I have a vendetta against Thank You cards – this is, perhaps, not the correct way to begin this kind of article is it, kittens? The Wrong Impression could be a legitimate concern here, judging solely by the above expressed feeling.
A narrative hook eschewing gratitude for an event promoting it? Questionable. I’m supposed to be telling you about the warm and wholesome Many Thanks! craft time at the Louisville Free Public Library ’s Main branch (that’s what I said I was going to do with the title). About how it’s geared to hands-on holiday appreciation. About how it’s an excellent way to show youngins’ that the gluttony of getting is not nearly as important as the glow of giving. About how it’s tomorrow. At 2pm. Tomorrow is Thursday, December 27th. Wee ones might be a little stir crazy by then.
You are thinking, though, that this is going to transform into the majestic and colorful butterfly of an Epic Rant against Gratitude. Not so, loves. Listen:
I have a vendetta against Thank You cards – simply because I know what they really mean. The meaning – I mean – that has very little to do with the Thanks expressed in whatever curly script stamped on factory cardstock. This Thank You from You to Me is a handwritten act of grateful slavery. This Thank You is a painfully-forced beautiful moment of obligation from You to Me forever immortalized on paper. I can picture You writing to Me in a carpal tunnel tirade as You slog through the long list of People to whom You are supposed to give painstaking Thanks. Thanks for whatever it is Me and People all collectively did for You – probably some silly Life Event. There was probably cake and awkward photography involved.
But I can feel how much you don’t really want to write those Thank Yous, even if you are truly grateful. I’m sure you are. I’m sure that – in the moment of said Life Event – you felt all kinds of gold on the inside (I hope) as Me and People gathered ‘round you. I’m sure the all kinds of gold went straight through your chest, through your heart and exploded into your head. I’m sure it popped all kinds of fizzy bubbles of Good when we slobbered human love all over you for a minute. Even if it was hectic and a little weird and whirl-windy embarrassing on the outside, deep down, in the belly parts, it was a gooey kind of wonderful.
I know you’re thankful for it. Whatever it was.
I’m thankful Me and People could do all that stuff to your insides. Everybody needs the gold and the bubbles and the goo just for them at some point or another. In the moment, it sure was grand, eh?
But after the fact? After the fact it’s a lot of ash. The graying lumps of charcoal making dust in the grate. Gold like that can’t burn brilliant forever, folks. It’s not meant to. So this Thank You in the mail, After-The-Fact, isn’t as genuine. It’s a cheaper replica. A stark and cold sliver of dead tree with a slapdash of handwriting on it that attempts to encapsulate whatever it was that burst like a champagne bottle for Us earlier. I don’t like it. You don’t like it. This is not what we had. Boooo…
There is a lot of potential for this sad imitation to happen now that the big hullabaloo is over. Now that Christmas has been Merry and Hanukkah has been Happy and the Season has been totally Greeted. I’m sure we all did a bang-up job flooding each other with molten gold goo.
I was given a lot of Good Books. And some Bob Ross. And some Frank Sinatra. And yet another dose of Painful But Necessary Life Affirmations. I’m very grateful for all of it (in some form or another). But I’m not sending out anything prefabricated to anyone. Nope.
Please now note my use of the word “prefabricated”.
Please now allow me to show you where my vendetta against the Thank You ends: your hands. I’ve already waxed about the human hand before . It’s a biological thing of beauty and might. You know. You’ve got your own pair, most likely.
I think this is the place to use them.
There is no obligation to ever thank me on paper – or thank me at all, really. I’d rather just watch you be happy. But if your cup simply runneth over, and this moment of Good you are thankful for simply must be made tangible – make it real. Make it with your hands. Here’s the word: craft it.
Now it’s A Thing. Now it Means Something. Now it’s good and golden. I’ll save that Thing, because it really just is from You to Me. There’s a lot of cheesy and warm-fuzzy stuff that will be going on here, too. We’re both going to feel like two big ol’ saps. Sheepish. It’ll be super grand. And we’ll both super love it deep down where the Love-magma lives.
Is this the kind of Life Lesson the library us going to dole out when the wee ones gather tomorrow to color and sticker and glitter at Many Thanks! craft time? Probably not to this degree – MY degree. But their little hands will still be busy and happy and golden, and that Thanks will be a pretty Real Thanks.
So: Many Thanks! craft time tomorrow, Thursday, December 27th at 2pm at the Main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. Totally free.
Also: it’s snowing. I’m pretty thankful for that.
The Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch is located at 301 York Street.
Image: Courtesy of Photobucket www.photobucket.com