I should be writing my sacrament talk right now, but I need a warm up. Recently, two of my good friends from college have sent me surprise packages in the mail and made my entire week.* I was writing a thank you note this morning for the latest, (spoiler alert, Jerilynn) and it occurred to me that the art of the thank you card is one that is lost. My mamma taught me well, from a very young age, the importance of the thank you card. I feel like in this day and age of instant communication, the concept is viewed as old-fashioned and no longer necessary. Perhaps it is. However, sending a thank you card is never a bad idea. Nobody ever goes to their mailbox and says, "Aw crap! A card?! All I wanted were bills." Especially in this day of instant communication, to recieve a handwritten note in the mail is even more exciting. At least for me. So, I confer upon you now, the ettiquitte of the thank you.
Why should you send thank you cards? It shows good manners. It shows you are a lady. It shows you are appreciative. It shows you care. It makes people happy and glad they went to the trouble that they did. It's nice.
When should you send a thank you card? Whenever you want. Like I said, it's never a bad idea. They can be sent after someone gives you a gift, does something special for you, or attends a special event. Thank you cards should absolutely and always be sent after weddings and showers. After birthdays is not usually expected, but I have sent some to extra special people from time to time. Thank you cards should be sent one to seven days after the gift was received or the event occurred and should never exceed 10 days. After a wedding, thank you cards should be sent out within one month. Yep, 30 days. Your hand will cramp, but you don't want to look ungrateful, right?
How do you write a thank you? Sincerely. My mom taught me that hand-written notes are best. However, I believe typed notes are just as nice as long as you personalize them. Thank you notes should be personal, not generalized in order to make the recipient feel special. If money was received, mention what you used the money to buy, or are planning to buy. If you received a gift, you should mention the gift specifically and explain how you are using it, how you plan to use it, how great it looks in your home, etc. If an event was attended, be sure to thank them for attending and mention how nice it was to see them. Here is an example:
Thank you so much for the amazing blender you gave us. I use it almost every day; it makes the best smoothies and thick milkshakes. It was so wonderful to see you at the wedding. I can't believe it had been since high school! You looked fabulous and it was so great to catch up with you. I miss seeing you every week at dance class and trying to dish as fast as we could before Miss Penny cued the piano! Let's get together soon and I'll make you a smoothie. Thanks again!
**I don't think Abigail got me a blender, but if she did, this is what I would say.
What if you don't like the gift? Don't say it sucks. If you took it back, just thank them anyway and focus on how great it was to see them, don't say you took it back and got something else instead. If they didn't come and you hate the gift, find something positive to say about it. Most of all, be sincere! Follow these rules, but be yourself, and mean what you say.
*Els, I got your thank you card back in the mail yesterday because I put the wrong zipcode (my old one) on it because I'm a struggler. Sorry. I love you. Watch your mail.