Community & Social, Parenting & Kids

Easy & Creative Thank You Notes

With apologies to Emily Post, I’ve adopted some social etiquette shortcuts with the help of technology. Recently we celebrated my son, Brian’s, seventh birthday. I tried to record each gift and who gave it to him, but amongst the frenzy of unwrapping – paper and ribbons everywhere, shouting and squealing – it was just impossible.

Instead of having him laboriously write out individual thank you notes, followed by stuffing, addressing, and stamping – I created this adorable photo collage and sent it to all our guests via email. I used email to send invitations (, so why not?

Easy & Creative Thank You Notes

Here’s how I did it:

  • Printed out the gift coloring page with the words “Thank You!” from
  • Asked my son to color it and sign “Love Brian”
  • Took a picture of the kids outside with birthday boy holding his thank-you note
  • Used the free online tool to create the collage
  • Included a link to more photos of the party where guests could download favorites of their own children

Security note: if you share photos online, turn off geo-tagging on your camera. This prevents a stranger from associating faces with places.

PicMonkey is great – upload a few photos, pick a layout and drag-n-drop until you’re satisfied. It took longer for Brian to color the page than it did for me to create the collage. You don’t even have to create an account or login. And it’s just really fun.

The Short Side of Shortcuts

Corner-cutting usually brings along some pros and cons. I deliberated, for example, about the birthday thank-you. Is an email thank-you for a child’s birthday acceptable?

My mom was a stickler about thank you notes, and today I appreciate that lesson. In the end I decided that sending party pictures and a photo thank-you would make our guests just as happy as a hand-written note. When Brian is older and can sit down and write notes without my help, he’ll be doing it.

I think we could all use a break sometimes from having to do things perfectly, or the “right way”. Times and technology, too, change – and along with them social expectations.

More Helpful Shortcuts

This little trick is just one of the shortcuts I share over at Frugal Mama, where I’m honored to guest post “8 Shortcuts That Help Me Clean Less, Eat Better, and Save Time“.

Follow me over there for seven more little twists that help smooth out the wrinkles in my day – and create more time and energy for what I find satisfying and fun.


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