As a working mother I’ve found it a hell of a lot easier to email one generic thank-you note which I personalize slightly for each person before clicking send. Alternating between adding ‘thank you for having us at your holiday party’ to ‘thanks ever so much for the delicious tin of cheese straws.’
My sister says the recipient will assume I copied the email and wrote the same thank-you note to everyone. Isn’t it better to send a thank-you note any way I can and get the job done with an email, rather than agonizing over writing by hand every note and never finishing the arduous task?
–EH, Roxbury, MA
A handwritten thank-you note trumps any other kind of expression of gratitude — even a phone call.
- Take shortcuts if you have to with an thank you e-card (such as a Jacquie Lawson @ jacquielawson.com) but when sustaining the relationship is of the utmost importance to you, use that stationery or the correspondence cards in the back of your drawer and write a heartfelt letter of appreciation with your favorite pen.
- A thank-you card or letter is best mailed within two weeks.
- Reasons to write a thank-you card: To express gratitude for support, whether for a job interview, reference, letter of recommendation; to acknowledge the receipt of a present for a holiday, birthday, wedding, christening, communion, anniversary, graduation; in appreciation for a condolence letter for the loss of a loved one; or for having been invited to a professional or social event.
- From an early age, children who learn to write thank-you notes expressing their thanks for a specific present develop a livelong skill, the art of showing appreciation:
Dear Uncle Tom,
Thank you for my bike
I like having a basket
to carry my ball and
a bell to ring.
Dad is teaching me
how to ride it.
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Accepting A Compliment