It seems like in this digital world we all live in these days, people are replacing a lot of their normal activities with the convenience of technology. Things like talking on the phone, which has been replaced by instant messaging or texting. Reading a weekly newspaper or some other type of publication has been swapped for websites and television, and buying your favorite band’s new album in a local music store is now traded for a digital copy online (hopefully you at least paid for it). One of the tasks that I refuse to stop doing, however, is writing a thank you letter to someone, and it really irks me that a lot of people have stopped doing this simple and thoughtful task. I believe Emily Post said it best with:“Never think, because you cannot write a letter easily, that it is better not to write at all. The most awkward note imaginable is better than none.” ~Emily Post
Growing up, my mother always made me and my sister write thank you notes after we received gifts for our birthdays, at Christmas, etc. At first, I always saw writing letters as a chore and was never really happy about it. But as I got older I began to see the value in it and why she made us do it, and I am so thankful she instilled this in us at an early age. I look forward to teaching my children the same thing one day and sharing the importance of thank you letters with them.
I love receiving a letter in the mail. Who doesn’t?? It’s like a little prize in the mailbox just for you! A letter is more personal than an email, especially a thank you letter. With a hand written thank you, I know that the sender genuinely appreciated my gift, the time and effort I put in to doing something for them.
The alternatives (which should be avoided) to sending a thank you letter are: 1) saying “thank you” in person and thinking that was enough, 2) sending an email/text message/instant message instead, or 3) sending no letter at all. The first (telling someone “thank you” in person) is a mistake a lot of people make. They think because they said “thank you” when they opened their present or last saw the person, that it was enough. This is not enough, and we should always assume that a written thank you is required for a gift or favor from someone. This person did something for you, and the least you could do is write a letter saying “thank you”. The second (sending an electronic message instead of a letter) is probably the most impersonal way someone can say thank you. This tells the person that you took the easy way out by shooting a quick email rather than taking the time to send a hand written note. It’s just tacky, y’all. And the last (no letter at all) is the crummiest of the three. Not sending a thank you is never OK. If you received a gift or a favor, you need to say thank you. This is basic stuff we all learned in pre-school. It is
totally idiotic impolite not to, and could cause a serious riff in your relationship with the person (who went out of their way to do something for you). It sends a message that you don’t appreciate them, and no one wants to keep someone around who makes them feel unappreciated.
So, next time someone does something nice for you, gives you a present, or if you just want to let someone know you appreciate them, take the time to write them a short letter saying thank you. It’s really simple, I promise. It doesn’t even have to be long. If you don’t know how to write a thank you letter, click here for a great article that is sure to help you. Not only will it make the day of the person you are sending it to, but it will also make you glad you did that for someone who obviously cares about you.
There are so many cute stationary and card designs out there, and you can even get personalized ones made. You can usually find a set of boxed thank you cards at any mass merchandise store, and here are some of my favorite websites to shop for stationary:
You can also get crafty and create your own stationary and envelopes. Check out this blog post by my BFF Cassie showing how she made her own envelopes. How cute!