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Thank you notes are one of my pet peeves, or should I say the lack of them is. They are not on their way to extinction, contrary to growing belief. Most people intend to send thank you notes, but then forget, and feel like too much time has passed. While you should try to send thank you notes within a week or two, “better late than never” certainly applies. If you’re a month or more late, still send your note, but make it extra thoughtful. There’s no need to waste space with excuses because there are none — just apologize and carry on. Your recipient will be just as delighted to get your note.
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Anatomy of a thank you card
First, write your thank you note as soon as possible after receiving the gift or service. Mailing them within a week is ideal, but not written in stone.
Second, your thank you notes should be personal and sincere. They do not need to sound formal, write as if you’re speaking to them in person.
Third, handwrite your notes for that special touch. If your writing is as illegible as mine, use your computer to create your message and print it out with a fun font. If you do this, be sure to sign your name at the end.
Be like Princess Diana
Princess Diana is said to have written her thank you notes each evening before bed. While you probably don’t need a daily routine, some discipline is helpful. Having stationary you enjoy using, a comfortable pen, and a store of stamps can help, along with a designated writing desk and good light. Soon you will find yourself writing notes for no reason at all. She was perhaps one of the most punctual thank you note writers ever. She was known for sending thank you notes for the smallest of deeds and doing it nearly immediately. Diana instilled this in her children too.
Be sure to stockpile thank you cards & note cards. If you have them on hand you are much likelier to send one. If you like making them on your computer, be sure you have a program, printable blank cards and extra ink for your printer.
–Have an up to date e-address book or an old fashion address book so finding an address won’t delay your delivery.
–Always have stamps available. Custom photo stamps definitely add a special touch.
–Send your thank you know matter how late it is.
Is it tacky to e-mail thank you’s?
My first reaction is to say YES! However, I feel there are exceptions, laziness not being one of them. If your friend is a “goober techno junkie” who would love to get some e-card with dancing coffee mugs singing “thanks a latte,” then, by all means, go ahead. If you’re a single mom, raising 3 kids while juggling working and walking the dog, by all means, go ahead. If you’re going through a tragedy in life, by all means, go ahead. Use good judgement but be honest with yourself. I do believe any thank you is better than no thank you.