Now that my son’s sixth birthday party is over, it’s time to write thank you cards! And now that he’s six years old, it’s official: I am no longer writing them for him. But because we hosted his entire kindergarten class, plus family and neighborhood friends, we’re talking upward of 25 notes. Scrawled by hand, that translates to a whole lot of scratch-and-sniff marker ink. And while it is truly astounding the kind of progress my son made in writing this past year, 25 thank you cards is overwhelming for even the most seasoned masters of epistolary correspondence. But I am determined to instill a sense of decorum in the form of proper thank you notes, meaning handwritten, personal, and sent with an actual stamp. Believe it or not, your child won’t see the task of writing thank you notes as a chore as long as you make the expectation realistic. I should also mention that it’s quite helpful to remind children that if they want friends to bring gifts next year, thank you notes are a must. Somehow that message seems to resonate every time!
Mixbook is the perfect way to cheat just a little on kids birthday thank you cards, making the process not only surmountable and tear-free, but actually fun! Save yourself a lot of time and anxiety by taking advantage of this Mad-Libs–style thank you note trick:
1. Shortcut from the Start
"Before" Birthday Party Invitation
If you created your original invitation with Mixbook, start by repurposing its design! That way, it’s as if you planned ahead to create a coordinating birthday stationery suite. (Nobody needs to know just how easy and affordable it is to do this!) Then you can simply change the text from along the lines of “Let’s Party!” to “Wow, thanks!” If you didn’t create your original invitation with Mixbook, just choose any card template and adapt at will! I simply went into my son’s fort-building birthday party invitation and changed a couple things, which took me about four minutes total.
2. Go a Little Mad
"After" Birthday Party Invitation
On the reverse of your thank you note, choose a layout that allows room for a photo or two from the big celebration, plus plenty of text. I uploaded a close-up of the birthday boy and a picture of the colossal fort we made as the central birthday party activity. In the text box, I dropped in this note:
Thank you so much for coming to my party! I thought it was really awesome to build a colossal fort with everyone in my whole kindergarten class! I hope you liked it as much as I did.
Thank you for bringing me a ____________________________________________________________.
I love it!
From your friend,
Once you copy and paste your thank you note into your thank you card, make sure the lines you put in for blanks span the full width of the text area without breaking to the next line. You might also think about the size of your child’s handwriting. If you have a meticulous child who takes time to form each letter, you can get away with less space for the blanks. Add more space between blanks if your child tends to write big and sloppy (like mine!).
3. Click to Order
A few days after placing my order, my thank you notes arrived and I sat down with my son to fill in the blanks. He really enjoyed going down his list of what everyone brought, and it was fun to see how this translated to what he chose to write down. A few misspellings and his sweet haphazard handwriting brought wonderful personality to these handwritten thank you notes.
Tons of parents came up to me at school saying what a great idea it was! And I feel liberated knowing that from here on out, writing thank you notes in third person is a thing of the past! Woohoo!