Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The art of the thank you note

Thank yous are important stuff this time of year.

Handmade Calligraphy Cards by Ashley Baker

My family is huge on thank you notes. Even if the gifter was present went you opened and gushed about her gift, even if he wasn't present so you called to thank him, a note must still be written. A note. Written. On some form of dead tree. Not typed and printed, not e-mailed, but written and placed into the mailbox with an address and stamp. For years, my little child brain thought this was some sort of law.

6x9 Envelope from PichiMo

Imagine, then, my horror at discovering my daughter had written a thank you note to her flute teacher informing him his gift broke the first day she used it. I was so embarrassed! Perhaps I should be glad my kid is honest, but, mostly, I'm embarrassed.

Emily is only eight and still figuring out the world of social graces, but you are actually never too old to learn how to pen a good thank you.

If you are a bit put off by the idea of sitting still at a desk putting words onto plain white paper with plain black ink I'd like to suggest you find some spicy supplies to help motivate you. There's just no reason to use boring stationary.

Stationary products from Japan from So-En Magazine via Scout Holiday.

The basic format for showing gratitude is pretty straightforward.
  1. Open with a salutation
  2. Say "thank you for ________"
  3. Tell the giver what you plan to use the gift for or what you like about it
  4. Consider adding something specific to the person you are writing
  5. Say "thank you" again
  6. Sign your note
Intro to writing notes from Classroom Freebies

Feel free to mix things up with a photo of you enjoying your gift or a drawing from tiny recipients.
Do not tell the gifter you:
  1. Hate his gift
  2. Her gift broke
  3. That the gift will be returned*
  4. You already have one

via someecards

*The caveat on that third "do not" is if the giver will find out about the return from another source. Perhaps an eight-year-old. If that's the case, give the person a call and tell her you already have/don't have space for it/it isn't the right size and tell her how much it means to you to have such a kind and thoughtful friend.

So go forth! Write! And thank! I'm positive you guys can handle this.

Have other questions about the social graces of giving a receiving? Drop a line in the comment section. 2013 seems like a good year for charm school. 


etsycolumbus said...

Love this Janice!!! I soooo agree with you:)

Never A Plain Jane said...

My goodness, thank you so much!