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Coming into this holiday season we cannot help but feel the year 2020 has been the year that wasn’t for so many things. Many have missed celebrations including holidays, graduations, proms, birthdays. Thanksgiving is in question and so much more. So how will we reflect on our Thanksgiving season this November?

This year has been a tough year for many people in a multitude of ways, maybe even for you. During times like these we may have people around us that have helped us through with an empathetic ear, a helping hand, a strong shoulder, or a reassuring smile. There are so many ways we may have been encouraged or supported by our friends, family, associates… our community.

This is a great time of the year to take it all in and make an intentional effort to appreciate others by reaching out to them in the form of a handwritten letter or note.

There are so many positive aspects to doing this. One great attribute is found in the neuroscience. Handwriting a letter or note to someone has profound positive effects on the brain not found in typing one. Handwriting a note stimulates activity that relaxes the brain and releases feel good chemicals. It helps keep your brain sharp and promotes creativity. An added positive attribute of handwriting a note is writing words of gratefulness!

Having the attitude of gratitude for the people around us, whether in business or in our personal lives, speaks of who we are. Sending a handwritten note to someone for something they have done for you or just because of who they are in your life, not only has a profound effect on you, but also has a positive and heartwarming effect on the person to whom you are sending the note.

As a parent, teaching your child to handwrite a thank you note is not about teaching the action of writing the note, it is about teaching the attitude of gratitude. It is not what to do. It is much bigger… it is how to be!

Etiquette side note – The stationary or cards you use to show your appreciation for someone should not have the words “Thank you” preprinted on it. Etiquette suggests those are words you handwrite yourself.