On Christmas Day, I came downstairs with my Mom to start opening my Christmas presents. I always start with the ones that aren’t from my family, so I can write down all the presents on a list. That way it’s easy for me to know who to write the thank you notes to. A couple of days later, I had some time, so I sat down to start writing the letters. I thought about just doing the generic thank you letter saying, “Thank you for the present. I love it and have already used it.” Then I decided that it was time for a change.
I believe in genuine thank you notes. Not just for the present, but also for the intangible things that these people have given me. I not only thanked the people for the presents they had given me, but also told them what they meant to me and thanked them for just being themselves. I figured out that writing thank you notes isn’t half as painful if you actually put some thought into what you’re saying. I spent an hour or so just writing how I felt about each of these people and how they had influenced my life. Even if I don’t get a single comment from these people about their letters, I felt like I did a good thing by just telling people that they were making a difference in my life.
A day or two later, I got a call from my uncle. I just handed the phone over to my mom because I assumed that he was calling to talk to her. Instead, she said “Okay. Hold on a sec” and handed the phone back to me. “It’s for you,” she said. “He wants to tell you something.” Then I immediately remembered the letters that I had mailed a few days before.
He paused and then said, “Well Julia Ann, I got your letter today, and I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate you. It was so thoughtful of you to do that, and I just wanted you to know that I love you.” His words were enough for me. Now I knew that my letters had at least touched one person and that telling those people what they meant to me had meant something to them. This I believe.