The holiday season always puts me into a thankful mood. With the holiday season behind us, there are a lot of thank-you notes being written and sent. The same is true after your wedding celebration. Regardless of the reason of the gift, it can be hard to write thank-you notes. Whether it is because of procrastination or because of writers block many of us can find it hard to write and send out all of those thank you cards. To help you get started, take a deep breath and remember why you should be thankful for the gift. Here are some helpful facts and etiquette on writing thank you notes from Emily Post.
Who needs a note?
All gifts should be acknowledged with a note, unless the present was opened in front of the giver—then you have the chance to thank them in person. An important exception: Many of an older generation expect a hand-written note. Providing them with one is an appropriate gesture of respect and consideration. Also, send a hand-written note for gifts received at a shower, even if you said thank you in person at the time.
Who should write the note?
The person who received the gift should write the note. Group notes are acceptable for Aunt Patty who sent the household a group present—just ask each recipient to sign. For couples, it’s perfectly fine to split up the notes for gifts you received together. For the kids, note writing will vary depending on age.
When should thank-you notes be written?
Write your notes as soon as possible, and don’t hesitate if you feel you’re late: A late note is always better than no note at all. Thank-you notes for wedding gifts should be sent within three months of returning from your honeymoon, though an immediate turnaround is recommended, both to acknowledge the gift arrived and to stay on top of them.
Can a thank-you note be creative?
Absolutely. Incorporating photos, children’s drawings—anything at all that compliments the sentiment is appropriate. Just remember to include a short, written thank-you as well.
What about email?
Email is okay to thank for a coffee or meal that was casual or whose invitation was extended by email in the first place. It’s also okay for very small favors. But for dinner parties, big favors, an actual gift, or being a houseguest, handwritten thank-you notes are your best bet for an expression of warm, heartfelt thanks.
How do I make writing thank-you notes fun?
Getting gifts is always fun! However, writing thank you notes can be a daunting job. Some people dread writing the notes so much so that they end up putting them off until it seems too late to write any.
One way to make writing all of those notes easier is to make it into a game or to set goals for yourself. You could set little goals for yourself as you’re writing them. For instance, you could have it to where every 10 or so notes that you write you get to have a small break or you some other type of reward. This way you are getting the notes done and you are also not wearing yourself out by trying to do all of the notes at one time.
You could make it a game throughout the family. You could offer a prize of some sort for the person who ends up writing the most cards. While you would have to make sure that everyone was still doing their best on each note, this way you don’t have some people just rushing through a bunch of notes in order to get the prize.
If you’re on your own, break up the list. Schedule a few different days to write your notes, and each time give yourself a little something to make it interesting: music, a glass of wine, your favorite radio show, a cup of tea—perhaps even some chocolate. Take the time to yourself for writing out thank-you notes: don’t try and wedge it in between laundry, a TV show, or extra work from the office. You’ll be able to think more clearly and your focus will translate to the page. Above all, try to enjoy yourself. Giving thanks shouldn’t be a chore—and doesn’t have to be if you make the effort to keep it interesting.
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Hopefully these tips will help when you are staring at the long list of thank you’s you need to write!
Photo Credit: Fanciful Ink