Mass Thank You Notes

Today’s post is brought to you by a reader’s comment from this post. I thought it was such an important topic, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t already touched on it!

A common trend to escape actually writing thank you notes is for the recipient of a gift to send a group email or send a thank you note to everyone from work/church/etc. This, though, defeats the purpose of the thank you note, which is to express genuine thanks specifically to a person or family. The most people you should include on a thank you note would be everyone who resides in a single home. So, sending one to Uncle John, Aunt Sue and cousins Mark and Maggie is acceptable. Sending one to all 15 members of the IT department is not.

One minor exception would be to send a group email expressing thanks before following up with a hand-written note.

Ideally, a thank you note is physical (not electronic); it is to one person or family; it is handwritten.

The note doesn’t need to be lengthy. Let the giver know how the gift will be used and that it is appreciated. I always suggest adding in that you appreciate that they attended/missed them and one other personal thing in the note.

Thank you for the topic suggestion!

Traveling and Culture

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to post. For 9 days my husband, kids and I were out of cell phone range, which, to be 100% honest, was actually wonderful!

“At Mother Goose’s (Mary Goose) grave in Boston”

We had the opporunity to go to New Hampshire, Boston, Cape Cod (the Mayflower Beach in Dennis was beautiful!), Plymouth, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine (another favorite), and my husband went and ran the original Spartan race in Vermont. Overall, our trip could not have been better! We spent time with family who live in New Hampshire and disconnected from the outside world for a while.

However, this trip and its lack of cell phone signal did not give me any opportunities to update, so I apologize for my absence.

I was very intrigued by some of the regional differences in New England and the South. My aunt told me that the people are very nice in New England (and they are), but they’re not as initially warm. There’s definitely a sense of formality in how they act. That same formality, though, does not extend to dress, and I was mildly surprised that most did not seem to dress up as they do in the South. In fact, at the church we visited, I was the only female (aside from my daughter) in a dress. Y’all know my tendencies to wear dresses, though.

“At a lighthouse in Maine – one of our favorite stops!”

Additionally, people did not seem to initiate conversations, but they were happy to talk once they began. We dropped off my cousin and her two friends at a middle school dance, and the parents lingered briefly, but it definitely wasn’t like some of the local dances here where the outside of the dance seems to be a social gathering for the parents.

At Martha’s Vineyard, I was doubly shocked that people didn’t seem to ever stop for pedetrians who were trying to cross in the cross walk during their turn, but they seemed to have no problem wearing white after Labor Day. A lady I met at the above mentioned dance (from Florida) said she has still not gotten accustomed to the white after Labor Day she saw there.

However, even with the differences from “normal” life, I truly loved and appreciated our time there. Culture is so unique and diverse, and it should be. Out of all the places we visited, Martha’s Vineyard was actually my least favorite. Maine and the North End of Boston were my top two. When I visit, I don’t want to feel like a tourist; I want to be submerged into the culture.

“View from Gay Head Lighthouse in Matha’s Vineyard”

Martha’s Vineyard is undeniably beautiful. However, while we were there, other than the scenery, I couldn’t find anything about it that really made it unique. The shops were very similar to one another. Ice cream has to be the top trade there.

“Sharing ice cream on vacation”

On the other hand, in the North End, I walked into a cafe to order a cappuccino, and I had to find a waitress that spoke English. Fresh pasta was in the windows of a couple of the markets. There were fish markets, produce markets, meat markets, etc. I could have stayed there for days. By the end of the day we stayed there, I felt like I truly experienced the North End – I can only imagine how much more engrossed I would have been given more time.

I am so thankful my family and I had this opportunity and this time together. Getting to experience life in a different area is something I will never taked for granted. Is there a culture you truly enjoy experiencing other than your own? I’d love to hear!