How to Teach Thank-You Notes

In the holiday frenzy to open packages, kids forget to express appreciation. Here's what parents can say and do

Of all the people on my holiday shopping list this season, there's one little boy for whom buying a gift has become increasingly difficult. He's a wonderful child, adorable and loving, and he's not fussy or petulant or spoiled. Though he lives across the country from me, I receive regular updates and photos, and he likes all the things that boys his age want to play with. Shopping for him should be easy, but I find it hard to summon up any enthusiasm, because in all the years I've given him presents, he has never once sent me a thank-you note.

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