Please and Thank You

Please and Thank You!

By: Jodi Cross

In this day and age, I find myself wondering if anyone else heard those simple words of wisdom. It seems like good manners are hard to find.

In our house, we were required to send thank you notes after birthdays or even when someone went out of their way to help us.  Today, I send gifts relatives and don’t even get an acknowledgement text message. Have people become ungrateful?  Or are they just too busy to show the tiniest bit of appreciation?

Good manners are something best taught from a young age. Even before kids can write you can let them draw a picture and write the words thank you. As they get older, reinforce what appreciation means and use a few adjectives to describe how receiving something made them feel. Even something simple as thanking a person for thinking of you would suffice. Make it a habit every time they get a gift to follow up by sitting down and writing a thank you note.

Teach your children that each time they ask for something it should start or end with “Please”. Once this habit is formed it will come naturally, which is much easier than trying to reverse a bad habit later in life.

Here are some tips to help make “Thank You” notes more convenient:

  • Always keep a box of beautiful blank note cards in the house. When someone sends you a gift or does something nice for you, drop them a note.
  • Don’t get hung up on the perfect words, just keep it simple and short to show your appreciation.
  • When you travel or stay at someone’s house, carry a card and small token gift to leave behind as an immediate gesture of gratitude.
  • Purchase a note book that holds cards for special occasions, Hallmark has some lovely books that make it very handy to keep all your upcoming birthday cards, thank you notes and other special occasion cards in one place.
  • If a handwritten note is just not in the cards, be sure you call or at the very least text to say you received the gift. This at least assure they will think of you in the future and remember your grateful spirit.

Thank you notes can be treasured for years to come. Just recently I came across one from my late grandmother that I had kept and it was so meaningful to know that she had touched that note and crafted the words so long ago.  

I hope the spirit of gratitude fills your heart and in turn you take time to remember those who touch your life in a special way. As always, thank you for reading my column.


Jodi Cross is a marketing consultant, speaker and freelance writer and may be reached at or at