Give Thanks

I know it’s probably not earth shattering in the grand scheme of things, but why is it that some people have never learned the practice of saying “thank you”? Please notice I said some people….

For several years now, during the Christmas season, my wife and I have engaged in a very simple gesture. We hand out candy canes and offer a “Merry Christmas” to clerks, neighbors, and even random folks we pass on the street. We usually get a surprised look and often a hesitant thank you from the recipients. This year we noticed something different. Except for one grumpy shelf-stocker at Walmart, people seemed genuinely surprised by the gesture and were often quick on the draw with a “thank you and Merry Christmas to you too”.

There was one special person, our mail lady, who really surprised us. About two weeks before Christmas, on random days, I would put a candy cane in the mailbox along with the outgoing mail. No big deal when you net it all out, but it truly surprised us when we received a thank you card from her telling us how the simple gesture made her smile and that she really liked candy canes. Now I’m not certain, but there’s a part of me that says most people would have seen the pitiful little candy cane as a snub for the wonderful service they provided. Maybe not, but I strongly suspect so.

Saying thank you to those who share time, money, or gifts is a simple matter. A matter of what should be common courtesy. But often it’s not. Maybe it’s our culture where people feel that somehow they are owed things. However, if more people cultivated the habit of saying “thank you” the world might be a much better place. If folks moved away from the neighborhood of you owe me to the town of Thank You, there might be less conflict and more good will.

Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising (thanking) God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  (KJV)





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