Friday, June 05, 2015

Thank You Notes: A Lost Art?

Okay I can understand that schools are no longer teaching children how to write cursive, although I am not sure how they will learn to sign their names.  But cursive writing is on it's way out as a lost form of writing.  Like the monks slaving over manuscripts with quill in hand, writing beautiful letters in calligraphy, our children have been slaving over lined paper trying to write cursive.  And why?  Everyone knows they will learn to text much faster from repeated lessons and practices.  So yeah I get the loss of teaching cursive.  I don't LIKE it, but I understand it.

What I don't understand is the loss of writing notes.  I love getting mail from people other than bill collectors or donation requests.  But with technology today, this may also be a thing of the past.  And remember email?  Yeah it is passe.  Why actually form full sentences when you can Tweet whole ideas in 140 characters, counting spaces?  Why write out an email when you can text someone in multiple back-and-forths?

Okay so I get why note writing and mailing are losing the communication battle.  I used to get tweeked when I'd get a message in Facebook on the hour of a barbeque party that the person wasn't coming and I'd get twerked with a text message an hour into the party that two guests weren't coming.  I mean, they both had their phones in their hands...  But I am not longer a purist and accept--hell, expect--messages to come from anywhere but the mailbox or the telephone.

Okay.  Times change.  But when did the Thank You Note go away?  I send gifts at Christmas and never even know if the person received the gift.  I send birthday gifts and hear nothing.  These are to adults and to kids.  Nada.  Nothing.  So I finally (about a month or so after the send) send an email or a Facebook message or a text: we are concerned as we have heard nothing...did our Christmas/baby/wedding/birthday gift arrive Safely?  If not, I will need to start a search.

On Christmas day after breakfast and gift-opening messes are cleaned up a bit, I sit my grandgirl down with me and we write thank you notes for our gifts.  We have been doing this since she was about three and could scribble her name.  I make it a little game.  She's not always excited to do it but she does it without complaining.  Then we address the envelopes and stick a stamp on them and sticking them in the mail.  I hope this practice stick with her...I did it with my sons, years didn't stick.

So maybe my generation is the final generation to stamp and mail thank you notes.  I accept that, kinda.  But is my generation the final generation to thank people in general?  Not a tweet.  Not an email.  Not a text of thank you.  Besides not feeling the gratitude of selecting a gift, wrapping it and mailing it (regardless of how much you hate it), it is just rude (IMHO) to not acknowledge this event.

Oh oh so perhaps we need to have classes on how to write thank you notes!  We could include cursive writing as well...just a thought as we watch these things disappear...



WilmaNC1 said...

I still write thank you notes, but I don't write letters, my handwriting is so bad from years of hastily written nurses notes at the hospital, lol. I type and print longer letters. But I do like to be thanked for gifts I give. A thank you note is always welcomed, but I will take a nicely worded email too. The times they are a 'changin. Thank goodness we are still young enough to change with them!

Lynn W. said...

Amen! I may not write thank yous anymore but I try to phone or at least e-mail my thanks. It's rude not to acknowledge gifts. People seem to think that shower gifts, acknowledged at the event, don't require a written thank you. I'm still waiting for my DGD's thank yous for shower and wedding gifts (which were some of the more costly on their registry list). I was there when they opened their wedding gifts and they both personally thanked me so I'll take that. (thanks for letting me vent ;-) )

Scrappy quilter said...

AMEN and AMEN!! Great post. No matter what technology we have, I still believe we need to learn cursive hand writing. And I firmly believe thank you notes need to be sent out. And while I'm on that, not only a written not but a word of thanks would be nice to. Society on the whole is raising kids to be takers without a word of thanks. Like you we seldom here if gifts have arrived to their designated area. It's been a bone of contention for a long time!

Island Woman MJ said...

How did I not know this blog existed??? So happy to see it posted on fb so I could check this out. Excellent topic, chica! I'll be checking in a lot more now.