Are Thank You Letters Still Important?

January is hard enough with all its pressures to be more mindful, patient, healthy, giving, and just generally a perfect human specimen. Never mind trying to make dry January last longer than five days.

You’ve finally dragged the Christmas tree outside and the tired looking decorations are rammed back into that overflowing cupboard that is on the New Year house blitz list.

It’s back to the reality of work and school.

With that, of course, comes the standard nagging about homework, tidying bedrooms and ‘don’t just dump your coat there, do you think I’m some kind of slave?’ (you almost don’t want to know the answer to that one).

But in January we also have the joy of the Christmas thank you letters. That extra little niggly item on the endless to do list which swims around in the motherhead.

The easy option would be to give it a miss, just this once. Nobody will notice. But I can’t. It’s the principle.

My three children received an abundance of gifts from kind family and friends. And as I was taught by my parents, I want my children to morally understand that if people are thoughtful enough to take the time and effort to go and look for a present for them (or click on the Amazon website – it still takes thought), then they can surely take the time and effort to sit down and write a letter to show their gratitude.

I remember, after every birthday and Christmas, having to sit at the kitchen table until every letter was written.

And a simple ‘thank you for my present, see you soon’ would not suffice. The actual gift had to be mentioned, followed by the fact it was what I’d always wanted, and when, where and how I was playing with it – or wearing it in the case of Aunty Pam’s annual hand knitted Christmas jumpers.

So, their list of Christmas thank you letters stares me out every day. Aunty Joan, Granny and Grandpa, Uncle Tom, godmothers, godfathers, and so it goes on.

And I’m well aware that it’s soon to be the middle of January (even if none of the little people give two hoots) and the polite window…

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