When a child is coming off months of in-depth study, weeks of adrenaline, and the most important day of his or her young life, writing thank-you notes can be a tedious way to come back to earth. How many different ways, after all, can one write, "Thank you for the check. I enjoyed having you at my bar mitzvah"?
Here are some tips to help you and your child get through even a 300-person guest list.
For starters, writing the thank yous need not wait until after the affair; you can begin the process as responses arrive. As you check off whether or not guests will attend the affair, you can also write out an envelope for a thank-you note.
If gifts arrive along with the response, write down what the gift was and write the thank you immediately. Be sure to note the date the thank you was mailed.
Once the affair is over, as your child is sitting and opening gifts, sit right next to him or her and write (again, on your super-organized guest list) what the gift was.
Determine a minimum amount of thank yous to be written each day. You might want to pick a date when you feel all the notes should be in the mail, count the number of days until then, and divide the number of days into the number of thank yous. The result is the minimum number of notes to be written each day.
The actual wording of the thank you is, perhaps, the hardest part. Here are some suggestions for text.
For people your child barely knows:
"Thank you for the generous bat mitzvah gift. I plan to save it for my college education.
"I'm so glad we had the chance to meet at my bat mitzvah. I hope you had as much fun as I did!"
Notice the amount of money is not mentioned. Saying what you plan to use it for makes the giver feel as though it meant more than just something to spend at the mall. Of course, the child can be saving toward college, starting a fund for computer equipment or donating money to a favorite cause.
Also, the note is more than two sentences. Yes, I know you have lots of notes to write, but consider the time it took for someone to decide on a gift, whether monetary or otherwise. If it is not money, time was spent shopping, choosing, and wrapping. Isn't that worth a little more time to say thanks?
How about notes to people your child does know, but doesn't get to see often?
"It was so great to see you at my bar mitzvah. I wish we could have spent more time together. Perhaps we'll be able to get together soon."
For friends of your child who will be celebrating their own bar or bat mitzvahs:
"The earrings you gave me are so special! Thank you for taking the time to choose such a beautiful gift. I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time at your bat mitzvah. Don't be nervous, you'll be great!"
For the parents' business associates (remember, they may compare notes at the office!):
"It was so nice to meet you at my bat mitzvah. Thank you for the generous gift, which I have put in an investment fund.
"Meeting all the people from my mom's office was fun. Now I can put faces to the names she always mentions. Thank you again for being part of my celebration."
"Thank you for the thoughtful gift. It was a pleasure to meet you and the rest of my dad's co-workers. I hope you all had as good a time as I did!"
"My bat mitzvah was so much fun. I'm glad you were able to be a part of it. Thank you for the generous gift, and for being part of this special day."
Some other useful sentences:
*With your gift, I will be able to purchase a ______ I have been saving for.
*Seeing you at my celebration was such a treat, and the ______ you gave me was an added delight.
See? It's not so difficult. Keep it brief, try to make it personal, and mention the gift specifically, except for an amount of money.
Did this help you at all? If so, send me a thank-you note!