How can I say thank you
May 11, 2012 9:19 PM   Subscribe

What's a good thank you gift for the people who helped me survive school?

I'm finally (FINALLY!) graduating from nursing school next week. It has been a very difficult process and I've had enormous amounts of help from a big, wonderful community of friends and family who have done everything from babysitting my kid (sometimes very early in the morning or for long periods) to helping with money to letting me cry on their shoulders.

I'll be having a graduation party next week, and I'd like to do something or give something to everyone to acknowledge how they made this possible for me. I'm going to do my best to give some individual gifts and attention to the people who were the most instrumental in making this happen - taking people out to fancy dinners etc - but I can't do that for everyone. What could I give away to everyone at the party that wouldn't just be some crap people will throw away?

Related but slightly different question - at times when you've helped someone - what kind of acknowledgment and appreciation feels good to you?

In other words, how can I thank everyone for being so awesome to me for so long?
posted by latkes to Human Relations (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, I just think a very sincere handwritten letter would be the best form of appreciation of all. Could you write a very personalized letter for everyone who will be attending, thanking them for the specific ways they helped you? You could create a card with a picture of you receiving your diploma on the front with a caption like, "this is what your help made possible" and write the letter in the card. You could have these letters in envelopes at your party and give them to your friends as they leave.
posted by cairdeas at 9:33 PM on May 11, 2012 [9 favorites]

Yeah, something personal. Doesn't have to be a fancy dinner, but a sincere thank you means a lot. Handwritten letters are a great idea. Or if money is the constraint on dinners for everyone, even cups of coffee or something would work.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:58 PM on May 11, 2012

First off, congratulations!

I like the idea of handwritten letters, maybe written in a card made from a scanned copy of your diploma?

On a side note, let me share what my colleague did with her diploma. Instead of just putting it in a nice frame, she got a large matt (spelling?) for it and had everyone she wanted to thank for their help during her studies sign it for her. She had the whole thing framed and hung it in her work desk. I asked her about it and she said that whenever she was having a rough day, she'd read the signatures and notes people had written to remind herself of all the big and little things that many people did so that she could sit in a chair behind that work desk.
posted by luneray at 10:59 PM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Send a note with a photo of you in your scrubs holding your diploma.

"I really appreciate all the help you gave me to help get me through school. It paid off, too! You helped make a nurse!"

If I received something like that, I'd put it in a frame on my wall and ask everyone who came in "I helped make a nurse. What have you done?"

posted by phoebus at 2:31 AM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was invited to a party for just such an occasion---I'd helped someone a little bit while she was getting a master's. She invited all of the people that had helped her get through it to a dinner party and talked for a little while about how each person there had helped her and what it had all meant.

It was a wonderful night. No presents for us were necessary---in fact, we all took her presents (which she thanked the next day with handwritten notes). We were just happy to be there and celebrate the event with her. Nothing more needed.

Congratulations yourself!
posted by wdenton at 11:07 AM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hi folks, since this was a consensus, I went ahead and made cards for everyone, with a picture of me (in nursing school uniform) and my kid on the front and a personalized note for each person note inside. Everyone was very touched and we all had such an awesome time.

Thanks again askme!
posted by latkes at 6:06 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

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