A few weeks back, we spent our entire weekend getting Sam’s birth announcements and thank you cards into the mail. It felt like a bit of a Herculean effort because our address lists were so out of date. I will share my tips and tricks for updating (and maintaining!) address lists in another post; but today, I wanted to pop in and share the really simple yet special way we sent our heartfelt “thank you”s to all the friends and family who gave baby and Christmas gifts to our boys. These thank you cards were really affordable and turned out so great, and we’ve gotten such wonderful feedback from our friends and family who received them! Read on for all the details, as well as how I used a simple printable to keep all the gifts and corresponding thank you cards straight!
Before I dive into our thank you cards, here is a quick look at our double-sided birth announcement. I spent way too long pouring over all the card options available on most of the major websites, playing with countless combinations of pictures, fonts, and layouts. In the middle of the process, I did stop and wonder if we even needed to bother sending announcements in this age of social media. But as I was reviewing our address lists, I realized how many friends and family aren’t on Facebook or Instagram and hadn’t yet seen a glimpse of our sweet Sam. We finally decided on this card from TinyPrints with the bronze foil option, and they turned out so beautiful. So many people have reached out to thank us for the photos…so I am really glad we made the effort to send along such sweet pictures of our new baby and our new family!
For Henry’s first birthday years ago, I took pictures of him as he was opening each and every present. I then used those pictures on the thank you cards so that the gift giver could see the reaction and/or Henry with the gift they sent. I always thought this was an extra special way to say “thank you” to those who took the time to send along gifts. When we got SO many great pictures of Sam from our photographer, I knew I wanted to use them in a similar way.
When I first researched “custom” thank you cards on most of the major photo sites, I was a little put off by the price tag. But I kept hunting and pecking, and ultimately found this listing on Shutterfly. The price (especially combined with their rotating coupons and deals) was really reasonable, and I liked that I could mix and match photos in any combination I wanted! I ended up buying a full box of Henry’s photo (so all 12 cards were the one photo of him), and two boxes of Sam, each with three different photos (four cards of each). I especially liked that this set didn’t have any added text or borders or designs. Without text, our amazing pictures could shine all on their own and could then be placed in a frame or on the refrigerator without looking like a card. Essentially, friends and family who sent a gift got an additional (different) picture of Sam and/or Henry than what was on the birth announcement. Once these cards arrived in our friends’ and family’s mailboxes, we got so many messages and texts saying how much they loved the pictures. I’m not the best at sending out current pictures or Christmas cards, so these were really a great (and practical!) way to send current pics of our boys…and people really appreciated the gesture!
In addition to these creative thank you cards, I also wanted to share the really effective way we kept track of all the wonderful gifts we received. Between Christmas and “Big Brother” gifts for Henry and new baby gifts for Sam, not a day went by without at least one box at our front door. Once the gifts started rolling in right before Christmas, I hastily printed off two copies of my Gift Tracker (part of my Dinner Party Planner in The Ultimate Kitchen Printable Pack) so we could keep track of what came from who.
These two sheets, as well as a pen, sat on our entryway console for the last 3 months, and we diligently added to it each time a gift arrived. I can’t tell you how handy this worksheet really was. By having a dedicated place to jot down each gift and who sent it, we were able to toss out packaging and put items away as they rolled in without worrying if we’d loose track of who sent what or wondering if a thank you card was actually sent. When it came time to finally send out our thank you cards, we sat down with our cute cards and our lists and knocked them all out.
Printing out this worksheet was a spur-of-the-moment idea that turned out to make the task of tracking gifts and writing thank you cards SO much easier. And you better bet since it worked so well for us, I had to share it with you guys! I re-designed the sheet so it can be used for any occasion (Christmas, Baby Shower, Birthday) and even improved upon it a bit after giving it a trial run myself!
In addition to the basic, landscape-style tracker (which is ideal for party day or in-person gifts), I designed an additional tracker (the portrait layout) than has space for the gift-giver’s mailing address. This version is great for tracking gifts that arrive by mail. By jotting down everything right when a gift arrives, you’ll have all the information you need when it comes time to write thank you cards. Whenever you have a birthday party or other event coming up, print these two sheets back-to-back so you can track any and all gifts that come your way!
This Gift and Thank You Tracker has been uploaded to The Organization Toolbox and is available for download right now!
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I was taught that saying thank you to the generosity of others with a hand-written note is important. But writing thank you cards can certainly be a time-intensive experience. I hope the few ideas I’ve shared here will help you keep track of gifts and thank you cards a little easier and make those thank yous you do send a little more special!
This printable worked out so well for us, I couldn’t help but expand the idea into a larger kit. Come back here on Friday to check out my full Say ‘Thanks” Printable Kit – I think you guys will love it!Posted In 7 - Toolbox Sample Pages, California '16, Organization, Printables, The Organization Toolbox, Tips & Tricks