Growing up, my mom used to insist I acknowledge all Christmas and birthday presents with a thank you note. I hated it at the time, but I have to say, it created a good habit. I always appreciate a thank you note if I’ve given someone a gift, and I like giving them as well.
I won’t go so far as to say I always complete them in a timely manner – sometimes I can let a lot of time go by before I sit down and get them done. My friend Lori puts me to shame in the thank you note department – not only does she acknowledge all of her own gifts within a week of receiving them, she is training her kids to be just as gracious and prompt. There is nothing like getting shown up by a five year old and a seven year old in the thank you note department. But I take a small solace in the fact that at some point, I DO get them done.
This year, I actually had the time and the intention to write thank you notes right after my birthday, but because I’m so miserably broke, I couldn’t afford to budget a box of thank you notes over say, a tank of gas. Social etiquette is important, but not as important as getting from A to B.
Then I remembered my paper stash! I have a plastic storage container in the office closet full of all different kinds of colored paper. Why? Some of it is leftover from doing invitations/programs/placecards/thank you notes for our wedding, and some is from a brief interest I had in making greeting cards w/rubber stamps (our friends used to have a business where they taught classes in how to make them, and I got all crafty with it for a while. I’ve since tossed the rubber stamps, but I still have the paper). I have no idea where the rest of it came from. I’ve even considered getting rid of it.
But suddenly I was so glad I still had it, because I realized I didn’t have BUY thank you notes – I could make my own! For a moment, I was a little afraid people might think they were stupid and cheap. But then I realized that every single person I was going to send one to is a loving friend or family member who knows my situation and is very supportive of me, not a materialistic, judgmental jerk who would shun me for sending a homemade card. Not to mention, I’m going to guess most people read a thank you card, appreciate it, and then promptly recycle it – it’s not like it was going to be framed and hung on a wall for posterity.
So I made some cards. I found some retro clip art, and a fun free downloadable font. I think they turned out cute:
I made exactly the amount I needed, no more, no less, so…totally lagom. In the end, the only thing I had to pay for was a couple postage stamps. I may not have spent a lot of money on them, but they were made with a wealth of love for the intended recipients. That’s got to be worth something, right?