When I was a young girl, my mother and my grandmother would frequently give me pretty stationery as gifts for Christmas and my birthday. Although I always agreed that it was very pretty, I really felt that I would have little to no use for it. I can remember the year that I was in third grade, my family had a small birthday party for me at our house and one of my aunts gave me a really pretty necklace for a birthday present. She was there at the party, and I thanked her, giving her a hug and a kiss. The necklace was passed around the room and everyone admired the necklace. A few minutes after unwrapping that beautiful necklace, I unwrapped a small box of personal stationery. The paper was a light lavender color, and was decorated with images of small violets on the top and bottom. There were matching envelopes, too, with violets on the back flap.
I think that was the first year that I was given stationery as a gift, and I was confused. I remember saying “that’s really pretty, but I don’t know what I would use it for!” Being in the third grade, and a die-hard tomboy, I was not the most tactful person in the world. Nor was I into frilly and floral (yet.) Whether the gift was from my grandmother, or my mother, I cannot recall, but I do remember one of them telling me that was for me to write my “thank you notes” to thank people for my birthday gifts! Well, I had never even HEARD of a thank you note before! But I smiled and said something along the lines of “OK, thanks!” and put the pretty box down and kept on unwrapping presents.
A few days later, my mother asked me if I had written a thank you note yet to my aunt and my grandmother! I am sure that I had one of those “deer in the headlight” looks on my face and after the momentary panic left me I said that I had not done that yet. I explained that I had no idea how to write a thank you note! So my mother explained how to write a thank you note and sent me off to my room to sit at my desk and write my thank you notes in peace. And now, here I am almost fifty years later and I have a drawer full of pretyy personal stationary, a cabinet full of business stationary, and I probably even have some of that pretty lavender and violets stationary left from my third birthday! I guess you could say that I am not big on hand-written letters and notes! I prefer telephone calls and emails!