'Tis the season to receive Thank You notes. The present-giving is behind us. If we weren't present at the gift-opening moments--and that's true for those of us who live far from our children or whose children are spending their holidays elsewhere--we may be waiting for the snail-mail delivery of a much-desired handwritten Thank You note. It's a tradition that is steeped in what our culture tells us is the proper way to acknowledge the time, trouble and affection someone--that's us--has taken to buy and deliver a gift. The note brings joy.
A lovely tradition, yes. But also one that's been disrupted by--what else?--technology. Our children and grandchildren are used to using email. texting and occasionally Iinstagram or Facebook to communicate and they also use it to let us know how much they appreciate whatever it is we've done for them. It's the thought that counts.
This year we here at Grown Children central have been lucky enough to see how that thought counted. Both of our adult children were thoughtful enough to photograph or video the opening of gifts we sent--and to text the moment to us minutes later. Oh joy. In one photo, a Grand hugs our gift to her heart. In another--a video--our 11-year-old rips the wrapping off the present we sent and emits shrieks of delight. She then followed up with an email whose subject line read: THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH. Other grands texted lovely and loving thank you remarks right after opening their gifts.
It was so immediate. So pleasure-filled. Do we really need formal, handwritten notes after that?