The Power of a Thank You by Sarah Price

Once upon a time, a little girl sat down at the kitchen table with a scowl on her face and pile of note cards set before her. The evil queen mother stood over her, casting a dark shadow upon the small child who trembled in fright. She knew that the evil queen mother wanted to inflict the worst type of pain upon her and would not leave until the task was complete. And with the smallest of voices, one brought with fear and intimidation, the child dared to ask the one question that might possibly save her: “Do I have to write all these thank you notes?”

And the evil queen leaned over and, in a loud voice, answered with on word that resonated throughout all of the land. “Yes!”

The Power of a Thank You by Sarah Price

OK, so maybe my little fairy tale is overkill for something as simple as a written thank you for a gift (although I do remember feeling this way when, as a child, my mother always sat me down and insisted I could not play with any of my Christmas toys until those thank-you notes were written).

A gift is a way of a person thinking ahead about you and spending their time, effort, and/or money on you. And not just the gift but buying the packaging, traveling to the post office, and purchasing the proper amount of postage. Luckily, we have email to send thank you notes. And, in the world of life-giving, we also have Facebook and Amazon.

Maybe Miss Manners would cringe at that thought: electronic words of gratitude. And she’s correct to a degree. If someone buys you a trip somewhere, takes you on a shopping spree, or splurges for front-row seats to a super popular event, maybe a simple “thank you” in person isn’t enough, nor is a posting on a FB page going to cut it. I might recommend a hand-written note for those grander items. I usually send flowers when my parents do something nice for me or the family. And I’ve been known to send flowers to others just to say “Thank you.” Everyone loves flowers.

(Hint: let the sender know that the flowers were received…again, just proper manners).

Which brings me to my point…

Over the years, I have often been asked to sponsor giveaways. Other authors have, too. Book reviewers love to have something on-hand to giveaway to their readers and authors love to supply the gifts. But more and more reviewers are complaining that they are hearing very little from the recipients about receiving the gift (unless the gift is considered late by the receiver who then often sends a less-than-kind message…but I’ll save that for another blog). Even worse, the receiver doesn’t leave a review.

The Power of a Thank You by Sarah Price

I used to do great big giveaway sprees, especially of my ebooks because I didn’t have to go to the post office to mail out the gift. I remember giving away twenty copies of an ebook once. I had said that I would give 1 ebook for every 10 entries. At least 200 people entered to win a free ebook. So, I stuck to my word and sent 20 ebooks. I believe 4 or 5 people thanked me, which was greatly appreciated, and those were probably the same 4 or 5 who posted a review. And believe me when I tell you, I probably received the same number from people who didn’t win, complaining that they never win.

Now, I’m not one to throw stones at glass houses. I admit my flaws. I’m just as guilty.

During my sickness, I was guilty of not sending out thank you notes to everyone who sent me cards, letters, booklets, or even gifts…something that weighs very heavy on me. Between going through surgery after surgery, chemotherapy, and then issues at home, it slipped away. So I am guilty as charged, for which I do apologize. I’ve made a new vow (and kept to it!) that even if it’s a simple message through Facebook, I will always acknowledge the receipt of the gift and say “Thank you.” It’s just the proper thing to do.

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6 thoughts on “The Power of a Thank You by Sarah Price

  1. My mom is HUGE on thank you cards! I have to admit, I love getting a thank you. It makes my day! I LOVE giving gifts and it just makes it so much better when I know the receiver liked what I gave them. I try to do handwritten cards, but at the very least I like to acknowledge them on FB or in a private message. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. A simple “thank you” is such an effortless but important thing to do. As a blogger I’ve given away numerous gifts over the past couple of years, and the thank yous are not always included with the address. Many people are very gracious with their thanks, but sometimes the ones that never come through stand out more. I have always been a note writer until the past few years with internet availability, but occasionally a hand-written note is just something I still do to acknowledge a special gift. We are from a different time and place, I believe.

  3. I was raised to Thank people for anything that I received (big or small) with a handwritten thank you note. To this day, I send one out each and every time that I receive something. My kids were raised the same way and would grumble and complain about not being able to do this or that until they wrote their thank you notes. Now that they are grown, they automatically write a thank you but, now I hear about how they can hear me telling them that they could have written the thank you in less time than they spent crabbing about it. No matter the gift, a handwritten thank you is the proper thing to do. I just received one from my friend’s daughter for the baby gift that I gave her. Today, many kids just take whatever they can get and take gift giving for granted…sometimes, they just expect it, don’t acknowledge it and most of all, show no appreciation……So sad.

  4. I was born and raised on writing thank you notes and still do write them. I think it is the proper and courteous thing to do when someone acknowledges you with a gift or something. My mom instilled this in my head all those years ago, and it has stuck. And for that I am grateful. Thankfully she didn’t have to be the Evil Queen to make me do it. It was something I enjoyed, and I still love letter writing/card sending to this day.

  5. Thank You!!!!! Kind and considerate. I remember asking my mother “why do I have to say thank you for this ugly sweater Gram sent me?!?” I didn’t like the thing at all and in my little mind if I said thank you I’d be lying. She made me understand in a hurry that you still thanked someone for their thoughtfulness. Wish I still had a Gram to buy me ugly yuko sweaters

  6. Here, here & nicely written.My mother was a sticker, also , for thank you notes.Fortunately, I did n’ t have to write them before I played w/ them , used or wore them.
    I think people would have understood not hearing from you while you were so sick.I had lovely older lady who was a special friend.She had a stack of postcards handy, and would quickly jot down the cutest short notes.They were always humorous.She died from lung cancer and lived over about three years after having been diagnosed with lung cancer which had spread.After her family talked her into having treatment, she surprisingly lived three years,and was as into her 80’s.I am so glad now that I put all those precious couple of sentence post cards
    in my bible.She and they are dear to me. I thought her way of correspondence was adequate, original and always a special treat in the mailbox when they arrived.
    Love the drawing of the pen on this article.

    as original, easily done

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