It was a sensational day. The flower girl did not cry and actually dropped petals instead of throwing them, the groomsmen showed up without mohawks and the top tier of your cake is safely wrapped and tucked away in your freezer. You sit dreamily in the warm tropical sand of your honeymoon destination and think to yourself, “Whew, I’m done!”
As a wave of relief slowly washes over you, a strange nagging thought begins to tug at the edges of your conscious. It seems to be reminding you that there is one very important task left to complete before you can completely settle in to married bliss. But what could it be? You slowly peruse your mind for a clue to this unfinished business… Could it be the caterer? No, your wedding planner gave them their final payment. Did you forget to say goodbye to someone? No, you specifically remember a teary farewell to your father; in fact you still have the clutch marks on your wrists. Do you still have gifts to open?
That is when it hits you. Gifts, the people that so lovingly gave them and the all important task that lies before you-Thank You Notes.
Although it may seem a simple thing, the art of the thank you note is one that should remain in place for all time. Thinking about tackling this may seem as daunting as facing your Great Aunt Rita (who has a tendency to pinch), but the rewards far out weigh the work. Ancient Roman philosopher, Cicero, said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” It is one thing to feel genuine gratitude towards those that showered you and your new spouse with gifts, but another to physically take the time to thank them. Showing your thankfulness not only reminds the giver why they love you in the first place, but also sets you up to avoid awkward situations in the future. Of course first and foremost the most important aspect is to express gratitude; however, remember that these people will more than likely be in your life for years to come and it is important to let them know how much you appreciate their kindness (even if you never actually asked for mustard yellow monogrammed towels).
As a child I can specifically remember my mother’s prodding words, “Say thank you!” as I received anything from a birthday gift to the opportunity to babysit a neighbor’s child. Gratefulness, as defined by Dictionary.com, is derived from the word pleasing meaning that someone during the transaction of giving or receiving was pleased by the exchange. Now, typically, I would think of this through the eyes of the receiver and in most cases this would apply. However, let us go back to those mustard yellow towels. You are most certainly not grateful for this gift and you certainly have no intentions of ever removing them from your linen closet. Rather than writing a thank you note, your first inclination may be to actually write a what-were-you-thinking note! But, think of the sentiment behind the gift rather than the gift itself. The person that gave you the towels thought of you, is grateful for you and wanted to wish you well in your new life. As you sit down to write your note, keep those feelings in mind and remember that you are not just thanking them for their gift, but for the act of giving itself.
Starting off a marriage with an attitude of thankfulness is an excellent way to ensure a lifetime of grateful feelings.So say thank you, grazie, merci, gracias, takk, todo or mahalo. Any way you choose to say it be sure that it will warm the heart of the person it is intended for and in turn warm yours as well.