The chorus of crickets in the evening, cooler mornings, and the images of Food on a Stick (aka Minnesota State Fair) can only mean one thing….Summer is winding down (queue multiple sighs). But before you pack away those tents, s’mores sticks and bug spray, sit for a moment with pen and paper and write a letter. Why? The reasons are plenty…
- Encourage your child to write a letter of appreciation for the Summer internship or paid job, even if it was mowing the neighbor’s lawn. Employers remember these kids!
- Send a note to the staff at a Summer destination who made a difference on your vacation.
- Write a quick Thank You to the neighbor who consistently opened their doors to the neighborhood gang or looked after your home while on vacation.
- Create a family letter to the Summer nanny heading to college, mentioning memories and good wishes on the new campus and include a picture or two.
- Express your appreciation for the friend who encouraged you to run around the lake for the first time and listened to your highs and lows while doing so!
- Support a child to share Summer highlights (or books they read) in a short to note to their teacher from last year who will be touched he or she wasn’t forgotten!
- Write a note to a grandparent who took your children to multiple destinations throughout the Summer.
- Surprise a friend with a Just Because letter. I received one yesterday and it couldn’t have arrived at a more timely moment.
And finally, today being Letter Writing Day is reason in itself to keep the postal service busy! So before closing up for the night, take a few minutes to sit with yourself or family members and be reminded of the value we place on relationships which surround you each day.
As Back-to-School sales are finally behind us and we find ourselves digging up the last veggies from the garden and pulling out sweaters hidden in the closet, there’s one item which needs a bit of attention before the Fall Equinox arrives next Tuesday…the end of Summer Thank You note. Pardon? You’ve never heard of such a thing? Oh, it’s real alright. And awaiting your attention.
Cut back to Labor Day weekend, I found myself thinking of all the people who influence our lives in the Summer months…the family friend who provided a connection to a unique internship, the neighbor who hired your son to mow her lawn, the CSA farmer who delivered your weekly box of goodness, the grandparent or nanny who took great care of your children with loving care. These individuals need to be reminded of one’s gratitude for their actions.
About this time I happened to run into my friend Donna Erickson and she was curious how I go about inspiring my kids to express thanks to their grandparents for the all the sleepovers, park dates, ice cream making, and other adventures which unfold over the Summer months.
We soon started sharing ideas which lead to her lovely article in Sunday’s Pioneer Press (see entire article on her FB page) with tips for both Pre-School and grade school children on what and how to write, using images, stamps, photographs…the options are endless. Make it simple with a Thank You stamp pad for the younger kids or find pictures in a magazine which represent Summer memories.
In the end, whatever you write or create will be appreciated, especially when the recipient may not be expecting such a note in the mailbox. Be it adults or children, keeping the Thank You note alive has value. It’s the time, the action and the thought which go into, as Donna mentioned, two small and simple words; thank you.