There are so many opportunities for us to extend our gratitude to a number of people around us on an everyday basis. Unfortunately, most of us don’t always express it. For some it may be a matter of not being naturally expressive, not knowing which words to use or when exactly to send the message across. Others fear that it may come off as sounding too cheesy or sappy.
The good news is that there are many other creative ways to communicate your appreciation for someone. One of these is through thank you notes. It’s actually a great choice if you would like to get your gratefulness across simply, in a straightforward manner that is not overly soppy but still with a hint of sentimentality.
Keep in mind, however, that there are certain situations wherein sending them is deemed most appropriate. The following paragraphs will highlight a few of the rules of etiquette on when and how it is best to be giving them out.
1. Handwrite. Thank you cards should always be handwritten. Although it may require extra time and effort, it is more polite to personalize your note with your own handwriting than to have them printed out. This way, your recipients will appreciate the gesture a little more because you went out of your way to write them out.
2. Always for special occasions. It’s always fitting to send out your notes of appreciation after big events, especially weddings, baby showers, and Christmas. These are normally the times when many people have given you gifts but you may not have had the opportunity to thank them personally for both the present and their presence. Remember to send thank you notes to all your guests, regardless of whether or not you liked the present they gave, if they brought a gift or not, and if their offering was monetary in value. Keep in mind that you’re not only thanking them for their gift but also their thoughtfulness and attendance.
3. In a span of two weeks. Most people struggle with how long after they should send their thank you card. The general rule is to give it immediately or before two weeks have lapsed. This way the event is still fresh in your mind, making it easier for you to write out what you want to say. There really should be no reason for you to hold off on saying thanks anyway.
4. Personalize it. While writing notes to all the guests who came to your wedding or Christmas party, complete with their names in the card, may seem like a daunting task, having generic statements in your note is too impersonal. You can keep the message brief but at least make sure that your letter opening has their name in it and that it has a reference to or greeting for the rest of his or her family so that you’re appreciation doesn’t seem mass produced or store-bought.
Your simple gesture of kindness through the thank you notes can go a long way. It’s not just about being polite. It’s also about spreading happiness and appreciation, which the world, certainly, can do more of.