Thanksgiving cards say much more than Happy Thanksgiving

This blog series, #30DaysofGratitude, hopes to share bits of gratitude and create an awareness of how gratitude can change our mindset.

Every day this month, I, along with other writers, teachers and friends, will post about all things gratitude. Come along for the ride and let me know what you are most grateful for every day - I know we can inspire one another.

unknown-1Written by: Shannan Younger

I have a confession to make. I have purchased and sent Thanksgiving cards.

To be honest, I didn’t know that doing so constituted an offense until a recent Facebook conversation when someone posted a photo of a Thanksgiving card and people started deriding the very idea of such cards and questioning those who would fork over money for them.

I opted not to speak up and instead lurked in shame.

After some thought, though, I’m ready to own up to my past.

Admittedly, Thanksgiving is not a card-giving holiday. It is possibly and even likely a ploy by Hallmark to pad the bottom line.

But here’s the thing. 

They’re not only harmless, they can make people feel good.

One reason I love Thanksgiving is that everyone celebrates it. Saying “I am thankful for you” is a good thing for both the person expressing the sentiment and especially the person receiving it. It’s something that makes the world a bit better and if that’s done through a card, cool.

Those cards are a simple, straightforward way to let people know that you are thinking of them and grateful for them. 

I sent them when my daughter was younger and we didn’t get to see all our family members every Thanksgiving. We would each sign and write notes in them. 

(One time I dressed my five-year-old in a pilgrim costume and tried to take a photo that I could use to make our own Thanksgiving card. The costume was itchy, she hated it, and you’ve never seen a more disgruntled pilgrim. That’s a topic or another blog, but it did make me particularly grateful for cute cards that year.)

Even young kids understand that cards are typical on birthdays and Christmas. Sending cards for Thanksgiving was a way of elevating the holiday to be on par with those other celebrations.

If telling someone “I’m grateful for you” if difficult for logistical or other reasons, a card may be just the way to go.

Gratitude is good, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, it often gets overshadowed, left to play second fiddle to the food. 

Do you need a smiling cartoon squirrel to express gratitude? Nope. But it can be a fun way to say “I appreciate you.” And let’s face it, they’re a bit more entertaining to kids (and some adults) than a boring old blank piece of paper. 

But I’ve also heard of adults sending Thanksgiving cards in a professional context to say “I appreciate your business.” Seems like not only a kind thing to do, but a smart wise approach.

There’s no obligation to them. You don’t have to send them. To each his own, you do you, etc. But I’ll be a fan of gratitude in pretty much any form at any time.  

Shannan Younger blogs about raising adolescents here and here. You can find Between Us Parents, a community of tween and teen parents, on Facebook here.

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Related Post: The Power of a Valentine's Day Card

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