Monday, January 4, 2010

Let's Remember to Give Thanks

This next post will have multiple updates and add-ons as time goes by. Thank you notes are a big topic and a much forgotten means of communication for us young adults. With so many vehicles of communication these days the good-ole hand-written note has been permanently put on the endangered species list! Gasp goes grandmother. The holidays are now passed and I’m sure you received gifts from friends and family and/or dined/stayed at another’s home. Now that we’ve accepted all these “gifts” and offerings proper etiquette reminds us it is time to breakout the stationary and pen and write thank you notes!

When my husband and I got married and our first Christmas rolled around he was annoyed that I wrote thank you notes to all our gift givers and host/hostesses because that meant he was going to have to start as well. In his family it was acceptable not to write thank you notes to close family members who gave gifts…well that, of course wasn’t going to fly by me!

Emily Post reminds us that there are two fundamentals of expressing gratitude. First, every gift—whether a tangible item, money, a social event in your honor, or a gift of time or talent—should be acknowledged in writing. And second, your acknowledgment should be prompt and sincere.

Things to remember when writing a thank you note are to write a personal message, no matter if there is a pre-printed message on the card itself and make sure it arrives within one week of receiving the gift or the occasion. Make sure you mention the gift given or compliment the host or hostess on a certain aspect of the party given etc. Making it as personal as possible will automatically make it sincere.


Dear Aunt Amy and Uncle Jim–

Matt and I had an amazing Christmas this year, thank you for your hospitality and company. Christmas Eve was incredibly memorable for many reasons—the yummy spaghetti dinner and Matt and Matt attempting to keep up as our family bar tenders. Thanks for making Matt feel right at home…his first Chapman Christmas! We love being with you both and look forward to seeing you in 2010. Take good care of Ellie and send pics often.

Happy New Year and thanks again.


Leigh and Matt

P.S. Don't forget to follow me on my blog at!

[Since this note is going to my family I will hand write it and have Matt sign it. If it was his family he would take action to write and I would sign]

Here are some tips for keeping up on your thank you notes:

  • Always keep stationery and stamps at your home or office. I buy low-cost Hallmark thank you note cards that are blank inside at my local Walgreen’s. These are attractive, affordable, and simple. (see pictures)
  • I also ordered personal stationery that has both our names on it – the cost was still low and many online stationary stores can do it quickly (try or Papyrus in your local mall)
  • If my husband is closer to someone than I am I have him write the note because he’ll be able to make personal references
  • If the gift was for both of us then we both sign the card


If you’ve stayed over the house of a very close family or friend and that happens frequently, then it would be okay to not send a thank you note. Otherwise, proper and polite etiquette asks us to send a note of thanks to all givers in our lives. Trust me, a hand-written note will put a large smile on anyone’s face.

What are your questions about when/how/what to write about thank you notes?

As I said there is more to come in regards to specific-life occasions such as showers, weddings, and birthdays. I’m sure there are a few of you out there that have good and bad experience surrounding that topic…

Till then, happy note writing. That is what I’ll be doing tonight!

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