When you are feeling down, get out the box and go through it.

I read a book a few years ago that really touched me. “A Simple Act of Gratitude” was written by John Kralik. He told his own story of a life filled with unhappiness. In a moment of clarity, he thought that if he became grateful for what he had instead of lamenting on what he didn’t have, it could be a game changer. He set a goal to write 365 thank you notes in one year. He achieved this milestone. Did it change his life? It sure did.

Writing thank you notes is a way to express gratitude for what we have in our life. It is a way to combat envy, greed, and ego. A humble expression of gratitude when sustained, can be the difference between a life of grumbling and complaints, or a life of infinite riches.

I hope you decide to pick up a pen and write some thank you notes. Go to your favorite stationary store, pick out some pretty cards and go for it. Or have picture cards made with your favorite photos and use those. Then get to town and write. By the way, thank you for that beautiful card you sent me. I love it!

One of my favorite cards!

One of my favorite cards! It was for Mother’s Day- still counts!

Extra Special

Extra Special

Sweet

Sweet

One of my favorites

One of my favorites

Beautiful

Beautiful

Humble

Humble

Unique

Unique

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17 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thank You’s

  1. Michele

    Joanne I save cards too! So glad I am not the only one! I have beautiful birthday and Christmas cards from my mom and aunts and uncles who are no longer with me but they are in my heart. I can pull out my box of momentos and it takes me back. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      I have two boxes of notes and thank you cards, plus another one of Christmas cards I just cannot seem to part with. And I am not a clutter person!
      Cards lift me up and take me back to fond memories. So glad you feel the same Michele.
      xo Joanne

      Reply
  2. Cathy McElhaney

    Thank you notes are nice and I do not send out enough of them! I just got one from a friend, thanking me for being a friend! I have known her since I was 12 and she was 10. Her sister was my best friend all through Jr high and high school, and even beyond. We all lost touch and I found Tami on Facebook a few months ago. Her sister, Jody, who was my best friend is a bit lost and makes no effort to maintain friendships…even with her sisters.
    I wouldn’t have enough money for stamps to send out all the thank you’s I want to extend to all of those who were there for me and wished me well during my recent ‘health scare’!
    Your cards are beautiful and so are the memories that go with them!

    Thank YOU Jo, for being a good friend and being there for me all these years!

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      Cathy, your words are lovely. It’s a tribute as to why we should maintain friendships over the years.
      I should write more notes too. I do the best I can at the moment but I’m going to make an effort to write more.
      Thank YOU for all your support, especially for my blog these last four years (already!).
      Take care,
      Joanne xoxo

      Reply
  3. Greer Mulholland

    Love your post. When a friend noted that his mother had passed and he didn’t “have a piece of paper with her writing on it” I started saving notes from dear family and friends. I’m so glad I did! I also have a folder in my email account titled “supportive messages” and while electronic thank you and notes are truly appreciated, I still love getting that handwritten message. Thanks for the reminder that taking those extra few minutes makes such a difference.

    Reply
  4. Marylin Warner

    I’ve read John Kralik’s book, and it is indeed a game changer, Joanne!
    Last year Jim and I baked 3 doz. sugar cookies, bought several different icings and sprinkles, and took them to our daughter Molly’s special education students. They each could decorate two cookies, one for themselves to eat later, and one as a special Thank You cookie. We went with them around the middle school as they delivered the special cookie with a special Thank You and hug to someone–a teacher, an aide, custodian, secretary, lunchroom ladies, etc.–the person they wanted to specifically thank in person. It was one of the most touching and happy days ever.

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      Marylin, I LOVE THIS. How awesome it must have been to bake cookies for such a great mission. And then to decorate them and give them as a thank you is tremendous. I hope this will give someone a great idea.
      🙂
      xoxo Joanne

      Reply
  5. Cindy

    Hi Joanne, I sure do believe in the power of a thank you note, or really any extra little act that expresses gratitude!! I love all the different thank you notes you shared! The illustrations are all so different( I love how you describe each), but yet they all have the same underlying meaning of gratitude for for some kindness you have shown others! They are all so unique. I remember many, many years back sitting patiently at the kitchen table with my sons helping them write thank you notes for gifts they received. Sometimes it would only be their name scribbled with backward letters, but none the less, they were thankful ( eventually the scribbling turned into full sentences)! My sponsor has sent me for the past many years 2 to 3 cards a week (via the post office), notes of “thanks” or “just becauses”! Sometimes when I open them glitter even flies out everywhere!! They certainly mean alot to me!!! I think when you physically send a thank you through the mail, you are letting your friends and loved ones know they really matter to you! It does take a little extra effort!! I am sure your kindness has touched many people Joanne, so your beautiful thank you cards are well deserved!! Thanks for sharing such an awesome post!!!

    Reply
  6. Sunday's Child (trying to be full of grace).

    SWOON, I adore this blog post. It is a privilege to call you friend, I am so thankful.

    I loved John Kralik’s book. It was real food for thought. After reading his book, I tried to be more consistent in sending thank you notes. We send thank you notes to hotels, companies, friends, dog groomers, dog sitter, my honey lady, the list goes on and on.
    Sending thank you notes, reminds me what a fortunate life I have.

    I too, have a box in which I keep them and yes, re-read them. They make me smile over and over.

    For some silly reason, I feel drawn to the card store today.

    Thanks for the gentle reminder.

    Hugs from the west coast.
    D

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      Ms. Childs, you are one of the top note writers that I know! You are the best about sending postcards, notes, handmade or otherwise. I adore getting the mail and then seeing an envelope with your return address on it.
      Your SEATTLE postcard is on my shelf in the kitchen. I bet you had the best time. 🙂 Thank you for your kindness and thinking of me.
      xo Joanne

      Reply
  7. Marianne

    One of the gracious and precious things my mother taught me was to write a thank you note – back in the days when people had manners, and understood the concept of showing their gratitude for something like a dinner or a gift. I still adhere to that, because there really isn’t anything better or more fun than a handwritten note received in the good old fashion mailbox. With all of our technology, nothing can replace that.

    Your post was a beautiful reminder, and I truthfully needed it this evening. Work was unbearable, and I caved under the pressure of the inhospitable environment. But then I read something like this, and it brings me back to center. I try to keep alive enough encouragement to keep my faith embers burning, that one day soon, I will be in the right environment for me…full of peace, creativity, and promise.

    In the meantime, I am grateful for friends like you that write such wonderful reminders of what it means to be alive. Thank you, Joanne….

    From my heart to yours,
    Marianne ♥>♥

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      Marianne, we were raised in a different time and encouraged to send the hand written note. And you are right. Nothing can replace that.
      I hope your situation changes soon at work. It sounds like it’s not a place condusive to happiness. I will say some prayers for you and wish you the best. Keep up your good writing. It’s a gift.
      xo Joanne

      Reply

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