Dear thank-you notes, thank you

By Thaddeus Chatto

It’s that time of the year again. The day is nearly here when families unite on a Thursday to feast on turkeys, apple cobblers and whatever other foods are made for Thanksgiving. 

It’s a day full of three F’s: family, food and football.

But let’s not forget an important reason for celebrating this holiday — giving thanks. Remember to give thanks to everything that you appreciate in life.

Giving thanks is important. 

I find it odd that we need a holiday to remind us to do so. I feel that we should always be saying thank you for any nice deed that is done for us.

Why say thank you? Because showing gratitude can make you a happier person.

One study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that those who wrote down what they are grateful for each week were more optimistic about future expectations, had fewer health complaints and generally felt better about their lives.

And what better way to show appreciation to those around us than writing a thank-you note?

While writing these thank-you notes, think of late night television host and comedian, Jimmy Fallon.

Every Friday, he writes thank-you notes to just about anybody and anything including Peyton Manning, pumpkin spiced lattes and scorpions. His thank-you notes are quite funny, but he’s a comedian. He’s supposed to be funny.

His thank-you note to Pringles holiday flavored potato chips is a perfect example of how to write these thank-you notes.

He begins with, “Thank you, Pringles holiday flavored potato chips, for being the perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving and hitting rock bottom at the same time.”

Another funny example is his thank-you note to chain wallets.

“Thank you, chain wallets, for being a great way to hold on to your wallet and 1996.”

But your thank-you notes don’t have to be funny (but that’s never a bad thing). And you are probably not going to be sending thank-you notes to holiday flavored potato chips. You just want to make sure you get the message across that you are thankful to the person you are sending the note to.

One thing that Jimmy Fallon does, and you should do too, is to get stationary to write your thank-you notes on.

Don’t use the generic thank-you cards from greeting card stores like Hallmark. Get some nice stationary that can be used for any occasion. If you get a large stack of stationary, it will motivate you to write many thank-you notes to the people who deserve it.

Be sure to send it in the mail, too.

Emails are convenient and probably better for the environment. But what’s a better feeling than receiving real mail that you can touch and hold from someone? Sending your thank-you note on parchment shows you put effort, time and most importantly, heart, into the note.

Who should you be thanking this holiday season? Well, this is where I have the edge on Jimmy Fallon.

First, you should thank your parents.

They have helped you to get to where you are today. To be honest and technical, you wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them. Your parents have supported you so far in all of your endeavors in life, so they deserve a thank-you note.

Another group to thank are your friends.

Think about that friend who helped you get back to your apartment after having one too many drinks, or about that time you stayed up all night writing a paper and a friend stayed up with you, even though he or she didn’t have any work. Those are the friends that deserve a little love in the form of a thank-you note this holiday season.

Finally, consider sending your professors or teaching assistants a thank-you note.

It seems crazy to send a thank-you note to the professor or TA that assigned you a 20-page paper that is due the week right after Thanksgiving break. Don’t teachers know we’ll be too busy eating turkey, watching football or catching up on sleep to think of anything school related?

The truth is these teachers are people, too. They are doing the best job at providing us with the education and knowledge to succeed in life. Sending them a thank-you note would mean the world and more.

Take the time this holiday season and send a thank-you note to someone you love, someone you appreciate or just someone in general. 

A little note of love and gratitude goes a long way.

Thaddeus is a senior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected]