Copyright © 2013 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.
One of the best thing about being an observant parent is that if you see a cool piece of parenting in the wild, it’s OK to steal the idea, adapt it and throw it at the wall and see if it sticks. I stole this idea from one of Stuart’s friends and adapted it for Alice. If you throw a birthday party and receive gifts, it is polite to send the requisite thank you cards. What do you do if your child is semi-literate (and I don’t mean that disparagingly. Literacy includes reading and writing and while Alice’s reading is pretty good, her writing is poor by comparison).
- A camera or your cell phone with a camera
- A pad of paper and a pen
- A stamp of “thank you” and a stamp pad
- Thank you cards
While your child is opening gifts, write down the name of the gift giver and what the gift was and a quick note about the card (if any). Have your child hold up the gift and the card and take a picture. Keep doing this until s/he has gone through all of the gifts and cards.
Then gets photo prints of the pictures. You could do this on your own printer if you like, but many chain pharmacies offer photo prints are doing so at around 12¢ per print in 2014 dollars and that’s really cheap. When you pick up the prints, you can also pick up thank you cards too if you haven’t done that.
Then have the child stamp the “thank you” stamp on the back of each photo (pro tip: don’t stack the photos and carefully blot them with a paper towel or tissue or the ink with smudge).
While the ink is drying, have your child write his/her name in each card (or on the back of the photos) and you write the name of the gift giver on the card and/or the photo. Your list is your tool to help determine which photo goes to which gift giver. Alice really enjoyed the process and remembered better than I did who gave her some of the gifts, which was a really nice surprise.
Our photos were slightly bigger than the cards, so I taped the photos into the card and wrote the giver’s name on the front since the envelopes wouldn’t work.