I love it when my daughter shares her creative genius with me! Thanks to her, the thoughtful pinches that we gave to the teachers this year for Thanksgiving were simple; uncomplicated. I can say that now but I have to tell you, right before I went out to buy the gifts, it became complicated. Suddenly, I felt the need to consult with a professional gift-buyer to check if my daughter’s idea was indeed thoughtful or presumptuous.
When I expressed my concern to my daughter, I carefully explained to her that some people might find it offensive to receive a package of thank you cards. She could not fathom this concept at all. Didn’t I like it when she gave me a package of thank you cards for my birthday? Yes of course, I was delighted! I jumped for joy when I received her thoughtfully chosen thank you cards because it was a proud moment for me - she totally nailed it! I further explained to my daughter that because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to write thank you cards, getting new cards was an amazingly thoughtful gift. But I told her that this gift could be presumptuous. There are some who may perceive our pinch as a gesture of judgement - they may think we’re sending a strong hint to get better about writing thank you cards.
My friend, a professional gift-buyer, someone I trust with answers to situations like this, loved my daughter’s idea. Christy said that the thank you cards would make great thoughtful pinches, especially for Thanksgiving! Her thought was, if our recipients didn’t want the cards, they would re-gift them and she didn’t think anybody would take offense. Well, that’s all I needed to regain confidence back in my daughter’s idea! I drove straight over to Michael’s to buy thirty-five packages of thank you cards.
Knowing that this holiday is not really about giving gifts, but giving thanks instead, it crossed my mind to take the easy route when it came to presenting our thoughtful pinches. All I had to do was form a mass production line, write “To X”, “Thank you” and “From The Patons” on a note card and be done in no time. But I couldn’t handle generic. I wanted our pinches to be specific and personal so we wrote little notes to give with the packages of cards. I think the teachers may appreciate the note more than the thoughtful pinch itself.
I’m sure I’ve given you the impression that my house is full of thoughtful kids. Well that is an illusion. Yes, my daughter helped me with the great gift idea for the Thanksgiving thoughtful pinches but she wasn’t thrilled about writing personalized notes. And my son wanted nothing to do with any part of it. In fact, he wanted to boycott the entire gift-giving process! However, after I explained why we were saying thank you to his teachers, I took baby steps, slowly getting him to think about his teachers. Relentlessly, he told me one thing he liked about one of his teachers. I asked him to share something about another teacher. He obliged. By the third teacher, he realized it was pretty easy to think of why he was grateful for each one so we finished the project in minutes. Of course he didn’t want to write any of his thoughts down, so I wrote his quotes for him. I didn’t care one bit. It’s the thought that counts and besides, I felt victorious because at least I was able to get my son to THINK about others!
To recap a very long story: I took a wonderful idea from my daughter, made it complicated, regained confidence in the gesture, resisted being generic and got both kids to show thoughtfulness. See what I mean when I said the gifts were simple; uncomplicated?