When the Christmas season was nearing an end, when the wrapping paper and ribbon where long gone. When the tree was drooping and looking as if it were time for the curb. When it snowed in December and vacation lasted several weeks though it seemed like a dream. When the Christmas cookies were gone and the decorations were coming down, that was the time when my Mother would gather us up and sit us down at the kitchen table with blank paper in front of us and order us to write our "thank you" notes.
They were laborious affairs. It seemed the words would not come into my head let alone flow from the #2 pencil held between my nail bitten fingers. Inspiration would not make a visit and the four of us would stare blankly at the empty pages and sneak quick glances at each others work to see if any progress had been made.
They were usually the same bland carbon copy letter to each of my Aunt and Uncles. I'm certain would begin this way, "Dear Aunt M&J, Thank you for the blankedy blank. I really like it (usually clothes or a book). I plan on reading (wearing) it right away. Thank you. Love,......."
Does anyone write thank you notes any more? Or has the ease of picking up the telephone replaced that kitchen table with the stacks of lined paper and sharpened pencils? Maybe an e-mail? Is receiving a note in the mail a lost art? Is this traditional show of respect, good manners and thankfulness gone the way of the dinosaur? Or the anticipated usual response of no response.
I think not! Yesterday I pulled out of my mailbox a letter, not a labor intensive note the likes of which I wrote, but a letter decorated in pink, blue, purple, red and yellow magic markers that read.....
"Dear Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe,
When we went to see WICKED I saw a lot of cool stuff. The play was awesome. I really want to see it again but it costs a lot of money. My favorite caracter, I mean character was either Glinda the Good Witch or Elphaba the Wicked Witch, even though she wasn't really wicked. I wanted a souvenir so I bought a tee shirt that says "I Love OZ" with the money you gave me for Christmas. Thank you so much for the money. I love the shirt I bought with it. It was the best play I've ever seen. It was really long but I was not bored one single second. My next goal is to get on Broadway or do a traveling show like the Wicked actresses and actors. Glinda had the prettiest blonde(sic), curled perfectly hair and Elphaba had the sleeked and straightest black hair. I was sooooooo jealos (sic). Thank you for the great memories I got with the money you gave me. I love you guys.
This kid is 11 years old!! I doubt I could write with such passion and impact!
The thank you note is not dead but alive and living in the hearts of little kids everywhere.