Sunday, January 23, 2011

D is for Dear . . .

yet another tale of childhood humiliation

Every year after Christmas my mother would ask me to write thank you letters to my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins who sent me gifts. I would always procrastinate until long after Christmas vacation was over—some time in January. By then I couldn’t remember who gave me which gift. I wouldn’t know what to write.

Thankfully, my mother had a little book that told me how to write a good thank you letter. So I would follow the directions carefully.

So I wrote the same letter to everyone:


Thank you so much for the gift. It is a very special gift, which is why I like it so very much. This gift is like no other gift. Never has there been a gift like this gift. This gift is a gift I use and appreciate every day. It was so thoughtful of you to think of me and then send along this gift, the perfect gift for me.

My mother didn’t send all of my letters. Instead she saved one for a few years and then read it aloud at the dinner table. . .


Lyle Daggett said...

Ha! Your generic thank-you note reminds me of those spam comments that occasionally show up in blog comment boxes, talking about how interesting the blog is, without ever mentioning anything specific in the blog's contents.

Once when I was in (I think) high school, early 1970's, for Christmas I received from some relatives an electric shoe polisher.

I was doing a serious hippie apprenticeship at the time, and I hadn't worn leather shoes in years. My parents insisted that I write a thank-you note. I objected because, well, sure it's the thought that counts, and in this case it didn't seem to me that the gift givers had given a great deal of thought to the gift.

(I can be more charitable about it now, after all these years, but that's how I felt about it at the time.)

Finally I relented, and I wrote and sent a note that said, approximately, "Thank you very much for the electric shoe polisher. I hope you like Christmas presents you got this years as much as I liked mine."

Caused no ripples. The relatives I sent it to thought it was a very nice note...

Nin Andrews said...

That is funny.
Yeah, who wouldn't want an electric shoe polisher?
Esp. in high school?
I am sure it was very nice.