Manners & Etiquette Wednesday
It's Wednesday, that means the week is halfway over! Today's topic is The art of writing Thank you notes. It's something many of us dread doing, most of us forget to do (I'm guilty of this one myself) and often times we don't know just how to go about writing a thank you note.
The Do's & Dont's of Thank You Notes
Always send your thank you notes as quickly as possible. I always keep a set of thank you cards and stationary along with a pen & stamps in a basket in my entry hall. As soon as I arrive home from an event or party, I put my purse down, grab my stationary and write out my thank you letter. This way I don't have time to forget the event and it is a sure way to get that thank you note out and on it's way!
I first heard about this idea while attending a luncheon with my Marine Corps Officer's Wife Club at General Amos' ( the now Commandant of The Marine Corps) home in Washington D.C. (General Amos' wife shared this wonderful tip with us.)
Here we are at The Commandant's home
Below is a picture of me with Mrs. Amos
My Thank you basket and my entryway. (Excuse the mess, we are in the process of packing for our upcoming move). ;)
Invest in some beautiful stationary or thank you cards that make you eager to write out a thoughtful note! Letters may be sent on informal stationary, except for wedding thank you notes which are generally sent on formal stationary.
Don't forget to make the recipient of the note feel special. Always make specific reference to the gift that is the subject of the letter, such as "Thank you so much for the lovely recipe book. How did you know I love to cook?"
When to send thank you notes & why :
Courtesy of Emily Post
•For sympathy letters, flowers, or mass cards.
•To the hostess after a party that was hosted in your honor.
•For bridal or baby shower gifts.
•For gifts that were received by mail.
•After being entertained by your boss.
•Gifts received during a hospital stay.
•After being hosted as a house guest for one or more nights (unless it's a close relative or friend who is doing the hosting).
•For notes or gifts of congratulations.
Thank you notes are not required in the following situations, but would still be a nice gesture:
•After being a guest at a dinner party.
•After a job interview (not required, but definitely a smart idea).
•For birthday gifts that were received and opened in person, and you already thanked the giver personally.
•When a friend has helped you out with a special favor such as babysitting, a meal when you were sick, running errands for you when you are incapable.
•To the sales representative who has entertained you personally as part of a business relationship.
The Don'ts :
Never delay in sending most letters. Letters should be sent within a week of receipt of the gift or gesture. The only exception to this timing is as follows:
•Thank you letters for hospital gifts should be sent as soon as the patient is well enough to send them, whenever that is.
•The current guidelines for wedding gift thank you letters are that the letters should be sent within three months of receipt of gifts. However, given the potential monumental task that would pose to the bride and groom after their honeymoon, it makes sense to send notes out as soon as gifts are received (often wedding gifts are sent prior to the wedding date).
I cannot stress enough the importance of personalizing thank you letters. I have attended parties where people hand out pre-written thank you letters as guests leave the party, even though gifts haven't been opened.
Although most thank you letters can be sent on stationery, that doesn't mean it's okay to use a sheet of torn notebook paper or paper from your shopping list pad. Please take the time to find note cards that reflect your sparkling personality. Thank you notes don't need to cost a lot of money. In fact, if you shop diligently, you can find inexpensive, attractive cards in the dollar stores. I have found many beautiful thank you cards at Michael's Craft Store and Tuesday Morning in their dollar bin!
Also, there's no need to lie if you dislike a gift. However, you should still show appreciation for the thought that went into selecting it for you. You can always say "Thank you for the thoughtful (fill in the blank). I will always think of you whenever I use it."
I hope that today's post has been helpful. It has been a refresher for me. Happy writing friends! :)
Resources used: My Mama, Emily Post, Miss Manners and About.com :)