Take Note: Thank You Still Matters– Mama Mia Monday

thank you

I went to mailbox Friday and there it was. In its simple white envelope, with my name slightly misspelled, was a true treasure–Real Mail! Not only was it a piece of real mail, it was a real thank you note. I mean real, as in hand made, hand written, straight from Abby’s heart to ours!

Mama Mia!

The message was short, but definitely sweet:

thank you note

In that instant, I remembered, yet again, why thank you notes still matter. That note made us feel special. It made us feel like our niece appreciated our gift and our love for her. It made our relationship two way and not one way.

As we parent our children, some of the greatest gifts we can give them are to learn to make other people feel special, to appreciate not only what they have been given, but those who have given them those things and that relationships are two way streets.

The not-so-simple thank you note is a great way to instill those precious values in our children. It’s not always easy. At first, you may need to require that they be written. There were occassions when we wouldn’t let our boys play with their gifts until a thank you was written.

What began as lessons in respect, love and thankfulness became the character of our boys who would all to soon become men.

Here are a few things to consider when teaching your children to write their thank you notes:

1) Start with a greeting. A simple “Dear Auntie and Uncle” is perfect. (Well, only if that is the name of the person you are sending the note to.

2) Say thank you. Just be upfront and direct. “Thanks so much for the birthday money. I can’t wait to use it when I go school shopping.”

3) Make it personal. It’s great to add a line about how the person is special to you. I love how Abby did this in our card when she said, “Thank you so much for always remembering me, and it’s cool how my friends met you. Some of them told me you were really awesome, and I was like, duh, she’s a Farris!”

4) Humor is okay! Abby did a great job adding a little splash of humor at the end–which I loved! Sometime we think that our thank you’s have to be all business, but it’s good to share something you know will make your recipient smile!

5) Say it again! Close out with something like a “Thanks again!” and then. . .

6) Sign out. A simple “Love, Abby” or just “Abby” is always appropriate. (Again, only if Abby is your name!)

Then just pop that puppy in an envelope, address it, stamp it and mail it. I have to add this final step because it’s not uncommon that after going to the effort to get the notes written, we forget to put them in the mail. And then someone, like me, misses out on the joy of receiving their real, live thank you card and their real, live blessing!!

Mama Mia! Let’s get writing some thank you cards today!

farris women
Here are some of those amazing Farris women–including my niece Abby, some of her sisters, her mom and me after a quick meal at Subway. I’m overwhelmingly thankful for them!

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Manners Matter–Mama Mia Monday

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They do! They really do! Manners Matter! Mama Mia! This is one we should talk about.

Manners are simply basic rules we follow to show respect to one another.

Today I was reading in Proverbs 11 and a couple of verses jumped off the page at me:

“A kindhearted woman gains respect.” Verse 16a

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” Verse 22

These verses got my mind going in several directions, in part because I realized how rare it is to find women who exemplify the simple qualities of kindness and discretion anymore. Thankfully I am fortunate to know several, and they continually make a great impact on my life and the lives of those around me.

Sadly, we now applaud exhibitionism, and the foul-mouthed, drunken, immoral woman has become our hero. So, it’s no wonder our sons, daughters, and sometimes our mothers and fathers, are confused as to how to behave.

Manners matter.
Discretion is a virtue.
Self Control is a good thing.
Thank You needs to rejoin our vocabularies.
Kindness gains respect.
Other people are important, too.
Respect is a good thing–not just to receive but to give.

The list could go on and on, and the fact remains that as moms, we need to, I mean, we really need to, slow down and make sure that we are teaching our children to honor God and honor others by the way we treat them and ourselves.

As I’ve mentioned before we had an intern living with us this summer. Precious girl. A girl whose mom and dad and grandparents have most definitely taken the time to teach and model to her the preciousness of God and others. She was, without a doubt, the most thankful person I have been around in a long time! She was always telling us thank you for everything. I mean everything. Candy bar. Bottle of Dr Pepper. A cookie. So we like sugar . . . treat us well, this is a blog about manners!

But she wasn’t just telling us thank you. She was thankful. She had within her a true kindness and spirit of appreciation for even the smallest things in her life. She is, the woman of Proverbs 11:16a
“A kindhearted woman who has gained respect,” and she made an impact on pretty much every life she came into contact with while she was here.

Mama Mia!

Seriously, moms! These are the things I believe you want for your children. Sometimes we may get a little off track and begin to think that what we really want for them is to gain a spot on “Dance Moms” or their own show on the Disney Channel–or at the very least stay near the top of the food chain in middle school.

But in reality, those things don’t matter. The things that do matter are God and others, and how we treat and respond to both–with love, honor and respect–which is why. . .

Manners Matter–Mama Mia! They really do!

A great resource on Kindle for teaching your kids about manners is Manners Made Easy for the Family by June Hines Moore. There are 365 little tidbits of manners that can be shared one day at a time or whatever pace you choose. It’s also available for teens and in a workbook format for homeschoolers.

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