Remember those thank you notes back from your sixth birthday party? The ones that were already printed, with some cute cartoon character or other. All you had to do was fill in the name of your friend and what they got you. So easy. But you made sure to do it every year.
Just because you’re 20-something now doesn’t mean you get to skip out on the thank you cards. Maybe the cartoon, fill-in-the-blanks version isn’t quite appropriate anymore, but a hand-written note can go a long way, especially this holiday season. As Southern Living puts it, “the art of writing an ‘old-school’ note is being lost,” but if you go against the flow and send one anyway, it’ll make a huge difference.
Whether it’s for a relative, a co-worker, or even a friend, a hand-written note goes a long way, especially when it’s for someone you want to impress. Sending a nice letter not only keeps you in their mind, but it also shows that you took the time to show them appreciation and that you are cognoscente of at least a mild form of etiquette (and I’m not ashamed to admit most of us millennials aren’t). Leslie Harpold of The Morning News wrote in her article “How to Write a Thank-You Note” that though someone from your grandmother’s generation might not say anything to you, “she and her friends are probably at this very moment sighing over how young people today just don’t have manners.” Thank-you cards were and still are a thing, and not sending them can come across as rude. Sure, email or text are so easy, but how often do you skim emails and texts and just not pay attention? I do it all the time! But how often do I get a card? Never. And I love getting mail. So when someone takes the time to actually put something in the mail, and spends the $3 it’ll cost to buy a card and a stamp, it means a lot.
When you’re writing a thank you note, according to Southern Living (because who knows manners better than a southerner?), invest in some nice stationery. You’ll use it more than once so pick something you can use for a variety of occasions. Personalize your letter. “If you’re going to see the person in the future, refer to the event and say you’re looking forward to it,” Jennifer Beeler of Southern Living said in her article “How To Write a Charming Thank You Note.” Don’t just re-write the same cut and dry thing every time, think of something that applies to them. And be sincere! Don’t write something like, “oh my god this was the cutest pair of Christmas socks ever” if you are actually using them to clean your stove. Instead, say something like “they were so thoughtful and I will get great use out of them.” It’s really not that hard, and it doesn’t take that long. This holiday season, don’t forget to not only say thank you, but to put it in words.