How to Write Christmas Thank You Notes with Your Kids
One of the most important things that you can teach your children is to be gracious and kind. Especially at Christmas time, kids receive plenty of presents, and while they may be grateful in spirit, this is a good opportunity to teach them to also be grateful in action. Show them that the time-honored tradition of writing a thank you note can be an enjoyable activity with just a little preparation beforehand.
GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES
Remember, this task is essentially supposed to be a creative crafting session, so gather a lot of supplies together to turn up the fun level. First, have a list handy of who gave what Christmas gift to make the process more seamless. Secondly, get together the thank you cards, writing utensils, postage stamps and even stickers. Let the children choose the writing utensil – whether it be (crayon, ballpoint pen, or marker – to make this task more officially their own. Make sure you have everyone’s address handy as well, whether you’re using your smartphone or an address book. Perhaps invest in some monogrammed seals for the occasion so the mail seems extra official.
CHOOSE A TIME
Kids don’t always take well to the “I’ve decided this is what we’re going to do right now” option. Let them know a day or two in advance that the family will be sitting down to write thank you notes. Choose a specific day and time, or depending upon their age, let them choose. Have a few snacks ready to make it fun.
SOME NOW, SOME LATER
You can also help make the task seem easier by breaking it up into blocks of time. Perhaps tell your child you will do half today and half tomorrow. If your child has a desk, keep all of the stationary and supplies on the desk as a gentle reminder that this task is to be continued. Separating the task into blocks keeps it fun and light-hearted, and makes it seem more of a playtime activity than a chore.
USE YOUR PENMANSHIP
Depending on the age of your child, it may be best for you to write out the notes. Act like you are the secretary and take dictation from your child, letting them “be the boss” for a few moments. This is a great opportunity to help them enhance their verbal skills, and you can politely correct their grammar as you work together as a team. If they struggle over what to say, remind them of how the gift has been of use to them so far. If they didn’t particularly enjoy the gift this is a good time to remind them of gratitude even if the present is not a favorite.
Teach them to personalize every letter, keeping in mind the message doesn’t have to entirely be about the gift. For example, they could say, “Thank you for coming to see me over the holidays, Aunt Eileen, it was so nice to see you,” or “Thank you for mailing me the gift, I’ve been playing with it every day since Christmas. I hope next year we can visit you out in Michigan.” Thank you notes should be short and succinct, but full of sincerity. Remind your child that the note will certainly make the recipient very happy when they receive it in the mail. Another great idea is to snap a photo of your child playing with the gift, and then insert it into the thank you note.
ADD PERSONAL TOUCHES
Allow them to draw a picture on the card, or add a sticker. If your child is able to sign his or her name (or wants to try), that’s a great idea for an ending. Use stickers and monogrammed seals on the envelope to make it more festive. Your child can also affix the stamp and place the mail in the mailbox.