The Perfect Thank You Note
“The fondness for writing grows with writing.” -Epictetus, 100 A.D.
I asked a simple question on my Andi’s People Facebook page recently, “Do you prefer to write notes on a flat note card or folded?” Responses varied.
One flat. Others preferred folded. ‘A folded card is like opening a gift,’ a friend, Christine replied.
I believe the hand-written envelope is the ‘ribbon on the note’, saying ‘I care about you’. How satisfying it is to carefully insert a personal note in an envelope. I love note writing. In fact, that is how Andi’s People started.
I had moved independently to Hawaii, leaving behind a large Boston Irish, Catholic family and many good friends. I needed the right thank you note. Searching to no avail, I finally made my own. I sketched my Hawaiian boy – with an aloha shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Above the sketch was the word ‘Mahalo’, which means thank you in Hawaiian. Inside, the quote:
“The river flows a winding course to the sea We must be equally flexible if we hope to reach our goals.” -Nelson Boswell
But it’s not just the note. It’s the pen. Just as in journal writing, in note writing, the perfect pen is essential. I prefer fine point black Pilot pen. I love the grip, the flow, the lack of smudge.
Only once did I choose my calligraphy pen and bottled ink. So deep was my bereavement following the death of my beloved piano teacher a few years ago, I felt compelled to sit at my desk and craft a beautiful calligraphied letter to his mother.
A few years ago, at our local book shop, Westwinds, I came across the book, The Art of the Hand-written Note by Margaret Shepherd. So excited was I in making the purchase I addressed my check to the book title! The book sits prominently in my living room bookcase. Part of my cherished collection. Just like a good friend, waiting to be called on.
Another find was a recent article. I’m not often able to peruse the entire Boston Globe. My 96-year-old father visited this past Sunday from his home. He is legally blind, so not able to read the Globe on his own, but as a retired attorney and adept historian, he is as eager as I to glean interesting news.
“Listen to this, Dad,” I had said. “ A man in Plymouth found two hand-written notes in an old magazine he’d found at a yard sale. One was signed by Abigail van Buren (Dear Abby). The other – by John F. Kennedy!
My father recalled stories of his friend, Jack Kennedy, and lunches with him in the Congressional Dining Room as well as the Senate. “Did you ever receive a thank you note from John F. Kennedy?” My father laughed, saying no, he had not.
Another article read “Up Your Gratitude” by John Kralik, author of A Simple Act of Gratitude (now in paperback). In the depths of down-turned luck, he was inspired to write a year of thank you’s, thus beginning a new chapter in his life.
Kralik says, “Your message doesn’t need to be long and eloquent…by sticking to a few lines, you keep the focus on your thank-you and on the other person’s kindness.”
A simple thank you and yet such a gift.
For Stationery and thank you notes in over 80 designs, please visit www.andispeople.com