"That was a wonderful party!" Jackie said to Jake as they helped her mother clean up.
Jake and Jackie's birthdays were both in the summer. Jake's birthday was in June and Jackie's in August. So before the school year ended, their mothers decided to throw them a pre-summer surprise party. They invited many of Jake and Jackie's friends to celebrate their birthdays before people scattered for the summer.
Jake and Jackie's fathers had taken them out for breakfast that Saturday morning. Then they went on a short hike in the nearby state park. During that time, the moms quickly set out snacks and a cake, and several kids from school and the neighborhood arrived. When Jake's dad pulled into Jackie's driveway, nothing seemed different. But when they went into the house, wow! Twenty-five kids jumped out of hiding and yelled, "Surprise!"
The kids had a great time playing games, eating lunch, and enjoying a large chocolate cake. Then it was time to open presents. Each guest brought presents for both Jake and Jackie, who were overwhelmed with everyone's kindness.
After the kids had headed home, Jake's mom suggested, "You probably need to get started on thank you notes soon! It will take you a long time with all these gifts!"
Jake and Jackie looked at each other. "Thank you notes?" Jake whispered-although not softly enough for his mother not to hear!
Jake's mom sat down at the table. "Yes, kids. It is kind and important to acknowledge people for their gifts to you. Unfortunately, many people don't do this anymore. However, when someone has gone through the trouble of buying and wrapping a gift, it is a courtesy to take some time to thank them."
"I haven't written many thank you notes before," Jackie said. "I'm not sure what to say."