This year, I wrote thank you cards to every. Single. Child I babysit on a regular basis. Did they all give me packages tied up with ribbons and bows? No. Did some give me no packages at all, and maybe even some extra stress with their desire to schedule times at the last minute so that they could get their shopping done while mine got tossed to the back burner? Yes.
They all get thank you cards, no matter what.
They get thank you notes because it is important for them to know how to write a letter rather than a text message, to read handwriting that they may be unfamiliar with, and to understand that there are always things to be thankful for.
I thank my kids for being willing to spend time with me, to tell me jokes, and to share their excitement about the holidays. I thank them for spending so much time with me, so that they know how appreciated they are. I thank them for letting me be apart of their childhood and getting to watch them grow.
They get thank you notes in the hope that they will realize that there is more than material items to be thankful for. I am thankful for the fact that 2 of my children, who hate the latest color of my hair, wanted to get me hair dye for Christmas, even though they didn’t. I’m thankful for that moment, because it was hysterical, and I’ve gotten to tell the story at least a dozen times in the past 12 days of Christmas.
I’m thankful for the 2 year old who pulled me to the door, mentally kicking and screaming, because she wanted to play in the snow and I did not. Her childhood innocence brought me out to have a great time, that I otherwise would not have (and it gave me this hysterical video…)
I’m thankful for the children who got to be so proud of themselves for decorating cookies, or turning a million pieces of paper cut out to the size of their hands into a beautiful present for mom and dad to treasure. (Find our handprint wreath tutorial here, in case you’re still in the holiday spirit!)
Often our kids are thankful for the things they got at Christmas, but are soon to busy playing with them to remember saying so. We focus on gratitude over thanksgiving, but by the time the next holiday has come into play it is often forgotten.
I will write holiday cards for every child, every year, because they should know how appreciated they are, even when they have nothing to give but themselves.