It’s the time of the year when many parents spend too much time reminding their kids to send thank you letters to Uncle Keith and Auntie Doris for their presents.  Prising them off the sofas is a difficult and time-consuming task.

According to our polling, 72% of parents have to repeatedly remind their kids to send a thank you note.

Kids, once they sit down to write the letters, almost invariably say that they don’t know what to write.  So, as a community-service here’s a Nigel Molesworth-style handy, universal, cut-and-paste thank you letter for your kids.  All they need to do is put in their name, the name of the giver and the name of the toy.  The letter takes care of the rest.

Dear [GIFTER’S NAME],

Thank you SOOOOO much for the [NAME OF TOY] you got me!!! I’ve wanted one for ages and I’m so happy with it! Thank you! It’s brilliant! You are so kind and thoughtful!

As Graham Greene once said, “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” It may sound over-dramatic to say it, given my current young age, but I am sure that many years from now, when I am older and have a family of my own, that I will look back upon the day I received this gift and recognise that this was that moment.

This was the day when that door opened and let my future in. I think I will look back on that day in the future and realise that it was a hugely significant turning point and I want you to know how important this moment has been for me. You have changed my world forever. For this, I will be always grateful and for this, you will always be in my heart.

There are certain moments in history which change the world – the collapse of the Roman Empire; the Renaissance; the invention of the Gutenberg press; the American Revolution; the discovery of penicillin; the invention of the telephone and many more.

The last century alone had many of these events – the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand which triggered the First World War; Armistice Day; the outbreak of the Second World War; VE Day; the Moon landing in 1969 and the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

This century has had a couple of its own extraordinary events too – for instance, the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland and – dare I say it – my own birth!

Perhaps it is presumptuous to include my own birth in such a list of important historical events, although I do so (partly) in jest. But even just within he scale of one’s own lifetime, there are certain key moments which will stay with you forever – your first day at school; your first crush; your first kiss; passing your exams; going to university; the first day in your first job; your wedding day; the birth of your child.

I would like to include the receiving of this gift as one of those pivotal moments, even if it may possibly seem less historically significant than the collapse of the Roman Empire, the invention of the Gutenberg press or the Apollo 11 moon landings.

But that is not to say that I consider this gift insignificant. The true quality gift is not just the [NAME OF TOY] itself, although I’m absolutely in love with it, but it also has significance as a symbol of your concern for my happiness and the affection which you have shown me throughout my life.

Beyond the value of the gift itself, I am aware of the amount of thought and effort you put into selecting the gift for me, wrapping it, and having it delivered to my home address. I know how important time is to you – it is our most precious resource, after all – I appreciate the time you took to send me this brilliant present and I hope you will appreciate the time I have spent writing this letter to you as a sign of my thanks.

I have already begun to save my pocket money so that I can buy you something equally special. I’m hoping that I will have saved enough by Christmas to be able to afford to buy you the present I have in mind and I can only wish that it brings you as much pleasure as the gift you gave me.

I’ve been playing with my [NAME OF TOY] so much already every day that I think my other toys are getting jealous! It’s my favourite toy in the whole world! I nearly missed dinner last night because I was so busy playing with it! My friend at school has one just like it and I was really jealous because I wanted one too, but the one you got me is much better than theirs – so it’s not just my other toys who are jealous of my new [NAME OF TOY] now!

Of course, jealousy is not the most attractive of human traits, although with a toy like this, it is understandable, but it is better to be jealous than envious – as Aristotle said “Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy.” I was jealous of my friend, but I don’t want my friend to be envious of me. We play together and share our toys. True friendship is surely the most precious gift of all, and this is the gift you have given me.

In other news, the rest of the family are all very well and ask how you are getting on. I know how important family is to you, as it should be to everyone. “What can you do to promote world peace?” Mother Theresa was asked as she received her Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. “Go home and love your family” she replied. It’s an important message and one which is as relevant now as it was back then, perhaps even more relevant. I feel very lucky to come from such a great family, and you are very much part of that.

I continue to study hard, of course. The brain is a muscle, so they say, and I am determined to keep mine fit and supple by working out daily, so to speak. I love to read and am constantly asking questions and trying to find out more about the world. “The unexamined life is not worth living” as Socrates so famously said. I certainly agree and I’m sure you would too. I have always admired how wise you have seemed and in many ways, consider you to be like a modern-day Socrates. In fact, you are better than Socrates because Socrates never bought me a [NAME OF TOY], and that gives you the edge.

Sorry if at times it has felt like I have waffled on a little. In short, all I really wanted to say was that you are really awesome and I love my present!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Love from

[GIFTEE’S NAME]               

xxx

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