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Celebrate Yourself with a Letter

By M. Kate Allen

When my oldest daughter was a Daisy running her cookie business for the first time, I helped her write her very first handwritten thank-you cards to cookie customers – a tradition that has continued with both of my daughters every year during cookie season and fall product program. The only thing better than buying a package of Girl Scout Cookies is receiving a handwritten letter of gratitude. I've heard many customers comment on their delight after receiving thank-you cards, and I'm convinced that these are a factor in cookie customers returning.

There's something intimate and delightful about receiving a hand-written card, especially one that arrives in the mail. On one level, it's just scribbles on processed tree pulp; on another, it is magic. A handwritten note takes effort, time, and intention. It says that the person writing it stopped everything for a few moments of their day to think of you and offer their appreciation.

What better way to engage in self-care during cookie season than to write yourself a handwritten card?

This form of self-care has seven steps that can be done with others or in solitude, depending on your preference.

1. Take yourself on a trip, in-person or virtually, to a store that sells stationery. I like to visit local bookstores like Changing Hands in Tempe/Phoenix, but any bookstore, drugstore, dollar store, or online seller will do. Find some stationary or thank-you cards, something that delights you, even if (perhaps especially if) someone else would find it silly.

2. Find yourself a fancy pen, a marker, a colored pencil, or a crayon. The brighter and more unusual and more fun the color is, the better.

3. Scavenge for stickers. Splurge on a pack if you don't already have some. 

4. Write yourself a thank-you letter. Consider writing in your non-dominant hand if you'd like to invoke the spirit of your younger self or write with your dominant hand if you love how your handwriting looks on the page. Be specific as you're writing: what are you thankful for? Why is this person that you're writing to so amazing? Consider making a list of five things that you're thankful for. Then consider expanding it to ten. The quicker you write, the better (and the easier the gratitude will flow). Add stickers for emphasis.

5. Put the letter in an envelope, address it to yourself, stick a stamp on it, add another sticker (or three) to the envelope, and walk it out to the mailbox or take it to the post office. Take a selfie with the envelope before you drop it in the mailbox and post it on social media.

6. Check the mail like you're waiting for a reply to fan letter you just sent to your favorite band. When it arrives, let your inside feelings come right out. Squeal, do a happy dance, do a cartwheel--whatever suits your mood. Then make yourself a yummy beverage, grab your favorite Girl Scout Cookies, and open that envelope. What's it like reading those words? Journal about it or share it with your best friends, or both.

7. Put your letter somewhere close so you can read it as often as you wish. You're worth it.

The Authentic Leadership Community (“ALC”) is centered around the idea of Authentic Girl Scout Leadership. We are committed to helping you discover, unlock, and develop your leadership superpowers so that you can guide and empower your girls as they grow into leaders themselves.