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I grew up in a family where Thank Yous, specifically cards, were very important, especially around big holidays/events like Christmas. They were so important to some of my extended family members that if they sent you a Christmas gift and you did not send them a Thank You note back — well you no longer got even a card from them for any holidays or events.

It was a strict one strike and you’re out type policy that my Mom warned my Brother and I of at an early age. One year when I was in middle school I remember my Brother and I forgot to send our Aunt in North Carolina Thank You cards for our Christmas gifts… we have not gotten a card for any holiday/event since.

Lesson learned

It has been over eight years since that fatal mistake was made and well every Christmas out the Thank Yous go. I have gotten into a routine where if you give me a check, cash or gift card… well it is not cashed or spent until after your Thank you has been written, sealed, addressed, stamped and placed in the mail. I mean really who am I to enjoy the money you are giving me without saying “Thank You”?

It has gotten to the point that even if I open my gift, with you, in the same room, well you still get a Thank You card in the mail (unless I live with you, in which case it ends up somewhere you can find it).

In my book, Thank Yous go a long way, they are extremely important and well in my book not saying, “Thank You” is one of the worst things you can do.

I have known my friend Caitlin since as close to out of the womb that you can get. I was actually born and raised in New Jersey, were a lot of my time was spent at Caitlin’s side (or vice versa). Upon moving to the Northern Virginia area our friendship was strained, we were just kids – close friends – torn apart by events out of our control.

Some time before high school I made a two week trip back to New Jersey and spent a week with Caitlin and her family at their house. After that I saw her on the rare occasion my family was in New Jersey visiting other extended family, there was extra time and she was home – which was almost never.

As we both got older we moved out of our parents homes and on with our own lives keeping in contact every few months and chatting at least once a year. Each time we pick up on that same foot we left off on, neither of us are ever upset about the time that elapsed in-between and the catch up to current begins. Despite the distance and time, I still consider her my best friend.

Currently Caitlin lives in Michigan, where she is thrilled, enjoying her life and … starting her own family. I could not be happier for her to begin this next chapter in her life. It is amazing to see how happy she is and all the things that she is becoming.

But the distance is still there. I had been hoping I could make it to her baby shower, to celebrate her little boy that is on his way, but next thing I knew Caitlin was posting on Facebook about how excited she was it was not only her birthday but her baby shower too. I could not believe how much time had slipped away from me that it was baby shower time already and I was still stilling in Virginia. I missed it.

Quickly I asked Caitlin to message me her address again, since as usual I had lost it in a mountain of papers, and told her I was going to put something in the mail.

The Mom to Be, Caitlin

That night I hopped on Amazon, I had known what I wanted to get since Caitlin told me she was expecting. I ordered a baby bouncer and a Swaddlepod and set them up to be shipped to “The Mom to Be, Caitlin” in Michigan.

Caitlin and her little man to be’s gifts arrived at her door step Wednesday; her response and “Thank you” was so overwhelming it nearly made me cry

Via text messages:

Caitlin: I got your gift!! Thank you sooo much! I love both of them =) expecially the jumper… we wanted on of those sooo bad lol… thank youuu! =)

Me: The jumper is what I one of my favorite youtuber’s use with their kid it looks like so much fun I wish I could get an adult one :) you are very welcome. I can’t wait to meet little man (and his dad)

Caitlin: lol yeah me too! You’ll have to come when he is 4 months so you can see the jumper in action lol… but seriously that was so nice of you. Thank you so much.

Me: Hopefully I don’t get to jealous. Lol. And again, not a problem, I wish I could be closed to do more

When I logged onto my Facebook account later that day I found this on my wall from Caitlin

‘I just got your gift!! Thank you thank you thank youuuu! =] we needed both of them :) I love the jumper!! We wanted one soo bad!! Thank you, you’re awesome! Message me your address so I can send you a cute thank you card hehe”

I don’t do things to get Thank Yous, I don’t buy people gifts for events just to get a nice card in the mail, I do it because I want tobecause I want to make someone else happy and do something special for them – but boy do I feel great when I get a Thank You like that. I think today a lot of people undermine the value of a Thank You.

If I see you every day or hardly ever see doesn’t make a difference, it is important to express gratitude and show people how much you appreciate just what they have done.

I am so glad that Caitlin liked her gifts and I will most definitely be taking her up on her offer to come check out that bouncer in action when little man turns 4-months-old. I wish her the best of luck on her journey into motherhood; her parents did such a wonderful job that I know she will too. And, I know that her Mother will always be at her side smiling down on both Caitlin and her grandson-to-be, keeping Caitlin and her new family safe.

Miss you tons Caitlin, love you.
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