By Kristin Appenbrink / 03.24.14
I will forever be a fan of a well-written thank you card. As much as I love the convenience of email, texting, and social media, there’s something about the thank you card—it’s one of the few lasting signs of good manners. And thankfully, it’s an easy skill to master, even for your kids. That’s one of the reasons thank you cards have remained as we’ve ditched other etiquette rules. They are quick to write and can be relatively informal, but they still show more consideration than a text message.
It’s easy to make writing a thoughtful note a habit for your kids. Get them started early, and they’ll likely keep it up for the rest of their lives. Follow these three steps to write a simple and sincere note.
1. Say thank you.
Okay, this is kind of a no-brainer, but first and foremost say thank you for the gift, and be sure to mention what it is. If your child received the gift in person, at a birthday party, for example, be sure to have them say thank you for attending the party as well.
2. Share one detail.
If it’s a toy, have your child share how they’ve been playing with it. If it’s a book, have them share their favorite part of the story so far. For younger children, if you’re actually writing the note have them do a drawing or include some kind of artwork to make the thank you card more personalized—grandparents especially love this.
3. Make plans to enjoy it together.
Have your child end the note with the wish to play with the toy or read the book the next time he or she sees the giver. What’s better than sharing the enjoyment of a gift with the person who gave it? One slight deviation to this rule is if someone gives your child money for his or her birthday. In that case, have them write how they plan to spend it or what they are saving it for.
Here are a few examples:
Thank you so much for the latest Templeton Twins mystery. I loved reading the first book with you at Christmas. I can’t wait to tell you about this one on the phone when Mom and I finish it. I love you.
Thank you for coming to my birthday party. I was glad you got to meet my friends from school. Thanks for the Lego Builder set. Let’s put it together next time you come over after swimming.
Two more things to keep in mind:
You have a week. Since thank you cards are decidedly unfussy, they’re easy to write and pop in the mailbox—the ideal is within a week of receiving the gift.
Any card will do. From personalized stationery to blank note cards to cards that say thank you, any of the options you have in your card stash will do. I’m partial to this Monogram Thank You Card with a photo on the back. The only ones to skip? Those with a pre-printed greeting.
By Joanna Goddard / 11.18.13
This past Father’s Day, we made Toby a board book about his adventures with Daddy. He LOVED the book and still reads it all the time.
So, for Christmas this year, we’re planning to surprise him with a stack of five new photo books…
Each book features thirteen photos of Toby with his favorite people—going to parks, eating dinner, swimming, all those fun things.
We made one for Mommy, Daddy and Anton…
…as well as Nana and Opa, since they live too far away!
I’m so excited to give them to him. This book of the brothers makes my heart sing:)
The mini photo books from Pinhole Press are adorable and really easy to make. It would be cute to make board books of vacations and birthday parties, too.
By Joanna Goddard / 09.23.13
Inspired by Swedes, we try our best to play outside every day of the year (take that, NYC winters!), but of course there are many cold dark days where you’re cooped up inside most of the time. So, I’ve been brainstorming fun things to do inside this winter to keep us from going stir crazy.
For indoor play, how adorable is Pinhole Press’s new giant scribble pad? You put your child’s name and photo on the front, and it comes with a pack of beeswax crayons. I have to say, Toby was so excited when I gave this to him! Pinhole Press has lots of other games, including a memory game, 60-piece puzzle and 12-piece puzzle.
Would your little ones like this? It would make a great gift, too, I think.
By Joanna Goddard / 08.06.13
Once we had taken family photos, we decided to make a few photo products for our friends and family. As always, we used Pinhole Press, since we love their simple, beautiful designs. First, we made birth announcements to send to our friends across the country and my family in England. My grandmother doesn’t have an email account, so this will be the first photo she’ll see of Anton!
Then we made a mini panoramic photo book. It’s small enough to fit into a purse (perfect for proud grandmothers), and the pages are ultrathick and hard enough to knock on, which feels really luxurious.
It’s so nice to have real products we can hold in our hands, instead of having the photos stuck on the computer:) Here are a few more nursery favorites…
By Joanna Goddard / 06.17.13
Would (or did) you have a baby shower for your second baby? I wasn’t sure if it seemed like overkill since we’d already had a shower for Toby’s birth, but then Abbey pointed out, “It would be nice to celebrate THIS baby.” And that seemed true. So one recent Saturday, I went to my friend Samantha‘s house for the loveliest afternoon with fifteen wonderful women and a few chubby babies…
Samantha and her mom cooked up delicious quiches and scones and set out fruits and veggies, and other guests brought yummy goodies, including feta watermelon salad and these ridiculously delicious crumb bars. (I ate like 1,000 because they were bite-sized, which, obviously, doesn’t count.)
We made these coasters and wine labels from Pinhole Press. We wrote “baby” on them and used both Alex and my baby photos. (Pinhole Press has cute baby shower decor, but we actually ordered from their wedding collection because I loved the turquoise color.)
(Alex is in the two outside photos, and I’m in the two inside photos.)
My friend Sharon also set up an awesome game that everyone loved. The goal was to match up the grown-up and baby photos for each guest, by guessing who was who. Sharon madePinhole Press wall decals and stuck them to the wall. It was SO CUTE to see everyone as a baby!
The afternoon was super relaxed and low-key, and we just chatted and hung out. Samantha had told guests that gifts weren’t necessary but instead to possibly consider contributing to ameal train once the baby arrives. (Have you heard of a meal train? It’s totally amazing.) Of course, a few sweet friends still brought small presents, like cotton onesies and a Swedish snot sucker:)
Thank you so much for hosting, Samantha! It was such a sweet and touching afternoon. xoxo