Learn some of the reasons why you should send a hand written thank you card!
I know some of you will be annoyed or get offended by this post, but that’s probably because you aren’t writing thank you cards. The fact is, with growing technology we are losing the art of handwritten thank you notes. Some people will just shoot you an email or a text to thank you for a gift (and that’s okay) but why not make more effort to show somebody your gratitude? Think about it for just a second. A person goes out, picks out a gift specifically for you, purchases it, wraps it, and delivers it to you for your special occasion. All that effort just for YOU! Now, is it too much trouble for you to send a hand written thank you card? No! In fact, it’s just good manners.
I’ve done my fair share of research on etiquette and not everybody agrees on the details, but the consensus is, make the effort to show someone you’re thankful by hand writing a note.
Below is my personal guide line. If I received a gift from you and never sent a thank you card, I’m really sorry (and surprised)! On the other hand, it could have been between 1998-2008. Those were some foggy years for me and I’m not sure there was stationary underneath the rock I was under…
1. A handwritten note should be given after receiving any kind of gift. Birthday, graduation, wedding, etc. Some experts say if you receive a gift and open it in front of the person, an immediate verbal thank you should suffice. I think a card should still be written.
2. Be timely. Send the card as soon as possible. Within 2 weeks for a birthday, graduation, anniversary, etc. Within 3 months for a wedding. (Not sending a thank you for a wedding present is so wrong!) If you receive flowers or a meal during an illness or birth of a new baby, a thank you should be written as soon as you recover. Or a non-ill family member can write it for you.
3. Mention the gift in the card. “Thank you so much for the________. It goes perfectly with my décor!” If money is given, you may or may not chose to mention how much (and that’s ok) but you should always say what you are planning to do with the money. “Thank you so much for your generous gift. Oliver needs new clothes so this money was perfect timing.”
4. Children should always be encouraged by their parents or guardians to write thank you cards. Tell them why it’s important. “It makes people feel good”, “They did something nice for us”, “We need to show our gratitude”. Have them help by drawing a picture or signing their name.
There are so many different situations where people do things for you or give you gifts. Sometimes it’s ok to email or make a phone call. Here’s what I think…
- If the person doesn’t have a permanent address or a place to receive a card, you should email or call.
- If the person is an immediate family member, it’s not always necessary to give a card.
- If the person sends you a card, you should email or call to let them know you received it.
- If the person does something for you like helps you move or watches you children, an email will do.
Here are some tips to make it easy:
- Have stamps on hand.
- Have stationary/cards on hand or get creative and DIY. (Dollar store has packs of thank you cards).
- At a party, have a family member write down who gave what gifts.
- Write the cards as soon as possible.
- Make a checklist as gifts are received and mark them off as you put the thank you card in the mail.
Some of you may not be in the habit of sending thank you notes, but you can start NOW! There’s never been a better time. The holidays are right around the corner. You will really make someone’s day and it will make you feel good too! I highly encourage you to help me bring back this lost art. Thanks for joining me today!