This month, most of us will continue the tradition started way back in 1621 when the colonial Pilgrims first gathered for a harvest feast to give thanks for their blessings. As a mom, a friend, and a professional, I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of being thankful.
I actually had to look back through the RFM archives (every article we’ve ever published is on our website, ya know!) to see how many times I’ve talked about the idea of gratitude in past notes, and while it was more than once or twice, I continue to want to write about it because I think the concept is getting lost in life’s busy-ness.
You learn a lot of about yourself as you get older, and one thing I’ve figured out is that while I really like doing nice things for people, I also really want to be thanked in some way, shape, or form for doing those nice things. And I wish I wasn’t like that – I so badly want to be the type of person who does something out of pure selflessness and desires zero thanks in return.
But alas, I can’t seem to let it go when I give a gift and don’t hear a word from the recipient. I mean, how does one even know if the gift arrived? I have learned that there are exceptions. Like the time I sent a gift to a friend through Amazon and never heard back. With today’s modern technology, a quick check on our account revealed a photo of the package on my friend’s doorstep, so I texted to make sure she received the gift (trying not to sound too passive aggressive, knowing full well that she clearly had received it). “Oh, that was from you?! There was no note inside, so I have been wondering who sent it!” Okay, she had a very good excuse for not thanking me (but come on Amazon, I typed up a very nice note to go with it!), and I felt silly for thinking for a second that she wouldn’t have.
But what about the wedding, birthday, and graduation gifts that go unthanked?
As I often remind my kids, thanking people for the gifts they receive will make them more inclined to give you gifts in the future (if that’s not incentive, I don’t know what is). And I’m living proof that not thanking someone for a gift can make the person reluctant to give you gifts in the future.
My personal issues aside, it is important to show gratitude, so let’s all make this the season to give thanks, in any way that works for your family. My kids sent video text thank-yous to everyone but the grandparents (they appreciate handwritten notes most of all!) for their birthday gifts this year. While I would have preferred traditional notes, as the days ticked by, I fretted that it wasn’t going to happen, so I allowed them to do it in a way that was more enjoyable for them. As it turned out, the recipients loved the videos and thought it was a great idea.
We at RFM are so very thankful for YOU our readers and for our awesome and supportive advertisers who make RFM possible.