A Letter as a Present

a letter as a presentOne of our team members shared a wonderful DIY gift idea for the holidays. Her family flies a long distance, at considerable expense, to spend the holidays with their extended family. She wanted her kids to bring gifts for the family members they visited, but felt the need to scale back because they were spending so much on travel. Her solution? For Christmas this year, her children are giving a handwritten note on personalized note cards to each family member that expresses how meaningful they are to them. The kids will read their notes aloud to each person when they get together to share gifts.

We love this DIY gift idea because it truly comes from the heart, far more thoughtful than anything they could buy in a store. The kids are learning many valuable lessons, not the least of which is how to express their feelings, and the lucky recipients will undoubtedly be touched. Get out the tissues. These handwritten expressions of love will be treasured for years to come.

Pear Tree has both Christmas thank you cards designed just for kids, as well as year-round kids thank you cards. When kids have their very own stationery personalized with their name or an image they love, they will be happy to write these little “gifts.”

Dear Santa

Letter to SantaOne of my favorite holiday traditions is sitting down with my kids to write letters to Santa. It is an activity the kids are excited to do, it gets us in the holiday spirit, and it is always an enlightening experience for all of us. Not only does Santa come away with some good ideas, my kids learn to identify needs vs. wants, to prioritize, and to set realistic expectations even as they ask for the moon.

There’s something about actually sitting and writing the list that forces them to decide what is really important to them and what they can do without. If they end up with a lot of things on the list, seeing it in writing helps them realize that Santa might not be able to fit it all in his sleigh, so it might be prudent to prioritize. Sometimes they surprise me with just one or two things. Sometimes they don’t have anything in mind and want Santa to surprise them. But once the letter goes in the mail, sorry, no changes allowed. That’s why you have to check it twice.

In our home, we also write follow-up letters to Santa that we leave out on Christmas Eve along with a few chocolate chip cookies. It is a reminder to Santa about the first letter written and the multitude of requests. Santa then leaves a note back, commenting on the children’s shining moments through the year. Maybe that’s the Santa letter we love the most. It is not there when we go to bed, but is always there when we wake up in the morning. It brings the magic of Christmas to our children, for as long as Santa exists to them.

On a more personal note – note card ideas

One of the things we love about our personalized stationery is that you can, well, personalize it. The simplest way is to simply add your name or initials, but you can also add something as creative as a favorite verse, lyric, original writing or photo. Once the note card is printed, however, what’s inside is all up to you. There are a myriad of reasons to send a personal note, and lots of creative ways to make them even more personal. Not feeling very creative? Here are some of the more delightful note card ideas we’ve heard from our customers that we’re happy to pass along to you.

  • Include a gift card for your favorite coffee place with a note saying “Let’s have coffee!”
  • Include a photo you’ve taken that is special to you…a place you visited, your family, the flowers you grew, or a picture of you and your friend from way back when.
  • Include something your child just drew that day – kid art, especially for her.
  • Send her some tea bags, because you know she became addicted to Earl Grey when she was in London.
  • Enclose an article that made you laugh because you used to pore over People Magazine together.
  • Send a poem that reminds you of a time you spent together.
  • A quote from the past is always good for a laugh…the best jokes are the old ones.
  • Send the lyrics to a song that reminds you of a wonderful time.
  • Enclose a recipe you’ve been meaning to share with her–maybe she’ll send her secret recipe back.
  • A fortune from a fortune cookie that made you think, “This is you!”
  • Instead of moving announcements, stick matching address labels on the inside of your personal note cards.

We hope you enjoyed our note card ideas. Now go and send someone a smile. And if you don’t have your own note cards, it’s high time you ordered some from Pear Tree!

How to write a thank you note

If you’re lucky, your mother, grandmother, or perhaps a teacher taught you how to write a thank you note. It goes something like this: “Dear _______, Thank you for the ______.  I will get a lot of use out of it. Thanks again. Love, ________.”

We all fall back on this basic format when we are in a hurry or don’t know the recipient very well. But often this stilted format doesn’t feel right, especially for a close friend or someone who’s done something unexpectedly nice. Sometimes a simple heartfelt thanks in your own words works better. But what to say? How to say it?

Some of our customers have quoted writers or religious verses, written their own personal haiku, said thank you in multiple languages, or included artwork or photos of themselves or their children holding a hand-painted “Thank You.” We’re amazed by these creative thank you card ideas.

The bottom line is, you know the recipient the best. Your note should make a connection in a way that seems real and personal. With a good friend, being a little cheeky and clever is welcome and sure to incite laughter. With an older friend or relative, the tone might change. But we think any friend would smile at this most simple personalized note: “You’re the best. I’m lucky to know you.”

Pick out some note cards at Pear Tree and start practicing how to write a thank you note!

Thank You Power

Everyone has a friend who is amazingly quick with the thank you cards or the note saying just the right thing.  She sends it right away, as a matter of courtesy and good manners, which makes you feel great, of course, but also a little guilty that you’re not more like her!

We all have the power to make someone feel good, we just don’t use it often enough. And the truth is, thank you cards make the sender feel just as good as the person who receives it. So for all you wannabee thank-you-note-writers, here are a few thank you ideas to make you feel better about yourself and to make someone else smile.

Send a card to thank your sister for being helpful with your kids

Thank a soldier for serving his or her country

Thank your professional mentor you haven’t talked to in a while

Send a teacher a thank you note in the middle of the school year instead of at the end

Thank your hubby in a handwritten personalized note card for being such a great guy

One of the most rewarding thank you ideas, for both you and the recipient, is the one the recipient least expects. Sometimes just saying what’s in your heart is the best way to go. Try it and see how good you feel!

Find thank you cards that fit your style at Pear Tree, and personalize them with your name and color choices to make them your own!

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